JOHN Berylson has reacted with incredulity to claims made by Lewisham deputy mayor Alan Smith regarding the regeneration of the area around The Den.
But Berylson has dismissed those assurances out of hand, and says that the community scheme in particular cannot be secured by anyone other than the club itself.
Berylson said: "The council are under the illusion that a developer can somehow have the community scheme – they cannot. It has to be connected to the football club.
"They cannot get the players to attend events, or tickets for matches or essential funding from the Football League. They are dependent on the club paying their bills.
"Nobody other than the club has the ability to make the community scheme continue.
"The community scheme exists solely at my whim and as a club we support it because of their good work in the local area.
"It currently happens to be situated in Lewisham but it doesn't have to be there.
"The council's agreement with Renewal has thrown the future of the community scheme into doubt, not the other way around.
"If Alan Smith can safeguard the future of the community scheme, he can start work at 8am tomorrow morning and the club will withdraw its support."