JOHN Berylson has gone on the offensive after the deputy mayor of Lewisham branded him a "Republican-funding American venture capitalist" on Twitter.
Berylson yesterday laughed off claims made by Cllr Alan Smith regarding the sale to a developer of land which is currently leased by the club and its community scheme.
Cllr Smith had said that a town hall decision to hand over three plots which adjoin The Den to Renewal had safeguarded the Lions' future in South Bermondsey.
Berylson reacted with disbelief to those comments, adding that the Millwall Community Scheme in particular has been threatened by the council's agreement with Renewal.
Cllr Smith then took to social media on Wednesday to imply that Berylson, "a republican funding american venture capitalist", could not be trusted as he was not "a local developer."
— Alan Smith (@CllrAl) February 25, 2014
But Berylson said in a statement: "I am surprised and disappointed that Lewisham’s Deputy Mayor has resorted to tweeting untrue statements about me.
"Under no circumstances should I be required to justify my profession, political beliefs or nationality.
"Why they should be an issue or relevant to the development of the Surrey Canal Triangle is beyond me.
"For the record, I am not a Republican Party supporter – I'm a registered Democrat.
"But what I question is the impartiality, and frankly the judgement, of the man who has presided over meetings that approved the disposal of land which matters to our Club.
"It's incorrect to describe me as a venture capitalist.
"I have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in a dozen companies and have always been hands on with every investment, especially Millwall Football Club.
"It is true that I am American, but for the Deputy Mayor to make an issue of that fact is remarkable. Does that mean he'll only deal with English people?
"Is that why his Council decided not to consider my plans? I wonder if Councillor Smith should have declared his anti-American interests?
"His attitude is putting the future success of the Club and Millwall Community Scheme at risk, which means people's jobs and livelihoods.
"We should sit down and have jaw jaw not war war.
"Councillor Smith should spend less time making inaccurate and inflammatory comments on Twitter and more time listening to the 5,000 people who have signed our fans’ online and paper petition calling on the Council to think again."