Future of Millwall under threat, chairman warns Council

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

JOHN Berylson has written to Lewisham Council warning the club’s “long-term survival” rests on a proposal to take land around The Den and sell it to a property developer.    

The Council’s cabinet will next week seek a Compulsory Purchase Orders to take three pieces of land, leased to Millwall and the Millwall Community Trust, and sell it to Renewal.

The Lions Centre, the Millwall Café, the car park and the land behind the stadium are under threat.

The Millwall chairman claims the club have been offered a “derisory sum” for the leases as the land is currently valued as a car park.

Should the Council get its wish, Renewal could sell off the areas as development land.

Mr Berylson says that Lewisham Council didn’t look at Millwall’s development plans for the land when they were presented in August, 2013. These included a provision for a new premises for the Millwall Community Trust beside the stadium.

Mr Beylson wrote in an email this week to Lewisham councillors: “While we continue to fight every week to return to the Championship, off the pitch we face a challenge which threatens the club’s very survival.”

The Millwall chairman questions Lewisham Council’s decision to “partner with an opaque developer whose ultimate holding companies are registered offshore.”

Mr Berylson adds: “Millwall, by contrast, is a transparent, well-financed and local football club.”

“Over the past nine years, I have invested more than £48m in Millwall to help us through the inevitable ups and downs of life as a professional football club. Millwall is core to the Council’s stated strategy for the Borough. It doesn’t seem that way to me.”

Lewisham Council’s cabinet will seek the CPOs next Wednesday, February 17, and Mr Berylson is urging them to reject the proposal.

Read John Berylson’s letter in full here.

John Kelly