Millwall supremo disappointed with Den crowds this season

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

MILLWALL chairman John Berylson said he was surprised with the attendances for the televised clash with Burton in March and for last weekend's game against Oldham. 

There were 8,012 at The Den for a Monday night kick-off to watch the 2-0 win over a Burton side that was then top of the Sky Bet League One table.

That was the Lions' fifth-lowest attendance for a league game this season, with three of the other four played on Tuesday nights.

Berylson also told Lions Live on Thursday night he was disappointed there weren’t more than 12,419 at the last home league game of the season, the 3-0 win over Oldham.

That was the highest attendance this season, but Berylson admitted it is understandable the crowds are down after the drop to League One this season.

“I saw the Burton Albion game, a game that was on TV against the team top of the league,” Millwall owner Berylson said. “I have to be honest, I was disappointed with the sparse crowd. In order for us to do more and do better, we have to have bigger crowds.”

“There is a direct correlation with how many fans come to see the games and what you can do with the team. It just happens to be true. Our crowds are off substantially to what they were last year – some of it is to be expected as we are a league lower – but, in truth, this is a very exciting team, I wish more fans came and saw them.

“People tell me how much fun one or two games that they had been to were. It’s too bad they didn't go to three of four of them.”

Bradford, meanwhile, who Millwall could meet in the play-off semi-finals, have had attendances of over 17,000 on 22 occasions this season, though the capacity at Valley Parade is over 25,000, compared to The Den, which can hold just over 20,000.

And Berylson is expecting a bigger home crowd if the clubs clash again in the knockout campaign.

“If we end up playing Bradford I'm sure we’ll do great – maybe get 12 or 14,000. We have passionate fans, whether 8,000, 10,000 or 12,000 show up. They’re all great.

“During last year’s disasters, I saw the wrath of them the other way – they’re passionate both ways.

“But now we have this kind of team with young kids, it’s not about money for them – they want to be loved by the fans. How do you think (Jordan) Archer feels, knowing he was voted the (player of the year) by the fans? He must feel pretty great about that.”

John Kelly