MILLWALL will bank a “six-figure fee” after their Championship clash with Fulham was brought forward for live coverage by Sky Sports.
The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, April 21 but will now kick-off at 7.45pm on Friday, April 20 for broadcast under The Den lights.
Some Lions fans expressed their frustration with the rescheduling, including one supporter from Groningen in Holland, who had booked flights and planned to bring his daughter to her first Millwall game.
Millwall explained that both clubs’ runs of form made the fixture an “attractive pick” for live coverage. The Lions and the Cottagers currently have the two longest unbeaten sequences in the Championship, and both will hope to still be in the running for promotion by the time the London derby comes around next month.
Matthieu Schreurs has been supporting Millwall for 24 years, and had arranged a trip for six people for the original date.
Matthieu and his group will instead attend Fisher’s league game against SC Thamesmead in Rotherhithe on April 21, and hope to still visit The Den, after telling NewsAtDen it was “love at first sight” for the Lions when he first experienced the stadium more than two decades ago.
“Visiting grounds was the main goal. At that time Millwall wasn’t known to me at all and transport to the stadium was even worse than now,” Matthieu explained. “I ended up in a taxi that was driven by a Millwall fan.
“He took me to The Den for free and at the ground they gave me a complete private tour. When I was ready the taxi driver was still waiting for me and took me to the nearest station for free again.
“You can call this love at first sight.
“My daughter was sick for almost three years and could not fly. We can’t make the game now due to work and school. We will still go but without seeing a game.”
The six-figure sum Millwall will receive is the standard payment to Championship clubs for home games broadcast by Sky.
Sky originally proposed April 22 as a new date, before Millwall pointed out that was the same day as the London Marathon.
There would be hundreds of thousands more people than normal in London that Sunday, clogging transport routes and requiring significant extra police presence.
A Millwall spokesman explained: “The club’s current run of form, as well as Fulham’s, and that the result of the game – a London derby – could have a significant impact on the battle for a play-off place, made it an attractive pick for live coverage on Sky Sports.
“Their decision to select this game, and subsequently bring it forward into an appropriate television slot on the Friday night, is worth a six-figure fee to the club.
“That money, plus Sky’s significant contribution to the central pot for clubs across The EFL, is crucial for commercial growth which in turn assists with continued success on and off the pitch.”
Image: Millwall FC