Millwall chief: Lions will be hit hard by football suspension – but have 'strong' owner and 'fair' fans

STEVE Kavanagh has admitted Millwall have been "hit hard" by the suspension of football over the coronavirus pandemic – and urged people to "pull together to find a way through."

The Lions have already seen home games against Derby County and Swansea postponed, and there are doubts whether the season can recommence on April 4 when Millwall are scheduled to travel to Charlton.

Millwall chief executive Kavanagh is in daily contact with owner John Berylson, who is in the United States.

The Den is currently shut to all non-essential staff.

"We're like all other businesses, we've been hit hard, but our income stream just stopped overnight," Kavanagh told NewsAtDen this week.

"The hardest thing is cash flows. We've got a strong owner and most fans have been decent and fair with us. Obviously people are asking for refunds for Derby. We will do those but at the moment the advice is to work from home so I haven't got a finance department.

"Like everybody else, it will have impacts on us. I'm not going to shy away from that. But hopefully if we can all pull together we can find a way through. We've got an owner who's been around a long time and I'm sure will help the club as best he can.

"We're talking to the EFL because like other clubs we're all in the same boat and we're all faced with a scenario in which all our businesses have been shut down around us.

"John's in the States, I'm talking to him daily, I just had an hour with him [Tuesday afternoon]. He's in good spirits, he's obviously frustrated and like everyone else he's mindful of the worldwide situation. He also wants us to be in a position to get going again as soon as we can."

The suspension of football also impacts staff who only work at The Den on match-days.

Kavanagh added: "We will do what we can around the outskirts of our business. I've got to protect the core business. First and foremost I've got to make sure I've got the cash flows to pay our payroll. Then we work out from there to protect our business.

"That includes our match-day staff, the businesses that work with us on match-days. But we're in a very fluid scenario where we're all confronted with difficult situations. Our cash flow – the tap's been turned off overnight.

"I've said to all staff if you can work from home then work from home, so we've shut The Den. People like the groundsmen have to go in because the grass carries on growing.

"For all non-essential staff we're working at home where we can. Ticket office we've gone online, retail we've gone online, but staff will pop in occasionally to service the orders and get those out from the ticket office and the retail perspective, because we've got to try and keep income streams coming into the business."

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly