Gonticas: Regeneration will not affect Millwall for years

© Edmund Boyden

CONSTANTINE Gonticas admits it will be at least "three or four years" before Millwall reap any benefits from the £1billion regeneration of the area around The Den.

Gonticas, who has been a director on the Lions board since 2006, says the club is approaching the Surrey Canal Project "opportunistically", in the hope it can profit from the 30-acre development scheme.

"At the moment, the board is drip-feeding the club," he told Lions Live. "My pocket knows it and John Berylson's pocket knows it.

"I've been here seven years and the windfall hasn't hit me yet so I think for the foreseeable future, not a lot is going to change.

"There will be three or four seasons at least of status quo. I don't foresee a windfall anytime soon."

And the 46-year-old says Millwall have to ensure that any conflict of interest with Renewal, the company masterminding the regeneration, is resolved to the benefit of the club.

"The club's position, as far as I see it, is two-fold," he added. "Firstly, we want to future-proof the club in any regeneration scheme.

"As the area changes, we all want to make sure that access to the stadium and all the other planning and traffic issues that affect a modern stadium are preserved.

"More opportunistically, we want to make sure that if there's a commercial opportunity for the club – to be able to monetize our position – we don't miss it.

"There is a competing regeneration scheme which is well-funded and has got good political support in the area, whose priorities are not the football club.

"We are working to make sure that we use all the leverage we have – because we are slap-bang in the middle of the scheme – to make sure the club is not disadvantaged or jeopardised."



2 thoughts on “Gonticas: Regeneration will not affect Millwall for years

  • October 30, 2012 at 16:29

    So, despite the vague noises made by the developer, we are still no closer to securing Millwall's position? Gonticas' words suggest that the club hasn't yet received any meaningful guarantees regarding the stadium, and, apart from hints that Millwall might build a hotel on the car park and Andy Ambler's vision of the club shop selling out of nylon fleeces, there are no details as to how the club will benefit financially.

    Looking at the bigger picture, once construction is complete and the new Overground station is opened, the value of the land on which The Den currently sits will increase significantly. Remember that we only lease that land from Lewisham Council. It is far from inconceivable that its value will reach a point at which it becomes worthwhile to the Council - in partnership with one of its favoured developers - to make the club an offer it can't refuse. Also, will the City workers (or, more likely, buy-to-let investors) that Renewal/Lewisham are hoping to attract to the area want Millwall on their door step, blocking access every other Saturday afternoon and, more significantly, holding down the resale value of their new flat?

    All over the country, `regeneration' projects have been sold on the basis of improving the lives of existing residents. But the reality is almost always that those same local people and institutions are driven out to make way for wealthier, more commercially desirable types. Positively-worded press releases from the developers are worthless. As a supporter, I am worried that there is nothing to stop our club being swept out of the area on this tide of gentrification.

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  • November 1, 2012 at 00:10

    Doesn't sound too happy when he says, "At the moment, the board is drip-feeding the club," "My pocket knows it and John Berylson's pocket knows it." Doesn't look like we'll be making any big name/number signings anytime soon 🙁

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