Millwall chairman ‘appalled and bewildered’ after Lewisham Council plan to hand over land leased to club to property developers

18:29 03 February 2014

Millwall chairman John Berylson. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images)

Millwall chairman John Berylson. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images)

2012 Getty Images

Millwall chairman John Berylson has reiterated that his determination to continue to build for the club’s long-term future, despite the news that Lewisham Council plans to hand over to a property developer key areas of land that are currently leased to the Club and to the Millwall Community Scheme Trust without even consulting the Lions.

He described himself ‘appalled and bewildered’ that the long term future of the south east Londoners is being put at risk by the Council after being notified by them that the freehold of three areas of land surrounding The Den – the car park, a space behind the stadium and the site of the Millwall Community Scheme Trust’s Lions Centre – are being sold by the Council to developers Renewal Ltd.

He said: “I have made our position clear to Lewisham Council and I am hopeful that we can have positive dialogue with them going forward so that our interests and that of the Community Trust will be recognised and protected.

“I am determined that Millwall will continue to have a very bright future and will be playing football at The Den for many generations to come.”

The Lions commissioned architects in 2013 to draw up plans for the development of the three areas adjoining the ground.

But Lewisham Council refused to consider Millwall’s plans and the Lions claim ‘declined to share the commercial information the club would have required to make its own bid to buy the three parcels of land.’

Berylson added: “Our long term survival will depend on our ability to generate non-football revenues to help us through the inevitable ups and downs of life as a professional football club.

“Despite football being core to the Council’s stated strategy for the Borough, Millwall Football Club has been repeatedly excluded from the regeneration project.”

In spite of the blow, the chairman also insisted that he would not be deterred from seeing through his ambitious plans for the club and the team under Ian Holloway in spite of this apparent setback.

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