South London Sunset
Millwall, Forde, Dunne, Shittu, Webster, Briggs, Abdou, Wright, Easter(Siafia 85), McDonald(Powell 63), Gueye(Onyedinma 46), Gregory
The results of the Fan on The Board Election 2014 are as follows:
Peter Garston: 648 votes received
Paul Turner: 362 votes received
Invalid/spoilt votes: 202
The MSC would like to thank both candidates for standing and wish Peter the best of luck in the forthcoming term.
The pressure of the petition has had the desired effect and meetings have been planned well done to all.
Below is the statment I promised from JB to counter balance Renewals claims
STATEMENT BY JOHN BERYLSON, CHAIRMAN OF MILLWALL FOOTBALL CLUB
17 February 2014
I am most surprised to find Renewal, a private property developer, issuing a statement apparently on behalf of Lewisham Council about Millwall’s dealings with the Council over the potential sale of land adjoining The Den. In its statement Renewal refers to correspondence and meetings between Millwall and the Council. This seems most irregular.
I have made it clear elsewhere, and I shall make it clear again here, that Millwall has been open and transparent in all its dealings with Lewisham Council. Jordana Malik, a director and spokesperson of Renewal, is quoted as being “perplexed as to why those in charge at the club are claiming they have had no knowledge of the land sale”. I’m perplexed that she should say that. Millwall has never made such a claim. Indeed we have made it clear that we were fully aware of the Council’s plans to sell the land.
That’s why our lawyers wrote to the Council on 25 September 2013 challenging the decision to sell the land to Renewal, and why our property advisers wrote to the Council on 7 November formally confirming the Club’s wish to be permitted to bid for the land. On 13 November the Council responded refusing to provide Millwall with the information we required in order to make our bid. We were told that the Council had secured the best deal for the land even though Renewal was the only permitted bidder. We made one final attempt on 6 December when our lawyers wrote again to the Council asking them to stop the sale. But the Council ignored us again and exchanged contracts with Renewal for the sale of the three parcels of land on 20 December. They informed us three days later.
I read that the Club “failed to provide any meaningful detailed evidence of its proposals”. This is of course nonsense. Millwall commissioned architects to draw up plans for the area around The Den as long ago as 2006 - before any sale of the freeholds materialised and before planning permission for the whole area had been granted. In order to ensure that our plans were fully in keeping with the overall agreed scheme for the Surrey Canal Triangle, we commissioned leading architects Mackay and Partners last year to review our existing plans and refine them into a revised proposal for the development of the three areas of land adjoining the stadium.
Those plans were presented to the Council on 15 August 2013 in as much detail as could reasonably be expected at that stage. It was made clear that the plans fitted with the outline planning permission, that Chestnut Hill Ventures (Millwall's largest shareholder) had more than enough money to carry out the development without recourse to any third party funding and that the Club could offer legally binding guarantees that the development would be completed within an agreed timescale.
What other business case could the Council possibly have wanted at that stage?
If the Council had deigned to consider the Club's plans, the next stage would have been to refine the business case in conjunction with the Council and its advisers but there was no point in doing that – given the considerable further costs involved – if the Council wasn't prepared to play ball.
Renewal said on 5 February that they had never even been shown our plans, yet they seem to be full of opinions about them.
Chestnut Hill Ventures is not a property developer. That’s why, in order to strengthen the Club’s finances, we have engaged top professional advisors who have managed property developments of this size. We are attacked for not submitting planning applications and not acquiring land. We aren’t interested in acquiring land other than the areas adjoining The Den. Once the Council made it clear that those areas were to be sold, we formally asked to be allowed to bid for them. We had no need of planning permission because it had already been granted for the whole area.
We have invested more than £3 million in helping that whole process and in our own plans, as well as in protecting the interests of the Club.
Assurances are being given about our community scheme. But the Council and Renewal don’t seem to understand the nature of its funding and how it operates. Although the Council and Renewal can match our offer of a new home and new sports facilities, only we can guarantee the financial support and access to the Football League funding on which it depends. Furthermore, the viability of the Millwall Community Scheme is not just about its funding. It’s also about its direct links to the Club and our resources – the provision of coaching staff, player involvement, the use of our facilities and tickets for our matches. We are very concerned about its long term future.
Finally, I will reiterate the point that is behind all of this. Chestnut Hill Ventures has supported Millwall for the last seven years since I became Chairman and I have expressed my personal commitment to the Club, and to its home at The Den, many times. I am a huge fan and I have the most expensive season ticket! In the long term, Millwall Football Club needs to be a viable commercial enterprise, and that means that it needs non-football income that is stable and secure.
We always assumed that we would be left to develop the land adjoining our stadium. The Council has said that we are at the heart of the community and core to their strategic plans for the Borough. So in good faith we have played our part, and incurred substantial costs, in supporting the overall plans for this urban regeneration. We haven’t been greedy. We have offered the Council a stake in our proposed developments.
As things stand, we have been excluded from the benefits of the Surrey Canal Triangle development. Our stadium is shown at the core of the plans and we are expected to carry on staging football matches and investing more money in The Den. Meanwhile, the Council does deals with a private property developer and expects us to stand on the touchline and cheer.
That’s not my style. I don’t want a fight with anybody, but I shall stand up and be counted for Millwall Football Club.
13th February 2013
This letter has been written by the Millwall Supporters Club in response to a Sky Special Report into racism in football which was first broadcast on Monday 11 February.
The show was advertised as an in depth report going into the heart of football to reveal the extent of racism inside the game.
Unfortunately, the journey to the heart of football was not as extensive as it should have been as it completely centred on Bermondsey featuring almost entirely footage from one medium sized Championship football club.
It seems that your journalists take the usual narrow minded approach of laying all football’s problems at the door of Millwall, which in reality is a club watched regularly by relatively small crowds of around ten thousand.
For a programme concerning such a serious problem, it is a shame that you were not able to bring yourselves to investigate recently reported serious incidents of racial abuse in the Premier League at grounds such as Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham; clubs that have a high profile in English and world football, where incidents of racial abuse will be witnessed by a much greater number of spectators.
The programme seemed to have little balance, with the main aim of vilifying Millwall and its supporters. There was no acknowledgement that the five perpetrators of abuse were a tiny fraction of those attending the games where undercover filming was carried out, thereby leaving a slur on the thousands of decent law abiding fans the club attracts.
There was no recognition that the club is at the forefront of the ‘Kick It Out’ Campaign or of its work in the community in a deprived inner city mixed race area. At one point it was claimed the club’s captain Danny Shittu was racially abused but you provided no evidence of such abuse leaving it as another slur for the club to deal with. We wonder that you did not attempt to speak to our current team captain, our current player of the year or last season’s player of the year, all of whom are black, for their views.
You showed incidents of bottle throwing by Millwall fans but of course you could not bring yourselves to report the vile chanting of Leeds fans, or Charlton fans throwing seats and lighting flares from the away end at the games you filmed.
In reality, your in depth report was a limited piece of work as it really did not disturb or uncover any racial problems that undoubtedly exist at our top clubs and between top players. It is a shame you did not have the courage to complete concealed filming at Premier League games and you probably will not have the courage to revisit Millwall to highlight the positive work the club does for its community and race relations.
Finally, we wonder at the timing of this transmission. The principal incidents took place last year, plenty of time for you to produce a topical report, but the transmission was five days before the club’s high profile FA Cup tie. ... Further, if Sky’s interest was to help the fight against racism, you would surely not have concealed your evidence for nearly three months before reporting the crime that was witnessed. Our club works tirelessly to address this issue, to be part of the solution, not the problem. Clearly this is not your agenda.
Racism is a serious problem and it is very frustrating for the thousands of decent Millwall fans that our club along with virtually every other League team has its small minority of racists. However your tactics of merely kicking and tarnishing the image of this small Championship club that is battling to root out offenders, does little to help or solve the much wider problem in the game.
We are all football fans keen to deal with this issue and eradicate racists. Indeed, some responsible for writing this letter are also Sky subscribers so your thoughts on the points made will be appreciated.
Chairman – Millwall Supporters Club
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