Your basket

Join The FSA

We care about our club, we care about our area – AMS

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and Supporters Direct merged to become the FSA in 2019 – so this page may contain hyperlinks that do not work and/or have missing files. Our archived pages are not maintained and will not be updated.

If you are seeking a document regarding training or the development of your supporters’ organisation, please visit the live training and resource section of our website. if you need further assistance email: [email protected]

With Lewisham Council set to make a decision on the land around Millwall’s New Den, the Association of Millwall Supporters tell us why fans need to be heard on the matter…

*UPDATE: Since publishing this piece Lewisham Council has voted to defer the decision on the land for legal arguments* 

The ‘R’ word – enough to strike fear into any football fans heart.

In our small corner of south east London we have a bit of a community thing going on. Our club Millwall FC is part and parcel of the local area. It is our area and it is a big part of us.

For more than 20 years the Millwall Community Scheme has been providing opportunities for the local communities of Lewisham and Southwark to take part in sport, learn new skills, make new friends, improve their health and find employment but all this could end.

It isn’t our performance on the pitch that is causing concern. It isn’t that we missed out on signing a midfield general or a promising youngster it is far worse than that. It is something that we, the fans or the players haven’t had much say in.

For years there has been talk of regeneration – there we’ve said it – the ‘R’ word! The area is about to be tarted up. Discussions have been ongoing for years but we haven’t been party to the discussions as they “are confidential and take place behind closed doors”.

We have a Fan on the Board who has been briefed but not much else has happened until now.

We know that our wealthy chairman, John Berylson, has talked up his own plans and that the club presented them to Lewisham Council – we waited and waited. 

Last season we won some games, we lost more and as a result now sit in League one – on the pitch things are OK and we occupy one of the play-off positions. But unbeknown to us the talks with the council had stalled, various versions of what happened exist but the bottom line is the regeneration is proceeding without us.

Lewisham Council decides today whether to approve a compulsory order on land currently leased by the club The Millwall Community Trust, is currently based in the Lions Centre will lose its home and we will also lose our car park. Our stadium lease appears to be protected but two years ago so was the Lions Centre! 

The plans presented by the club, which included much needed housing, have the club say been ignored. The council say that there was never any formal application from the club. 

The long term survival of our club partly depends on our ability to generate non-football revenues and over the past nine years, our chairman has invested more than £48m in Millwall to help us through the inevitable ups and downs of being Millwall, without his money we are doomed and he says that the Council have treated him and the club badly and he feels let down.

We have repeatedly been told by local politicians that Millwall FC is at the heart of the Council’s strategy for the Borough – but today all that could change.

Some councillors say they will support us and make sure that we get a fair hearing; others say that the ground is protected and we must trust the developers. Sadly we have heard it all before and I am starting to believe that promises last only until there is money to be made.

As fans we sing “No one likes us – we don’t care” the truth today appears to be that Lewisham Council doesn’t like us – but we do care – we care about our club – we care about our area and we want to concentrate on the next game – but we can’t because soon the next game could be our last game!

So my message to all football fans is this: If a local council starts talking about the ‘R’ word; get organised, get involved and don’t believe everything will be ok – it won’t and it will destroy your club and break your heart.

The FSF blog is the space to challenge perceived wisdom, entertain readers and inform our members. The views expressed are those of the author and they don’t necessarily represent FSF policy and (pay attention journalists) shouldn’t be attributed to the FSF.

Related Articles

Worcester City – our latest community-owned club

Late last year Worcester City became the latest club to achieve community-ownership. Luke Cox, former-Worcester City director and supporters’ trust board member tells us more about their journey…

“We want our Reading back” – crisis club debated in Parliament 

MPs from across the political spectrum yesterday backed the Government’s commitment to an independent football regulator at a Parliamentary debate held by Reading East MP Matt Rodda – whose local club is in crisis mode.

Our newest community-owned club – East Thurrock CFC

Earlier this month we welcomed the latest fan-owned club to the FSA ranks, with the formation of East Thurrock Community FC in Essex. Here, chair of the newly-formed club Jack Duffin gives us the background to East Thurrock CFC’s formation, and how they got to where they are. 

FSA democracy: Minutes from our National Council & board

See FSA National Council minutes from February 2022 and August 2022 alongside FSA board minutes from March 2022 and May 2022.

Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund


  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • Pledgeball