Millwall Forum - Statement by MFC Chairman, John Berylson
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Statement by MFC Chairman, John Berylson
12 December 2017 19:09 Post ID: #1563861
MOmmy
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Statement by MFC Chairman, John Berylson
Lord Dyson’s inquiry and our appeal against the Freedom of Information Tribunal
Tuesday 12 December 2017
Further to MFC’s statement of 1 December 2017, I have now decided to release in full the letter that I wrote to Lord Dyson on 6 December. He has not yet responded, and perhaps needs more time. However, we are being asked important questions about the current situation and I have been made aware that some Lewisham Councillors are providing aggressive and derogatory commentaries about Millwall Football Club and its current position with regard to the proposed New Bermondsey development. There are clear indications that Lewisham Council intends to bring back the compulsory purchase orders on the so-called ‘Millwall land’ and pick up from where it left off almost a year ago. This in spite of Lord Dyson’s call in his report for “a period of calm reflection”.
If it is true that Lewisham Council remains intent on the use of CPOs – in spite of Lewisham Labour’s elected mayoral candidate, Damien Egan, publicly stating that he opposed such a move – to seize the leases on the land around The Den in order to sell the freeholds of that land to Renewal, then we will continue to defend our position robustly. We remain firmly in favour of the development of the site adjoining our stadium and we reconfirm our wish to be a participant in that project for the overall benefit of this community. The Council claimed more than five years ago that only Renewal could deliver the development project; so far Renewal has delivered nothing. Surely it is time for the Council to consider a better way to get things done rather than further delay the process with the use of CPOs?
Many serious concerns have been raised over the years – not only by Millwall Football Club and the Millwall Community Trust – about the political and moral behaviour of Lewisham Council, its decision to give Renewal the exclusive rights to develop New Bermondsey and the potential negative impact on the football club and its community scheme.
In my letter, now disclosed in full, I questioned why Lord Dyson had chosen to ignore some of our evidence, had published evidence from other sources that we had never seen and on which we had had no chance to comment, and why he did not address some of the concerns expressed by those who do not support Lewisham’s approach to New Bermondsey. In my letter I included:
• Errors of fact about the threat to the Millwall Academy if it is moved to the proposed new sports centre; about negotiations with Lewisham Council over terms for proposed new lease arrangements in 2010; and about the roles and responsibilities of one of our consultants;
• We did not bid for our land because the Council had told us that it did not plan to sell the freeholds and, when it changed its mind, gave us just three working days’ notice and no details about exactly what land it intended to sell. Renewal was not the only potential buyer, but seems to have been the only buyer acceptable to Lewisham;
• We could not put forward serious detailed planning proposals for land that had been promised to Renewal in a conditional land sale agreement. Detailed planning proposals require significant time and money. Nobody with any sense would commission full plans for land controlled by a hostile third party. We explained this to Lord Dyson, but he largely disregarded it;
• Full financial due diligence has not been carried out on Renewal even though Council officers said it was a pre-condition of a CPO, and no due diligence has been carried out on the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation and its proposed Energize sports centre as far as we know, yet it is a separate entity from Renewal;
• Renewal did continue to claim that funding was agreed with Sport England long after Sport England had asked them not to. Lord Dyson published Renewal’s apology, but deems this to be ‘an unfortunate oversight’ and ‘regrettable’. The funding claims made by the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation, a charity, were a key catalyst in Lewisham’s decision to commission an inquiry which has cost Lewisham’s taxpayers a large amount of money. That too is regrettable;
• The New Bermondsey site was being offered for sale in April/May 2015 on behalf of one of Renewal’s shareholders according to information we have received from another developer. We provided that information to Lord Dyson. He concluded that Renewal was not aware of the activities of one of its shareholders. This is an extraordinary conclusion and one which should cause considerable concern in Lewisham Council. How could it safely do business with a company that doesn’t know what one of its two shareholders may be doing?
Very disappointingly, we learnt that Lord Dyson based some of his findings on the conclusions of the Freedom of Information Tribunal, hence I have pointed out to him that that judgement contained errors of fact. I can now confirm that MFC has lodged an appeal against some of the decisions of the First Tier Tribunal. That matter is far from concluded and it was not appropriate for Lord Dyson to draw conclusions from an incomplete legal process.
Finally, I am being asked with mounting concern whether it is true that we are considering a move from Lewisham Borough. While I should emphasise that this is emphatically not our preferred option, I must confirm that we are obliged to give this our full consideration and have already taken steps to investigate alternative sites with relevant third parties. It will be extremely difficult to see a long term future in a borough where our local authority is unhelpful and hostile to us and where a property developer has preferential treatment and seems intent on acting against our best interests. The Council continues to state, notably to Lord Dyson, that it sees MFC as being at the heart of the new community it envisages. Its current deeds do not match those words.
If we move, our community scheme will move with us. The Millwall Community Trust may be a separate legal entity but its funding comes primarily either directly from Millwall Football Club or through a variety of football-related bodies from whom the MCT attracts funding because it carries the ‘Millwall’ name. The MCT makes a very significant contribution to the Borough of Lewisham. Only Millwall Football Club can guarantee its long term future.
My fellow Directors and I are dismayed by these extended battles. They distract us from the most important task of advancing Millwall Football Club on the pitch. I have been Chairman now for more than a decade. The Club has existed for over 130 years. I have funded the Club, I have asked to participate in the development of the Millwall land and I have committed to leaving the proceeds of any development in the Football Club and sharing profits with the Council.
After the bulldozers and the builders have gone, I hope that Millwall Football Club will still be at the heart of this community. However that requires Lewisham Council to act as it speaks and work with the borough’s long established Football Club to provide the regeneration the area needs.
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12 December 2017 19:10 Post ID: #1563862 - in reply to #1563861
MOmmy
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just copied this from Face Book.
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12 December 2017 19:37 Post ID: #1563863 - in reply to #1563861
MOby Dick
100
The battle is on again after the optimism last year?

Edited by Burgesslion 12/12/2017 19:44
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12 December 2017 19:49 Post ID: #1563865 - in reply to #1563861
MOjo
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I suspect that the main message there is that 'we are looking at alternative sites outside of Lewisham'...
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12 December 2017 19:53 Post ID: #1563866 - in reply to #1563861
MOaner
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Snakes.
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12 December 2017 19:57 Post ID: #1563870 - in reply to #1563861
Big Wacker
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This was merely my point.

If we had the chance to leave Lewisham for Southwark I believe most Wall fans would accept that. Most of our local support is from that borough. After this Lewisham can go fuck themselves.
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12 December 2017 20:18 Post ID: #1563872 - in reply to #1563861
MOnster
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The borough border is at the very left side of the Den. What legal play is there to move it to the right side and up a bit?

Also, I read a while back that residents in a neighbouring borough are more than capable of kicking up a stink and preventing it from going ahead if it will affect them and it will.

Can't the border move? Central government do it all the time.
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12 December 2017 20:24 Post ID: #1563874 - in reply to #1563861
GeroniMO
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A typical whitewash by an inquiry that Lewisham Council has funded through their taxpayers money.

A full INDEPENDENT enquiry should now be carried out, making sure that the chair of that inquiry is not in Lewisham councils pocket.

This has all the hallmarks of decisions made at the very top of Government, who need all the landspace inside the London Boroughs they can grab for development and profit.

We have no chance, the best we can do is expose the corruption that goes on to line the pockets of the greedy, overpaid scumbags.
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12 December 2017 20:52 Post ID: #1563875 - in reply to #1563872
Big Wacker
2525
numbernine - 12/12/2017 20:18

The borough border is at the very left side of the Den. What legal play is there to move it to the right side and up a bit?

Also, I read a while back that residents in a neighbouring borough are more than capable of kicking up a stink and preventing it from going ahead if it will affect them and it will.

Can't the border move? Central government do it all the time.


Yes. Our very next opponents have been in and out of Yorkshire over the years.
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12 December 2017 21:34 Post ID: #1563876 - in reply to #1563861
MOjo
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This is the link.

https://www.londonnewsonline.co.uk/millwall-chairman-berylson-consid...

Complete stitch up from start to finish
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12 December 2017 22:51 Post ID: #1563881 - in reply to #1563861
MOaner
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I still believe the deal to move to Dartford was done a long time ago.
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12 December 2017 23:28 Post ID: #1563884 - in reply to #1563881
Big Wacker
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Arthur2shedsJackson - 12/12/2017 22:51

I still believe the deal to move to Dartford was done a long time ago.


With who though?

Dartford FC? Why would they commit to killing off their own club? Or at best becoming a feeder team.

Dartford council? Why would they want to take on the club with the worst supporter reputation in UK? They would have to fund the policing of the station and town centre. Political suicide.

And people think it would be hard to move to Southwark - at least we have fans & a historical tie in the borough!

Talk of a move to Kent is to maximise the level of threat and to pull on emotional heart strings. The club must know that it is pretty much impossible (what council would take us on?) and would certainly kill the club. We either stay at Zampa Road or have to reform as Millwall Rovers on Southwark Park and try and go through non-leagues.
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12 December 2017 23:48 Post ID: #1563885 - in reply to #1563861
Sir MO
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All scum trying to drink from the trough, and these people make money from others misery.
I would like to think that if they win that it will come back to haunt them wherever they go, as I know many who wont except greed being allowed to prosper at the demise of our club, so listen up you greedy fuckers, where ever you go you wont be far from an angry Millwall supporter
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12 December 2017 23:58 Post ID: #1563886 - in reply to #1563861
I cannot see any other council that would treat its local team like this you could not make this shit up it's fucking disgusting and something needs to be done big time. It seems to me like they now wanted this enquiry and paid for it just to be exonerated and look squeaky clean also seems the gave some dodgy info to this paid dyson cunt, we thought the enquiry was for us no way it was all a RUSE !
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13 December 2017 07:46 Post ID: #1563905 - in reply to #1563861
Supreme MO
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Any chance one of you blokes could sum the letter up in a couple of sentences?

I got to the third paragraph and lost the will to live.

Did Willow manage to hang on to her Pied à Terre?

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13 December 2017 08:02 Post ID: #1563909 - in reply to #1563861
Supreme MO
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Sometimes when you look back in history you shake your head at some of the decisions made and say "what were they thinking? and how the fuck did they get that through?" but we are clearly seeing corruption and underhand tactics in action yet even after exposing their flaws they still seem to be gaining the upper hand, this is going to get very messy if it continues.

Edited by ringo_the_lion 13/12/2017 08:04
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13 December 2017 08:23 Post ID: #1563911 - in reply to #1563861
MOjo
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I can't help feeling that this has always been the beginning of the end game for Millwall. Ultimately money will talk, unless there is a dramatic reversal in property prices we are sitting on a lump of real estate is too valuable and too close the 'money' the city.

I fear what remains is to find the best of a bad deal. For those that have never been happy with the New place, wait till a 15-18k single story soulless bowl is built, whether in Southwark, Dartford or wherever. It will be shit.

Redraw the border wont make the money go away, it would worth it just to tuck up those involved with Lewisham.

The nuclear option is civil disturbance on a scale that hasn't been seen for some time, sort off unlikely to happen when the cause us.
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