Millwall have hired an architect to lead the design of stadium expansion, in what is a defiant message to Lewisham Council that their long-term future belongs in Bermondsey.
The Lions were subject to a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) where the land around their home would be sold to land developers Renewal.
It was all rather acrimonious, but Millwall have since seen the CPO quashed as they look to cement their future in Lewisham.
Appointing an architect from AFL Architects, an international sports architecture firm, just highlights Millwall’s faith in the new mayoral office within the borough.
Adding capacity to The Den, which is one of the proposed moves, will only benefit the club three or four times a season when the demand for tickets is far superior to the supply. You think of local derbies or crunch games being those particular occasions.
The Lions’ architects will be looking also to add leisure and commercial facilities around the surrounding areas.
Once plans are drawn up and presented to the council and stakeholders, a public consultation will be held before an application submitted towards the end of the year.
If all goes well – and it’s a big if – Millwall will have a future they had planned, and one chairman John Berylson has been dreamt of since taking the helm in SE16 ten or so years ago.
It could be a huge step forward for Millwall off the pitch and that should, in turn, be parallel with happenings on it.
You see clubs get a boost in terms of financial backing or a new stadium, if Millwall get the green light it could be a massive opportunity for the Lions to progress on the pitch and equally progress and enrich the community with regeneration of their own off of it.