In the summer of 2013, Kenny Jackett decided it was time to walk away from his role as Millwall manager.
Having taken the Lions to the Championship and an FA Cup semi-final, Jackett felt he had taken the London side as far as they could go.
A search for a successor began almost immediately.
After weeks of searching and interviewing, a standout candidate emerged, and it was a shock to the club’s supporters, to say the least.
Former West Ham midfielder Steve Lomas was appointed the new manager Millwall.
— Millwall FC (@MillwallFC) June 5, 2013
Before he was even appointed with rumours swirling there were banners on the gates of The Den explaining in on uncertain terms Lomas was not welcome.
Once the announcement was made, the reaction was of disdain by the Lions’ support.
@Millwall__FC good luck with your regular crowds dropping to 5k then…
— HarryEvans (@harryevans98) June 5, 2013
— Joe Buxton (@Joeybux1992) June 5, 2013
@Millwall__FC Congratulations Millwall, how to completely alienate your support in one tweet. Out quicker than Spackman.
— Ben Quickenden (@BQuickenden) June 5, 2013
@Millwall__FC This is a suicidal appointment. He will get no patience from fans.
— Andy O (@andyo83) June 5, 2013
The initial response was unanimous in the rejection of Lomas’ credentials and the unwillingness to support a man who had once played for Millwall’s bitter rivals from east London.
Lomas’ Millwall career got off to a shaky start, losing to newly promoted Yeovil Town before heading into a six-match winless run, losing 5-1 to Derby at home before three consecutive wins.
Those three September wins would be all the Lions could muster until November and December where one win would come in each month.
The football played was poor, the fans were turning their back on the club after an appointment they did not agree with.
The Den was Turning toxic, the board had to listen.
After 22 games and 11 defeats, the end of Lomas’ Millwall career was confirmed.
— Millwall FC (@MillwallFC) December 26, 2013
A humiliating 4-0 defeat at Vicarage Road against Watford was the last straw – the board took decisive action.
Less than an hour after the final whistle, there was confirmation of Lomas’ sacking – much to the joy of the Lions’ support.
@MillwallFC about time
— chris (@chrisobrien007) December 26, 2013
— wiggo sweeney (@sweeney31) December 26, 2013
@MillwallFC Finally! He was absolutely clueless
— DarthAlcoholic (@DarthAlcoholic) December 26, 2013
His start to life at Millwall got off to a bad start before he was even appointed – and it did not get better.
The fans foresaw this calamity happening, and their initial reactions were proved right.
It was a decision doomed from the start.