Pete Garston has another Final in his sights
Millwall's Fan Director Pete Garston has written his latest report, excerpts from which appear below. He never dreamed he would see The Lions in an FA Cup Final, now he hopes history will repeat itself.
"Kenny and the team have put in some gritty performances to get us through into the semi-finals of the FA Cup, something that I never thought I would see happen again in my lifetime. Mind you I didn’t think we would get the chance to go to Wembley again. Kenny, his management team and the squad have done us proud and given us a ‘reason to be cheerful’. This has happened amidst a poor run of form in the league of course. Our home form has really dipped and I drive myself mad asking why? The Middlesbrough and Charlton away games showed what the team can do when they get it right. All I can think is at home there is a nervousness around some players and fear of getting it wrong - as they then feel the wrath of some fans. Obviously you pay your money to watch and fans have the right to criticise when they like. Having spoken to several players on the subject, they agree. But their question is why do some players get the grief before even kicking a ball or very early on in a game? This is an argument that has been around since day one, let’s hope the team can push through it and put a decent run of results together.
The semi-final is obviously going to be another great day for us and with the best draw possible, well you never know! The ticket allocation was always going to be contentious. No matter which way the club do things, some people will not be happy with them.
John Berylson also knows very well about the meaning of financial commitment as do the other directors We have been blessed having JB at the helm with his continued financial support. The last 5-6 years for fans have had their ups and downs but one promotion, two Play-Off finals and an FA Cup Semi-Final means happy days if you started following Millwall in 2009, that’s all I can say.
I am sure you are all fully aware, what with the new financial fair play regulations and the increase in parachute payments to teams relegated from the Premier League, the gap between the rich and poorer clubs can only widen. Therefore, the support of JB and the fans is key if we are to maintain our current position.
I had the privilege of being invited to the Football League Awards dinner at the Brewery in the City on Sunday 24th March. We were up for two awards: Billy Neil for 'Unsung Hero' and Josh Wright for 'Goal of the Year'. Josh was in very good company in the top five when you look at the quality of the goals, and although he didn’t win it, for me he was definitely in the top three. Well done to Josh for just getting there and it was a cracker of a goal.
Billy Neil deservedly won the 'Unsung Hero' award. During my time on the board I have got to know Billy and he is a very caring man to all around him - and very thoughtful, no matter what is going on in his own life. This is a quality I believe we should all aspire to. The fact that Billy joined the club in 1964 and is still here nearly 50 years later is amazing. Well done Billy from the entire fan base.
After Tam winning something last year and Billy this year, I’ve reserved my seat next to Shane Lowry for next year’s event!
Ray James who headed up the commercial team is moving on to a position at Manchester City, I hope he settles in well there and we will hopefully see him at the Cup Final!
There are many unsung heroes at Millwall who work tirelessly behind the scenes to keep the club going. Last week one of the Millwall family and an unsung hero sadly passed away. Dick Liddell was the longest serving director on the board of governors for the Millwall Community Trust. He was passionate about getting new fans to Millwall and helping kids who are underprivileged - a very selfless task. Dick and his wife Eileen over my time on the board have shown me much kindness and support. Dick’s contribution behind the scenes at Millwall will be hard, if not impossible to replace.
As always if you have any questions/issues please contact me either via the club or firstname.lastname@example.org"