Latest from our fan/director
JB and the board were aware that we needed more fire power and that was the reason for the increase but Kenny felt strongly that he had taken us as far as he could. I know everyone would wish him all the best for the future. I personally know the effort he put into Millwall and he left us in a far better condition than when he arrived.
We knew the search for a new manager of the same calibre was going to be hard. Within hours lists of potential replacements were drawn up but the board knew knee jerking wasn’t an option. They comprised applicants, ex-Millwall people, employed managers and unemployed managers. The list was whittled down eventually to a shortlist.
Getting a new manager in isn’t easy. Many things need to be taken into account. I hear people saying we should get him or him when there are valid reasons they are not viable. It may be their salary expectation, their requirement to stay in a certain area (up north).
Their experience, their knowledge of us as a club, the expectations of us the fans and the board must see a passion and desire to succeed. Although most of us would give up anything to manage Millwall, other people outside the Millwall family only see it as a job and therefore a lot of boxes need to be ticked before appointing.
It was very frustrating that the moment Kenny resigned people were on the board’s case saying they would go for the cheap option. It was a case of damned if you do damned if you don’t. If the board rushed someone in it would have been seen as knee-jerk. If they employed from within it would have been the cheap option.
The process followed, in my opinion, was correct and followed at all times. Whatever decision the board take it is always in the board’s opinion, the best for the club.
I know that the season hasn’t started but the calibre of player Steve Lomas has brought in and the commitment I have seen makes me sure the board have taken the right decision.
Once there was a shortlist, the next stage was to arrange interviews (plus contacting the potential manager’s club if required). This wasn’t as easy as it sounds due to the fact that our Chairman lives in Boston and one of the potential managers lived in Central Europe so interviews were held in London and Paris.
I was not involved in the interview process as I had just started a new job, but each day after any interview I was called and advised how it went. It became clear early on that Steve Lomas was well ahead of the other candidates for several reasons, his knowledge of the Millwall team and understanding of what Millwall fans expect from anyone who has a position at the club.
When I had my first meeting with SL I was impressed with his attitude and how positive he was. I hope he can transfer that to the team and eventually to the pitch.
I mentioned that I thought that the fact SL has a prior connection with West Ham was a good thing as he knew exactly what Millwall fans were about and what was expected from him. His response was blunt and straight to the point;
The board have been really encouraged by SL’s contacts within the game, and the speed he has managed to get players in.
Steve has already moved very swiftly in the transfer market, attracting high calibre players to Millwall.
I spoke to Steve about players who were on the fringes and his plans for them. He said that everyone will have a chance to prove themselves no matter what has happened with them under Kenny. H
I tried to get Steve to commit to his preference regarding Pie and Mash, I tried to push him towards Arments but he was having none of it. He couldn’t believe fans could be split over the choice of pie and mash!
The Family Enclosure has been moved to the Dockers Stand as from the beginning of the season.
The decision to move the enclosure was made at board level but no further details were discussed as to where it was to be moved. There were a number of complaints mainly because of the lack of consultation. I initially agreed to arrange a meeting for everyone to come in and meet Alan Williams the new Commercial Director for him to discuss the reasons behind the new location. Alan called everyone who had complained and was able to allay their fears and explain the reasoning behind the move.
There was an issue that a lot of fans were not happy with, regarding attendance at night games without young children who were connected to the Family Enclosure membership. The club listened to fans concerns and changed the ruling. Looking over the whole issue, it was a communication breakdown that has know been dealt with and hopefully the new Family Enclosure will go from strength to strength and bring in the new young fans and families we need to grow the fan base for future years.
I have sat down and discussed the whole issue with Alan Williams. He has some great ideas and a lot of experience in this area. He is passionate about seeing the new Family Enclosure flourish and bringing in the new families we so need. I think everyone concerned is now more aware how key fan/ club communication is for the smooth transition of any project.
Last season’s home game against Bolton, where there was an allegation of a young Millwall fan racially abusing a black Bolton player, became a very emotive issue for all concerned.
The friendlies are now over and in my opinion we improved game on game.
These games are mainly to get the players match fit.
Robbo’s testimonial went really well and was very well deserved. He is a model pro and a gentleman. Let’s hope he gets back to full fitness and challenges for his place in the near future.
The board’s decision to donate this year’s shirt sponsorship to the charity Prostrate Cancer UK is commendable, as every fan will have been in some way touched by cancer at some time in their lives. I hope the next time the press do a piece on Millwall they remember to put something about this decision instead of trawling the archives for pictures of the Luton game!
If anyone has any issues they wish to discuss, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the club.