Millwall chief executive Steve Kavanagh has reiterated the club’s desire to complete the 2019/20 season on the pitch.
The Lions are set to return to training in small groups from tomorrow (Tuesday 26th May) in line with the latest guidance, ensuring that all necessary safety protocols are adhered to.
Should these measures be successful then the next step forward would be a re-introduction of full contact training as the League works towards resuming the current campaign, albeit behind-closed-doors.
“Our stance as a club throughout this incredibly challenging time has been that the season should be completed on the pitch if it was safe to do so,” Kavanagh said.
“It is very encouraging that the governing bodies, following appropriate advice and guidelines at all times, are eager to complete the remaining fixtures in that way which is a stance supported by the vast majority of Championship clubs who have taken on the challenges by seeking solutions in a positive manner.
“Consultation around stage one of the return to training was comprehensive and players and management were in full agreement.
“We are now on a pathway to getting back to playing but it’s important to note that there are still some pivotal steps to go through before we’ll be able to resume the season.
“What is key is that we’ve got some much-needed clarity on the processes behind returning to training and that has helped to further focus the minds of our management team and players who have all worked incredibly hard during the past couple of months, both in a physical and technical sense, to ensure we’re as prepared as possible for this next step. All at Millwall are desperate to get back on the pitch and finish the season successfully.”
While disappointed for supporters, Kavanagh understands the need to play the remaining games behind-closed-doors and has moved again to reassure Lions fans of the club’s plans to compensate them accordingly.
“There is nothing we would all love more than to come together again and tackle the rest of the season as one,” he added.
“As we all know and appreciate that is unfortunately not going to be possible but only because the health and safety of the public has to come before anything else.
“Our fans are so imperative to the success of the team and they will undoubtedly be missed during this period. The players will have to adapt accordingly but I have every faith in their ability to do so.
“While of course far from ideal for many reasons, getting back to playing without supporters in attendance is a necessary move in the current health climate. Being unable to play even without crowds would make the return of them seem an even more distant prospect. This is a step-by-step process and once the current season is complete then we can hopefully look - when safe and appropriate - at reintroducing fans into stadiums in order to help answer some of the long-term financial issues football faces as a result of this crisis.
“What is important moving forward in the immediate short-term is that every Millwall fan who wants to watch the remaining games should be able to do so easily and effectively.
“It’s also important that fans feel part of this and are able to show their backing in different ways than usual and we’ll be consulting with supporters about how that can be achieved.
“We hope to have to further clarity on how the season will be played out as and when the next phases of training have been completed safely and successfully. Once that information is finalised and communicated to clubs then we will look to inform supporters, specifically season ticket holders, of the plans we’re making to ensure their value-for-money is protected as best as possible at an unprecedented time.”