Firstly, and most importantly, I would like to thank each and every one of you for your outstanding support throughout what was a challenging season for a multitude of reasons.
I don’t want to reflect too much on what has gone as our collective focus is on working towards the new campaign in August with the hope – and expectation – that any restrictions will be minimal at worst. We’re still awaiting clarity on a range of matters from the governing bodies and local safety authorities, but providing the roadmap continues to be followed on time then I see no reason why we can’t look forward to sell-out crowds and memorable atmospheres come that opening weekend.
It would be naïve to be complacent, though, and as has been the case throughout we will do absolutely everything we can as a club to ensure that The Den is a safe, secure and welcoming environment for your return.
At the time of writing we have sold around 6,500 season tickets for 2021/22, plus hospitality, which is a phenomenal amount for the first saver period price window. While we hoped your collective eagerness to return would translate into high sales, we didn’t quite anticipate such levels this early on and for that we are incredibly grateful to all those who have secured their seats for the new season.
On top of those numbers, we have also sold just under 1,000 membership packages across all adult and junior groups so far, and those additional revenues have been so important to us as we look to get back on our feet after what has been an immensely troubling period for business and society generally.
Many of you will have noticed the ‘COVID Recovery Fund’ option when purchasing on the ticketing website and I’m elated to announce that at the last count a further £11,110 has been donated by supporters to help the club.
Your generosity has no limits and on behalf of the board, the management, players and staff at the club – thank you.
As part of our efforts to open The Den back up now that restrictions have been lifted we are welcoming you back during June for England’s three EURO 2020 matches and early uptake has been excellent so please do secure your spot while you can. It’s a chance to watch some football at a football stadium – an opportunity which hasn’t been available for some time, so don’t miss out! More information is available here.
We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, of course, but should we progress through the tournament then there is the scope to continue these events and we will of course keep you all updated if and when tickets become available.
The club’s new Equality Steering Committee has continued to meet on a monthly basis and one of the many initiatives born out of their work so far is a weekly ‘Open Morning’ event here at The Den, the first of which is set to take place next Wednesday 2nd June.
It will be completely free of charge and the aim is that it will bring local residents together in a comfortable and welcoming environment to catch-up and socialise after such a sustained period of isolation for so many.
We want the stadium to become a hub for the local community and these open mornings are another element of our enhanced efforts in terms of fan engagement and corporate social responsibility.
You can find out more information by clicking here. If you live locally then please do come down for a tea or coffee, some cake and a catch-up.
Elsewhere, the topic of the redevelopment around The Den has again come to light since some of Renewal’s plans were made public and the club will respond formally through the correct channels in due course. Just by way of an update from the club’s side, we are in continued dialogue with Lewisham Council about our plans and are hopeful of a positive resolution to these discussions. As with so much else, the pandemic put a bit of a halt to progress on this front but thankfully we’re now able to really push on and providing all other parties continue doing likewise then the project can really get off the ground sooner rather than later.
On the subject of planning permission, we’ve had approval for some work at the training ground in Bromley which means we can start building a new gym and medical and sports science facility. We’re committed to enhancing our operations on and off the pitch as much as is possible year after year and this move will certainly improve facilities for the players and management ahead of 2021/22.
Similarly at The Den, we’re now a few weeks into the extensive pitch renovations which are taking place over the summer. This much-needed work was due to take place last year but was delayed because of the short turnaround from one season to the next and will take around 13 weeks to be completed. It’s a very costly renovation at around £1m and we’re incredibly grateful once more to the chairman, John Berylson, for his outstanding financial support. The end result should leave us with one of the best playing surfaces in the country which again is great for the players and management.
In other news, it was recently brought to our attention that an unlicensed website was selling a range of retro Millwall/Spall shirts. Thankfully the products were quickly removed and I’d urge supporters not to buy such items from untrusted sources. For clarity, the commercial team is working with Spall and other providers on a range of retro shirts for the Lions Store which we hope to launch during next season.
I would like to finish by thanking everyone who has so kindly donated towards my fundraising for Prostate Cancer UK. In July I’ll be cycling alongside a few others from The Den to Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium, via Brighton’s ground, and we’re desperate to raise as much money as we can to help what is a remarkable charity continue their fine work in research aimed at combatting the disease. We’re up to £5,500 collectively and are targeting £10,000 so if you can help it would be hugely appreciated by everyone taking part.
Please do visit the donation page here.
Thanks again for all of your continued support and backing of the club – it means so much to everyone at the club.
Enjoy your summer!