It’s great to be writing to you on the back of four consecutive wins, including the most recent victory over Sheffield United which was played in front of one of the biggest home crowds of the season so far.
There has been a real energy, vibrancy, and togetherness on show between the players and staff and supporters both home and away for several weeks now, which is having a very tangible impact on performances and results. Long may that continue.
I’m pleased to announce that we will be going on sale with season tickets for 2022/23 very soon. Internally we have thought long and hard about what to do in terms of pricing as part of the need to increase our revenues as much as possible given the lasting effects of COVID-19 and now rampant inflation, which is having a dramatic impact on our finances. But a consistent theme throughout those discussions was that this is a working-class football club and adhering to that history and tradition is at the heart of all our decision-making. As such, during a time when the price of our energy, fuel, water, and more is rising not just for us but for you all as well, we cannot justify also increasing the cost of coming to watch Millwall, and therefore general admission season tickets prices will be frozen.
The Board believe this is absolutely the right decision to make but regrettably isn’t something we can guarantee for next year or beyond. Our revenues are lower than a lot of our Championship rivals and if we are to continue competing at the level we currently are then that will have to change. That is incumbent on the club and its staff to do so, and part of that drive is to continue increasing attendance size, and hopefully with a price freeze in mind we can retain existing season ticket holders and also grow that number for the next campaign. It is by growing revenues through attendances that will allow us to limit passing cost increases on to the fan base.
Last month I made it very clear just how angry, frustrated, and disappointed we were as a club following the decision to postpone the game at Blackburn. The 471 Millwall fans who made the long journey in some pretty horrific weather would have felt even worse and since then we’ve tried to do all we can to put it right for them and the wider fan base.
The rearranged fixture takes place next Tuesday and as communicated previously all coach travel will be free. Travelling to Ewood Park on a midweek night is even harder than on a Saturday and because of that we’ve helped to make sure the game will be streamed (which is not a given for midweek or rearranged games – or both!) so those who can’t make it can still watch and support their team. I’d like to remind fans that we receive 100% of the revenue from iFollow match pass sales, whether we’re playing at home or away, so by following in this way you are watching your team and also supporting the club with a crucial revenue stream in the process.
If you were one of the 471 then please check your email inboxes or your letter boxes in the coming days as we’ve sent something over for you.
Away from coach travel and streaming, we did also request that match ticket prices were reduced both as a gesture to Millwall fans and also to help drive the number of away fans in attendance but this is of course Blackburn’s prerogative and they decided against doing so which is very disappointing as fans make football, both home and away.
We’re pleased to welcome Alex Aldridge back to the club this week. He re-joins Millwall as Director of Football Operations and Recruitment with a wider remit than in his previous role and will work closely with Gary Rowett, Scott Fitzgerald and other senior football and club staff. Part of Alex’s remit will be to contribute to the wider effort of implementing and monitoring an ambitious long-term strategy for continued growth on and off the pitch, which ties in with what I mentioned above about revenue generation.
Alex will also have input into efforts regarding our proposed plans for a new training ground in West Kingsdown. This week has seen a lot of meetings take place with architects, design experts, the planning committee, and councillors, all of which is very time consuming but critical to the long-term future of the club. We’re on track to submit a formal planning application in the very near future and we will continue to liaise with all stakeholders, including residents, to ensure we’re being as open and transparent as possible. The plans taking shape now really are quite exciting (if expensive!).
Fans will of course be incredibly eager to view the plans and part of the process will be a public consultation, at which stage all supporters will be able to have sight of what we expect to be a high-end modern training complex that is sympathetic to its environment and capable of taking the club to the next level.
Thank you for all your ongoing support,