The final decision over Millwall’s future has been dramatically adjourned at the final hour.
Lewisham Council was due to give its final conclusion on Thursday, December 15 on whether allow a compulsory purchase of land around The Den.
But the meeting began and ended with a written statement which declared the case would now be discussed by the cabinet on Wednesday, January 11.
Deputy mayor Councillor Alan Smith chaired the meeting and said it was due to new information regarding the impact on the Category 2 status of the Millwall Football Club Youth Academy.
The club has fought hard against Lewisham’s plans to seize the land and sell it to offshore-owned developers Renewal, a company founded by the last Labour mayor of Lewisham, Dave Sullivan.
The move would leave the club’s community trust homeless and on December 13 Millwall’s chief executive told the council on December 13 that it may put the academy in jeopardy.
Councillor Smith’s statement said: “We do not believe this to be the case.
“However, this is clearly a significant issue for the club and, despite the fact that it has only been brought to the attention of the council at this very late stage, it is an issue which the council takes seriously.”
He said the decision had been delayed to allow council officers to investigate Millwall’s claim and to allow members of the cabinet to consider the new information and its impact.
He added that the council remains “firmly committed to the continued operation of the Millwall Football Club”.
A statement from Millwall FC said: “Millwall Football Club is pleased that Lewisham Council’s mayor and cabinet has taken the opportunity to investigate further the potential impact of CPOs in terms of the club’s ability to operate as a Category 2 Academy under current proposals.
“We look forward to assisting in this process and would further reiterate our serious concerns about the devastating impact the CPOs would have on the club, our academy, MCT and community.”
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