10 December 2007
FRANK MALONEY'S VIEW
Last weekend I was invited to be a guest of the board at Millwall with David Haye and got the opportunity to meet our new chairman as well as Kenny Jackett, our new manager.
I must say that I was impressed with the relationship between the chairman and the manager, a relationship like this can only benefit the club.
I also got the opportunity to spend some time talking with John Berylson and was impressed with his knowledge of sport, including my own sport of boxing.
He has obviously listened to some of my views on Millwall but he may not take them all on board. The one thing we did agree on was that success on the pitch is most important to the club.
Unlike most other chairmen, I do believe this guy cares about Millwall and would like to see them be successful.
I now put myself in his position as a businessman as well and will ask myself, after looking at the very disappointing crowd figures from Saturday’s game, why should a man risk investing his money if the supporters are not going to show their faith by turning up to games? I include myself in this.
Whatever we as fans believe, to the chairman it is also a business as well as a sport, the same that boxing is to me.
I obviously would not invest in a boxer if I did not think he would make it and he wasn’t able to sell tickets. When you’re building someone’s career in sport and TV are not backing you, the only income you have is from the fans.
I wonder if the chairman felt like me on Saturday when he walked out into the director’s box and saw a stadium not even quarter full? I know that feeling, a few times I’ve walked into a boxing arena where I have been staging an event and seen it less than half full and thought to myself, is it worth risking your hard earned cash if you aren’t going to get the support?
I ask Millwall fans, are we all just glory seekers? The year we got to Wembley and the Cup Final at Cardiff, there were over 50,000 Millwall fans wanting tickets – that shows there is a fan base for Millwall to become a big club – but it also means we have to support our club and show the chairman by turning up in good times and bad so he sees it will be worth investing in the club.
Millwall should never get less than 12,000 at any home game. My message to the fans is this: Let’s start the supporting the chairman so he doesn’t mind supporting the manager and the club by dipping his hand into his pocket. It’s a team effort all round from the boardroom to the fans to make Millwall successful.
If you disagree with me, I’d love to hear your comments.
Send them to Frank Maloney,
Unit A302, Tower Bridge Business Complex,
Drummond Road, London, SE16 4DG,
comment here below the article
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
PS – Unfortunately I have to pick Mayweather to break the great run British boxing is having this weekend but I expect south London to get a new British champion in shape of Deptford’s Gary Woolcombe.
Frank Maloney is south London’s leading boxing promoter
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