Exclusive: Training ground purchase is on Millwall’s agenda

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

MILLWALL are making plans to buy their own training ground.

The Lions sold their existing Bromley base in 2006 and have been leasing the land since.

The current landlords, St. John’s College, Oxford, bought the facility for £1.85million when Peter de Savary was chairman.

But the Den board are now exploring the possibility of buying back the Calmont Road site – or building a new complex elsewhere.

Chief executive Andy Ambler told the Southwark News: “In an ideal world we would own our training ground rather than lease it.

“To move forward as a club, we need to be able to invest in our facilities and it therefore makes sense to own the land.

“We want to put down roots somewhere – be that at Calmont Road or another site. It is possible we could move elsewhere.

“If we stayed at our current base, the main building would almost certainly be developed. The board is constantly looking at ways to improve our infrastructure.”

Millwall have invested heavily in the four pitches at the training ground over the summer but are reluctant to pour further funds into a site that is not theirs.

And manager Ian Holloway admits that there would be huge benefits to the Lions becoming their own landlords.

“The ideal scenario is to have something that’s yours which you can invest in and be proud of,” he said.

“There’s no point spending £60,000 to install pop-up sprinklers on a piece of land you don’t own.

“The training ground was sold a few years ago before the chairman came in.

“That’s what owners who are non-committal do – they have bills coming in, they don’t want to put any more money in so they sell off an asset.

“Really we’ve got to try to build and expand and that’s what we’re going to do.

“I’m glad that the board want to do everything I’ve said as much as I do. We’re bouncing ideas off each other to see what we can achieve.”

Holloway intends to improve the whole infrastructure of the club – not just the training facilities.

“The new pitches are magnificent and the players are responding to that,” he added.

“But I’m going to look at every aspect of the club so that we have a chance of creating something special.

“Wherever we start is fine but I want to make it all better – every single percent we can improve is vital.

“I’ve been promoted from this division before so I know what the pitfalls are of reaching the Premier League – so I’m trying to protect us by getting the club ready as we go along.

“Getting our structure and facilities right is really important.”