Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable has visited Millwall Football Club, to discuss ongoing club concerns over the future of the land surrounding its stadium, The Den.
Cable, along with Lucy Salek, the Liberal Democrat candidate standing in the Lewisham East by-election, met with club officers on May 23.
Cable and the group talked about how a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) of the land would be a blow to both the club and nearby residents.
A CPO is a legal demand which means bodies, in this instance Lewisham Council, can obtain land without the consent of the land owners. This means Lewisham Council could sell the land around The Den for redevelopment.
The original CPO was abandoned in 2017, after it received heavy criticism from the club and fans.
Lewisham Council own the land, however, it is leased to Millwall Community Trust.
Peter Walsh and Steve Bradshaw of the Millwall Community Trust were also present. The Trust is an organisation associated with Millwall FC that provides fitness activities, workshops and holiday sports schools for members of the community, including children and disabled adults.
Great visit @MillwallFC iconic and community minded club. Future development in doubt because of dodgy property development backed by #Labour one party state on council. #LewishamEast @lucyvsalek to change things for the better.
— Vince Cable (@vincecable) May 23, 2018
Steve Kavanagh, the chief executive officer of Millwall FC, said: “This club prides itself on its community values, spirit and presence and it was great for Vince and Lucy to see first-hand the type of work the Trust does to engage with local residents of all ages.
“It was a pleasure to welcome both Vince and Lucy to The Den to share our concerns about the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the club.”
Cable and Salek also watched school children from nearby schools playing football at the nearby Lions Centre, a sports hall run by the Trust.