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Ebbsfleet United vice-chair Peter Varney becomes latest figure to rubbish Millwall plans to relocate to Kent

17:09 09 January 2017

Peter Varney and Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi

Peter Varney and Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi

Archant

Lewisham council is expected to give the green light on Wednesday to plans to compulsorily purchase areas around the Den and sell them on to an offshore developer

Peter Varney has become the latest senior football figure in the county to rubbish suggestions Millwall could relocate to Kent as a result of an ongoing council row.

It comes ahead of a crunch south-east London council meeting on Wednesday in which Lewisham councillors are expected to give the green light to plans to compulsorily purchase areas around the Den and sell them on to an offshore developer.

Millwall publicly ackowledged for the first time last week that it could relocate, with its academy reportedly now unable to function under the current proposals in addition to the planned eviction of the community trust and the club’s exclusion from benefits of the council’s regeneration scheme.

North Kent has reportedly been mooted as a potential site to relocate to and the club’s chief executive admitted “every option would have to be considered” ahead of the crunch meeting this week, with its Bermondsey base appearing less and less viable.

Located in an area supposedly being eyed up by Millwall chiefs, it was suspected Ebbsfleet United may feel the impact of any such move.

However the club’s vice-chairman echoed comments made by Gillingham chairman, Paul Scally, last week, and insisted he couldn’t ever see such plans going ahead.

Mr Varney said: “I just don’t see it happening, there’d be riots on the streets of south London.

“I haven’t heard anything at all to suggest they could come to Kent, because where are they going to go?

“The Den can hold 20,000 fans, there’s half that at Gillingham, 3,100 here at the moment, about the same at Dover - I don’t see where they’d fit.

“The only other option then would be to build a new stadium but where would that go? How long would it take? Who’s paying for it?

“I honestly think it’s a non story.”

It is not the first time a London club has reportedly looked to set up a base in Kent, as Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish told us last year he was having to look for a training ground in the county having outgrown its existing Beckenham home.

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