I'm sure you all know the latest from Champion Hill - owners have locked out Dulwich Hamlet F.C., are trying to bankrupt them by breaking previous commitments regarding finances, have been under-reporting attendance figures in an effort to starve the club of income, and this week attempted to deny the club the right to use the name 'Dulwich Hamlet' with a spurious trademark litigation etc etc. It would be really helpful if any of you could spare the time to write to your MP, MLA & the Mayor, and, if you live in Southwark, especially your local councillors, in support of the proposal that Southwark CPO the stadium.
My letter is below:
Councillors Catherine Rose, Jon Hartley & Andy Simmons
c/o Members Room
160 Tooley Street
London SE1 2QH
Dear Madam & Sirs,
I am writing to you to support the proposal that Southwark Council should seek to acquire the freehold of the Champion Hill stadium with the object of securing the future of Dulwich Hamlet Football Club.
I am sure you are only too aware of the perfidy, avarice, venality and duplicity of the current owners of the site. Their actions this week, breaking many, if not all, previous agreements with the board of both the football club itself, and the board of the supporter’s trust, not to mention the absurd & ridiculous farce of seeking to deny the football club the right to use the name Dulwich Hamlet, are but the latest in a long series of lies & betrayals.
I am not going to recap at length the achievements of the football club in establishing a model for all clubs to follow in becoming a genuine pillar of the local community - they are too numerous to mention - but I will say that if Southwark loses the services of Gavin Rose, the club’s football manager, it will be a huge loss to the borough, and if you want to examine the length & depth of the club’s commitment to giving hope & help to the disadvantaged local youth, I ask you to consult Kevin Holland, former local community police officer, for his recollections of the role the club has played in this.
Personally, as a recent emigré from north London, and former season ticket holder at Arsenal F.C. no longer able to afford to attend, I was delighted by my first visit to see Dulwich Hamlet play at Champion Hill. I have since become a regular attendee, and also volunteered to help with match-day stewarding, and operate the turnstiles.
My girlfriend’s son also attends with his friends, and likewise has undertaken volunteer stewarding, which I feel was very useful for his self-confidence and experience.
In my view, to characterise the fan-base of the club as ‘hipsters’ is simplistic & insulting. The fan-base is as broad in age, gender, race & demographic as the borough itself, and all the cheap cracks about craft beer and sauerkraut are obscuring the truth: Dulwich Hamlet is very much part of the borough’s community, and all Southwark residents can be proud of it, and should do everything they can to support it. I therefore urge you to do likewise, as, I am confident, you already intend to do.