Millwall Should “Do a Leeds” and Start Next Season on Minus 15 Points  –   by Rob Atkinson

Millwall thugs doing what Millwall thugs do

As any Leeds United fan will remember well enough, the Football League can act with draconian viciousness when they deem it necessary. We started our first ever League One season fifteen points adrift at the foot of that division. The intention was to ensure a second successive relegation and to kill the club if at all possible. That we finished in the playoffs after briefly topping the table was an unbelievable achievement, thwarting the ill-wishers. But it’s also a fact that even such a hefty punishment is not by any means the worst the League can do.

Luton Town found this out for themselves when the League had them start the 2008-09 season a massive thirty points behind the rest. Rotherham and Bournemouth suffered 17 point deductions. The League were showing that they could play hardball – when it suited them. 

These sanctions, though, had one thing in common. They were all for administrative offences, sins of commission or omission by those charged with the running of the respective clubs. When it comes to matters involving crowd control, the League appears to be curiously wimpish in its approach. And yet these are the offences that most affect innocent, match-going fans, intent on a good day out, whose plans are ruined by bands of marauding thugs.

Millwall Football Club are a case in point. Many clubs suffer the shame of odd, isolated outbreaks of wanton thuggery by adherents masquerading under the guise of “supporters”. The difference with Millwall is that these incidents are not isolated. They are tiresomely regular, and the minority of vicious, cowardly thugs in Millwall colours, charging at defenceless families and pelting visiting coaches with half-bricks, are repeat offenders who fail utterly to respond to the occasional weak slap on the wrist.

Those thuggish fans were at it again at the playoff semi final second leg at home to Bradford. As a result, the club is on the end of a charge of “failing to control its fans” – an accusation positively reeking with irony. Millwall has got nowhere near controlling its fans in the whole time I’ve been following football.

And yesterday, at Wembley, the scene of Millwall fans scrapping like jackals among themselves at an FA Cup semi final not so long back, those thugs shamed themselves and their club yet again, running at helpless groups with women and children, striking terror into the hearts of people who just wanted a day out supporting their team. On the day, Barnsley beat Millwall easily, which was punishment of a sort. But it’s nowhere near enough.

The fact is that football has had enough of stone-age behaviour like that of the Millwall fans. Mass violence and the wanton attacking of innocent, non-combative fans has no place in the game. That sort of cowardice didn’t even fit in with yesteryear’s casuals scene, now so passé. But Millwall fans indulge in this sick behaviour time and again. There is no sign of it stopping.

So, it’s high time the Football League got its collective finger out and did something about this. Get them banned or hit them with a points deduction, it’s the only language these people understand. And, for good measure, close their ground for the first few League One games next season. It’s been done before, and for much less – as we at Leeds know to our cost. 

It’s time to stop treating Millwall with kid gloves. The League will have abjectly abandoned their duty of care towards fans of proper clubs and to the game in general, if they yet again turn a blind eye and cock a deaf ear. Make Millwall start next season 15 points behind and playing to an empty stadium. At the first repetition of mass violence or playing area incursion, deduct a further ten points. You know it makes sense. 

Give Millwall a lesson they’ll never forget. The whole game will regret it if the Football League fails now. 

33 responses to “Millwall Should “Do a Leeds” and Start Next Season on Minus 15 Points  –   by Rob Atkinson

  1. Whole-heart second to the proposals in this post. This stone age behaviour has to be stopped with serious sanction lest we see a reemergence of the dark days of rule of thuggery.


  2. Belfast White

    Absolutely right Rob. You cannot expect neanderthal thugs to learn from a politically correct softly, softly approach. Justice is where the punishment meted out reflects the severity of the crime. To do anything less is at best tacit acceptance, and at worst the philosophical condoning of this abhorrent and dysfunctional behaviour. It also sends the message to all fans that violence and intimidation will not be accepted. Most people do right because they want to. The rest should do so for fear of the consequences of doing wrong. Either way works. Time to meet fire with fire!


  3. I think you predicted this would happen in a previous post rob , but let’s face it you don’t have to be mystic meg to figure this one out ,, what makes me laugh is that according to Millwall fc it’s always a small minority ,, well unfortunately these small groups are actually one big group ,, ban the scum , congratulations Barnsley and talking of predictions , I placed a bet on a 3-1 Barnsley victory , unfortunately for me winall had to score first for a pay day


  4. 30 points


  5. Raymond Lander

    Millwall should drop three division for they fans behavie as it will send a message to all football’s fans the good fans and family of football that the football league have the good cause to look out for the fans and football in general


  6. Totally agreed Rob i’ve posted an article on the same issue. We have a history of violence but the club and fans have made massive strides to curb that violence. Much like every other club in the country. Millwall still live in the 80s n until the authorities step in it’ll continue to happen!


  7. Agree fully, but not holding my breath in anticipation of any FL/FA punishment that will in any way be consistent with the offence. That said, and bearing in mind both the size of Wembley stadium and the Millwall “supporters’ ” reputation, why were fans of the opposing teams in such close proximity and with inadequate Police presence? The security arrangements seem somewhat lacking.


    • They should have known better, that’s for sure. It was predictable that Millwall would lose, and the consequences of THAT are as inevitable as night following day.


  8. Leeds4alongtime

    At the end of the day the league would appear to be able to make the rules up as they go along and then punish teams retrospectively for breaking rules that didn’t exist. Not very democratic, but this country is renowned for outwardly appearing democratic but inwardly totally ignoring other peoples rights or opinions.

    How would you feel if you drove down a road that had been reduced to 20mph and got done for driving down it at 30mph the day before it was changed?

    Leeds declared insolvency the day they knew they were relegated and didn’t break any rules by doing so. Penalty – 15 points deducted for ‘deliberately’ breaking a rule which didn’t exist.

    Hopefully someone will eventually have the money to form a breakaway league in this country and tell Shaun Harvey and co to go forth and multiply….

    No doubt if Leeds finish in the play off places next season, the league will decide (just before hand) to abandon the play off places procedure

    Bitter and twisted?

    Yes, but only half as much as Shaun (the leech) Harvey…


    • Belfast White

      If memory serves I think we were actually deducted 10pts at the end of the season for going into admin. I think we were then deducted another 15 at the start of the following season because ‘Norman’ Bates who had taken us into admin then forced the purchase so he could take us back out. Lge didn’t like that as wanted another owner for ‘fresh start’. It was his cheap way of cutting debts & screwing creditors!


  9. Karl Major

    Start a petition Rob, you know it makes sense, send it to the football league.


  10. Barry Harbert

    Once again you pursue this obsession with Millwall while not condoning it you should get your facts straight Barnsley fans were behaving badly on Wembley way and Millwall responded in the only way they know how unfortunate I know.
    15 point deductions for something the club and its officials cannot control get real.


  11. They should “do a Leeds” and get taken over by bates,Cellino or gulf fiddling house.


  12. sniffersshorts

    just seen rumour we are signing Rocky as our new manager …. escape to victory lets hop he plays in goal too but doesn’t flap like our present keeper


  13. Elean Kram

    This is a bit like the `Kettle calling the pot black` as L666s fans cannot take the moral high ground on this. As a Bradford City (Not Bradford as you call us in the article above as they are another club based in the City) supporter of 51 seasons, the only clubs that I have seen cause any problems, are Cardiff, Millwall and yourselves. In the League Cup game at Valley Parade last season we were witness to appalling scenes with over 200 seats ripped out, and your own disabled supporters tipped over in the melee.
    In the home Play Off semi final MIllwall fans were certainly up to no good and most of them were 40-50 year old short cropped `lads` with no colours.
    Its the 80s since I last saw this, apart from when we have played Cardiff and yourselves. I have always wondered why certain clubs attract a much higher percentage of these kind if `supporters` but its true, Cardiff do, MIllwall do, and you do.
    We have a small group of idiots like most clubs, Huddersfield included, but do not have the problems that these clubs have.
    So to take the moral high ground is not something you can realistically do until you have got your own house in order.


    • Your comment is glib and ridiculous. As a fan and non-participant in violence, I have every right to comment on clubs with an undeniably extreme record. Millwall stand alone in this; any other club’s fans have the moral high ground as of right.


    • On a few occasions I have witnessed violence carried out by Bradford City fans and also a mass arrest of them on Swinegate in Leeds before a game. The last time we played them at Elland Road 40 of them tried to rush Spencers on Mill Hill only to then run away when they realised how busy it was! We were watching with some amusement in The Scarborough Taps next door. Not a good advertisement for their club.


  14. Andy Ambler, the Chief Executive of Millwall is on the Football League Board of Directors so I wouldn’t expect any action to be taken now, or ever unfortunately.


  15. Very well said. Eloquent and articulate, this piece reinforces the very real position which the F.A now finds itself in, and succinctly highlights the need for retribution.
    Women and children are a common, (and intrinsic) section of support for every club within the F.A umbrella, and for repeated hooligans to run at them is a cardinal sin, not just for the ‘casuals,’ but for humanity and morality in general.
    Millwall F.C should be doling out the punishments themselves givwn the gravity of the situation, but if they have no balls then the F.A simply NEED to address this disgraceful violence head on.
    In fact, im going to launch a petition to have this issue addressed in parliament!


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