Our Save Dulwich Hamlet campaign received a huge boost yesterday when Southwark Council’s cabinet agreed to try to buy Champion Hill from Meadow Residential, which evicted the club last week.
Southwark wants to keep the existing ground - allowing the Hamlet to return home - and build social housing on the car wash site behind the Dog Kennel Hill end. (The full details are on the council's website.)
This means our battle really begins - to persuade Meadow, its UK executives Andrew McDaniel and Peter Bennison, and its investors in the US that they can leave with dignity by selling Champion Hill to Southwark Council.
So far, Meadow is digging in. Where Dulwich Hamlet built bridges with the local community in East Dulwich, McDaniel and Bennison are hiding behind a fence - and even flying a drone to spy on anyone walking past.
But Meadow’s plans are unworkable, and Southwark isn’t ruling out a compulsory purchase. Andrew McDaniel and Peter Bennison should just sell now and exit with their heads held high, instead of dragging the local community into a legal process that will only leave their reputations, and that of Meadow’s financial partners such as Investec, in tatters.
We’re grateful to Southwark Council for doing their bit - now we need to do our bit.
We've been overwhelmed by interest from local, London, UK and global media, all interested in the tale of a bullying property developer taking out its tantrum on a community football club.
So wrap up warm, put your pink and blue scarf on, and join us at Goose Green (opposite the East Dulwich Tavern) at 12.30pm on Saturday 17th March for a family-friendly rally and march to Champion Hill, and a celebration of all things Dulwich Hamlet.
Bring your kids, bring your friends - let’s be loud, proud, and send Meadow a message it can’t ignore.