“The club does not own the ground it plays in. It is owned by Meadow Residential, a property developer, which in turn is backed by the larger Meadow Partners group based in New York.
Now Meadow is trying to throw Dulwich Hamlet out of Champion Hill – and even tried to seize the rights to the club’s name and trademarks before backing down after an extensive social media campaign.
Meadow used to present a picture of a socially responsible landlord, which wanted to redevelop the site for housing and build a new ground on adjacent land. Even if you believed that stance, since Meadow failed to gain permission for its plans, that mask has fallen off entirely.
The firm has been loading debt on to the club in what appears to be a wilfully destructive manner, including handing over a huge tax bill. Meadow also stopped profits from the extremely busy matchday bars from making their way to the club, despite a previous agreement.
Why is Meadow doing this? It’s not saying, but we fear it is to force the club out of Champion Hill, where it has placed for 81 years, to ratchet up the pressure on Southwark Council to let it build unaffordable homes on the site.
We aren’t going down without a fight.
Supporters have been digging deep into their own pockets to keep the club alive through its 12th Man scheme. All that money is being used exclusively to pay wages and other bills. While heartwarming, it cannot be a sustainable approach forever.
The club is commemorating its 125th anniversary this year in extremely trying circumstances. Dulwich Hamlet is more than just a football club. It is an intrinsic part of the community. The club and its supporters have been active in the local area, helping local schools and charities, and that will not change as long as it remains alive.
Now supporters are making their voice heard on the club’s future. Over coming weeks and months we will be arranging all kinds of actions to let Meadow know that they might just have bitten off more they can chew.
Everything will be legal, everything will be colourful and loud.
This is the place to come to find out what we’re up to as it happens. We need everybody – including you – to get involved as we go along. So please keep checking back.”