On March 13th, we were made aware via the local press that Meadow had said we were allowed to play at Champion Hill again. However the club have received no official communications from Meadow Residential or Meadow Partners since Andrew McDaniel refused to pay the bar profit owed via email on February 21st. We do not accept being served legal notices as 'communication'.
There are many conditions that would need to be met before we could return home to Champion Hill:
However even if these conditions were guaranteed, we'd still be wary of working alongside a company like Meadow. Their actions speak incredibly loudly, and we're not sure we need to hear much more.
The Chairman Liam Hickey went into some detail as to what Meadow have been up to in his latest programme notes:
"Since the moment we were asked to sign a new licence at Champion Hill, I knew that our landlords would invent some trumped up reason to move us out. However, their other attempts to silence the club and its fans through taking the rights to our name are something else.
I am also extremely grateful for all the support that we continue to receive from Southwark Council and assure you that we will be challenging the grounds on which we have been excluded from the stadium.
In brief, the reasons given for our licence being terminated were our lack of Public Liability insurance, which is in fact provided through the Bostik League, our inability to meet the costs of Meadow’s legal action against Southwark (taken in our name), which Southwark are not asking us to pay, the payment of back rent that Meadow conveniently “forgot” to take when they handled our finances on behalf of our majority shareholder. Finally, we apparently didn’t pay our rent for the last home game but have clear evidence to show it was not due. All in all, it’s a load of trumped up nonsense to achieve their aims.
We always knew that they wanted us out at the end of the season at the latest.
Whilst the above is shocking enough, to receive papers saying that we could no longer use our name was just ridiculous and shows that Meadow Residential have lost all sense of reality in their attempts to destroy our club. This was a flagrant attempt to silence the club and its supporters that has made them look ridiculous. None of us buy the excuse they came out with that this was done to protect us and to be handed over to the club. Despite what they think, we weren’t all born yesterday.
On this note, they have been served with papers asking for the immediate return of our rights to use our name, together with the other forbidden phrases of “The Hamlet” and “dhfc”. We have also asked for further adjustments to other entities that use the phrase Dulwich Hamlet and which they own."
Truly remarkable actions from a company that promised we'd be at the ground for another 100 years, and who even had their head Andrew McDaniel go live on TV and claim they support the club.
On the other hand, Southwark Council have taken the extraordinary step of releasing funds to try and acquire the site. Their support could not be any better demonstrated. Peter John and all at the council have been incredibly supportive, and have looked at many ways to safeguard the future of DHFC. This plan includes building 60 much needed social housing units on the 'car wash' car park, and protecting the stadium as it is for the long term. Investment in the stadium and greendale would lead to a community sports hub focused around the club.
With this in mind, and the fight for The Hamlet's future only getting fiercer with Helen Hayes MP's adjournment debate on our situation scheduled for 2:30pm in the House of Commons on Friday (16th), we urge Meadow to do the right thing and move on from the site. If they'd like to talk to us about a return to Champion Hill, might be worth picking up the phone to us, and not the South London Press.