We are delighted to have been asked to work with Dulwich Hamlet FC as a supply partner, the club was formed in 1893 and is part of South London’s heritage.
Dulwich Hamlet Football club will finally be allowed back into their historic home after eight months of exile following intervention from sport minister Tracey Crouch. Talks at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on recently finally brought an end to the long-running planning dispute that has threatened the survival of one of England’s most popular non-league clubs.
Meadow, the American private equity firm who own the ground, and who evicted the club on 5 March, reached an agreement with Southwark Council, who have resolutely blocked Meadow’s development plans over the last few years. The deal does not give Meadow the planning permission to develop the site that they have been seeking since they bought it in 2014. But it does give the football club back the lease to a piece of land – Green Dale – adjacent to the ground. Southwark took that back last year as part of their dispute with Meadow. Now that it has been returned, Meadow can confidently pursue a new planning application. Meadow withdrew their last application for a £80million development in October 2017 after the council had failed to determine it. Southwark had cited a lack of affordable housing and its use of Metropolitan Open Land as reasons for not supporting it. But Meadow never wavered in their determination to develop the site. They were offered £10m for it in December 2017 by Legacy, the affordable housing company owned by Rio Ferdinand, but rejected it. In March, Southwark bid £12m, but Meadow rejected that too.
Even though the move to Mitcham affected attendances, Dulwich still won promotion to the National League South by winning the play-off final in May. But Dulwich’s financial situation was unsustainable this season given that attendances at Tooting and Mitcham were half of what the club could expect at home. Earlier this month Dulwich played a fund-raising friendly against Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace.
Just one month ago Dulwich re-opened discussions with Meadow and Southwark about a return to Champion Hill. Tracey Crouch had promised in May that if there was no prospect of any progress between the parties then she would mediate. This week, despite all of the bad blood and the legal threats over the last year, Meadow and Southwark agreed a deal to allow Dulwich to return home.