Lions chief moving over

By Derek DavisChief Football WriterTHEO Paphitis has confirmed he will step down as Millwall chairman at the end of this season.The street-wise businessman, who runs a lingerie and a stationery company, will leave the Lions in a reasonably healthy state after reaching the FA Cup Final last season and competing in the UEFA Cup this year.

By Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

Chief Football Writer

THEO Paphitis has confirmed he will step down as Millwall chairman at the end of this season.


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The street-wise businessman, who runs a lingerie and a stationery company, will leave the Lions in a reasonably healthy state after reaching the FA Cup Final last season and competing in the UEFA Cup this year.

But that won't stop him giving up the chairman's seat.

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He said: “This is a decision I have not taken lightly.

“With the increased demands on my time from other interests, I feel that the time is right to hand over the reins.”

Paphitis will be at Portman Road tomorrow to see new signing Barry Hayles make his debut for the club against Ipswich.

Feisty defender Kevin Muscat could return from injury after coming through a reserve game unscathed.

Canadian duo Adrian Serioux and Josh Simpson will both start after their disappointment in the World Cup qualifers, where they lost to Costa Rica and drew at home with Honduras.

Millwall lost just £100,000 in the last financial year, proving suggestions earlier this week of a £4million deficit to be way off the mark.

The Championship promotion hopefuls and UEFA Cup contenders issued a statement to the Stock Exchange on Wednesday to dispel reports of financial hardship and today's figures back that up.

Millwall's run to the FA Cup final last year boosted their finances and reduced a loss of £4.7million in 2003 to a near-break-even position to May, 2004.

Paphitis said: “Our success in the FA Cup generated turnover in the region of £3.2million, mainly from gate receipts and related income, prize money and television facility fees.

“This resulted in a contribution of approximately £2.5million in the financial year under review.

“While there is no guarantee of generating this level of income every year, it does justify your board's strategy to invest in a strong squad, capable of achieving success on the field of play.

“Promotion to the Premier League, which is our ultimate goal, is one of the most lucrative prizes in world sport and is estimated to be worth £30million.”

To do that the Lions will have to ignore Europe and will look to be the first side to beat Ipswich at home this season.

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