Millwall chairman John Berylson concedes the club are "burdened by history" but is determined to put the violent scenes of this week's Carling Cup tie at West Ham firmly in the past.

Pitch invasions and violence between rival fans and police at Upton Park totally overshadowed the Hammers' 3-1 second-round victory on Tuesday night, while a man was stabbed outside the stadium. The Lions were allocated 2,300 tickets for the contest, and Berylson was happy with the behaviour of the club's fans in the face of provocation within the ground, but supported the Football Association's condemnation of the perpetrators of Tuesday's violence.

In a statement, he said: "The club is determined to contribute, in a proactive manner, to the official investigation into the events of Tuesday night, at Upton Park. I was proud of our fans and proud of our players. Millwall may be burdened by history, but it has a lot to look forward to."

Both West Ham's England striker Carlton Cole and Millwall forward Jason Price were subjected to racial abuse by opposition fans in incidents that will form part of the FA's comprehensive investigation into the events of the evening.

"We continue to work, as a club, to combat racism, on which we have always operated a zero tolerance policy," added Berylson. "That's why I was so supportive of (Millwall manager) Kenny Jackett's stance on the abuse endured by Jason Price and Carlton Cole in midweek."

Berylson admits Millwall have work to do to banish their reputation, and believes on-field success can help push the club forward in a positive light.

He added: "Our principal mission is to win League One. But that must be put into context.

"I am keenly aware of the impact the club can make in a community that has its share of social and economic challenges.

"We are working with partners, through our community team, to address social problems like high crime, poor health and social exclusion.

"We have come a long way but there is still much to be done, on and off the pitch. We intend to progress, and we will progress. I for one will never forget an essential truth. Football is the answer - not the problem."

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Topics:
#Carlton Cole
#Millwall
#Jason Price
#League One
#League Cup
#West Ham United
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