BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Neil Harris has revealed that Millwall could have sold Lee Gregory in every single transfer window since he has been in charge at the South London club.
The 30-year-old striker is set to sign for Stoke City this summer.
Gregory opted to run his contract down so that he would be a free agent in June.
He was voted Millwall’s Player of the Year at their awards night on Tuesday evening. He scored 13 goals in the Championship in the campaign just completed.
“We had the option of selling Lee Gregory last summer,” said Lions boss Harris. “We’ve had the option of selling Lee Gregory in every window since I’ve been in charge, barring one.
“But we have fought tooth and nail to keep Lee through the windows because for every window he has become a better player for me. He has that desire to want to be better as our team evolved.
“I wanted him to stay and the chairman didn’t waiver from that.
“We invested £250,000 [transfer fee] on Lee over a five-year period. Every single penny Lee Gregory has taken from the club in wages he has deserved – his performances have merited that. It is time to say thank you and wish him well.
“We have to move on now and try and find quality for the money we can spend, like we had out of Lee. It’s not going to be easy.
“We could have sold Lee Gregory last summer and in January. Lee has made this decision for himself and also for his wife and family. I’m always very supportive of that. Lee became a father this year and has to consider family location.
“I’m sure when he does his press articles that he will say he had a wonderful time here and been very happy and settled.
“You get to that stage where you want your children to be neat your grandparents, to be around your immediate family and friends as you get older. I’ve got no problem with that. We had everything out of Lee Gregory over his time at the football club.”
PICTURES BY BRIAN TONKS