Lee lifts lid on Lions drama
By Tom Adams. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
New Millwall boss Colin Lee has lifted the lid on the circumstances that resulted in his shock appointment as Lions boss.
The Championship outfit dismissed Steve Claridge after just over a month at the helm at The New Den, ostensibly due to a difficult start to their pre-season campaign.
Claridge had invited Lee to join him as a coach in his new venture, although the club's board moved to appoint the former Wolves boss as manager after they disposed of Claridge.
Lee has now outlined the course of events that led to his appointment with The Lions, voicing that it was a difficult decision to take control so soon after Claridge's exit.
"It started on Tuesday really, I came down to talk with Steve with regards to coming in and helping him with coaching of the team here at Millwall," Lee told Sky Sports News.
"After the game on Tuesday we went upstairs to talk to the owner of the club with regards to bringing in new players, and that became a bit of a heated discussion if you like.
"So I made my way out of the football club and got in my car to drive up the road.
"I had a phone call saying Steve had been dismissed as manager and would I be interested in taking over the post.
"An incredible situation, and I spoke to Steve and he couldn't believe what had happened nor that I was being offered the job.
"I wasn't prepared to make any decisions at that stage so I made my way home and slept on it.
"The events happened again the next morning, I was asked to take charge of the manager's seat here again.
"I was in an uncomfortable and unsure position to be honest, I was asked to come down and help and now I've been asked to be the manager."
"I'd been out of the game for 14 or 15 months and was desperate to try and get back in the game, albeit I was looking to go back in as a coach I must admit that.
"This opportunity came up and I thought if I do take it some people will assume something wrong went on but I can assure everyone nothing happened behind the scenes and I had no idea when I came down to the club that I would end up being the manager."
Upon taking the reins Lee insisted he was determined to drag the club out of a period that has seen their hierarchy in almost constant flux in recent times - whilst voicing his sympathy for Claridge.
Chairman Jeff Burnidge also quit earlier in July and Lee is now looking to add to the squad and affect a turnaround in their fortunes.
"I hope Steve can come back into the game, I think he's got things to offer the game," Lee continued.
"It wasn't my decision you have to ask your questions to the man who made that decision.
"The club has gone through a horrendous period, first and foremost a change in the chairmanship then the chairman couldn't employ a manager.
"Decisions were made to decimate the team and a lack of experience has created a problem in terms of not maximising fees.
"I can bring in three players immediately if I can identify those players.
"My job will be to prevent any more players leaving and get the team ready for the start of the season.
"I haven't signed a contract at the moment it's been too hectic to even sit down and sort that side of it out.
"I agreed to do the job on a contract that suits Colin Lee."
Lee also went on to reveal that goalkeeper Andy Marshall would be looking to clarify his comments that appeared to criticise Claridge's pre-season preparations.
"Andy Marshall will be making a statement retracting it as he was disappointed with what came out, he will be making a statement in the next few days."