Dyke: New stadium is Brentford's ticket to the Championship and beyond
Paying his respects: Football Association chairman Greg Dyke lays a wreath on the grave of Ebenezer Cobb Morley – the man who founded the FA – in Barnes on December 19, the date of the first game of football played under FA rules in 1863 Getty Images
Former Brentford chairman Greg Dyke believes a new stadium can catapult the Bees’ into the Championship – but feels they should already be there.
The League One club were granted permission to build a 20,000-capacity stadium at Lionel Road, near Kew Bridge, by Hounslow Council on December 5 – the same week former manager Uwe Rosler quit the club for Championship side Wigan Athletic.
Dyke, who left his role at Griffin Park in the summer to become chairman of the Football Association, admitted the news could transform his boyhood club.
He said: “Getting permission to build the ground is a big step forward.
“I remember going to the old Swansea ground and if you get it right, a new stadium can transform a club.”
He added: “What a weird couple of days, securing a new stadium, but losing your manager.
“Uwe Rosler did a very good job. He’s a really nice bloke who will be missed.
“In the end, managers come and go, but a ground is forever.”
Brentford, who are challenging for automatic promotion again this season, moved quickly to promote sporting director Mark Warburton to manager – largely continuing where his predecessor left off.
Dyke said he sent his former colleague a good luck message and attended his first match in charge, a 1-0 victory over Oldham Athletic, courtesy of Jonathan Douglas’ late winner.
He added: “I went to the game as I was around – we were a bit jammy.
“But if you keep up that sort of luck, you will do very well in this league.”
The former BBC director-general spent seven years as Brentford chairman.
And Dyke admitted he would never get over last season’s final day drama against Doncaster Rovers.
He said: “If Kevin O’Connor had taken that penalty, we would have gone up as he knew which way the keeper was going to dive.
“I mean, from ecstasy to agony, it was just desperate.
“Some mates were there and one said it was the most dramatic thing they had ever seen on a football field.
“I will never get over it – when we signed Trotta again this season, my youngest son text me saying ‘tell me it isn’t true’ but he has done alright so far.”
Now charged with the responsibility of heading up the Football Association, Dyke will always look back fondly on his tenure at Griffin Park.
He said: “An old mate phoned me up after my third game as chairman, when we knocked Sunderland out the cup, and said ‘resign now, it won’t get any better’.
“It lasted another seven years – I loved being chairman of Brentford, it was my club as a kid and I’m still a big fan.”