How Bees United’s takeover transformed Brentford


On 20 January 2006, Bees United – the Brentford Supporters Trust – completed the purchase of a majority shareholding in Brentford FC.

The decade that followed, which saw the club secure a new home while establishing themselves in the Championship, was certainly eventful.

As a result of the takeover 10 years ago, Greg Dyke became chairman and Bees United’s then-chair Brian Burgess first joined the board, as previous owner Ron Noades left the club.

While Dyke went on to become chairman of the Football Association, Burgess and Chris Gammon – another former Bees United board member – led the development of the Brentford Community Stadium at Lionel Road.

In 2001, supporters campaigned against the club relocating to Woking. Now, the Lionel Road development – a short walk from Griffin Park – will give Brentford a local home for decades to come.

Artist’s impression of Brentford’s planned Lionel Road stadium

Bees United later launched an initial partnership deal with Matthew Benham, before going on to sell him the shareholding in 2012.

Under Benham – who also owns Manchester United’s Europa League opponents FC Midtjylland – Brentford went up from League One and now have the Premier League in their sights.

David Merritt, chair of Bees United (BU) and director of Brentford, said: “The 10 years since BU took majority ownership of Brentford FC have been immense for the Club.

“It was Brian Burgess, Chris Gammon and the Bees United board that created that historic moment for the club, and it has been Matthew Benham who has enabled the club to be so successful since.

“We started the decade in crisis – we finished it with the most successful season since World War Two, and we head into this anniversary year for Bees United more positive than ever.”