Thank god the Wimbledon talk is over

by Ryan Duggins

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Now, for many of you neutrals out there, the sight of Milton Keynes Dons sliding out of the FA cup and avoiding a second-round clash with AFC Wimbledon would have been disappointing, as the ‘romance’ of the cup was gifted a harsh reality check that football doesn’t always deliver the goods.

For those of you who agree with this sentiment, that the sight of the two apparent rivals going at it would have been a colossal occasion for the game, then allow me to lead you out of the door of ignorance and into the store room of hidden secrets and footballing travesties.

The story of the emergence of MK Dons is probably one of the most despicable, franchise-based, money-motivated moves that English football has ever seen, full stop. Back in 2004, Wimbledon Football Club, situated in the London borough of Merton, was uprooted from its lodgings to the new city of Milton Keynes, who didn’t really have a big club to represent their vibrant city.

In a franchising attempt, the already established Wimbledon Football Club, was transferred over and began their own ‘legacy’ at the National Hockey Stadium, where they would be until the Stadium:MK was constructed. So where did this leave the local fans of Wimbledon?

They were almost forced to create their own club, which is now AFC Wimbledon, and start from scratch in the lowest tier of English football, whilst the happy members of Milton Keynes were gifted an established club to go and enjoy their Saturday lunchtimes with. The MK Dons even attempted to attribute to themselves Wimbledon’s FA Cup triumph in 1988, which was thankfully flawed.

Although a very small number of fans still travel from Merton to Milton Keynes, and ignore all this entrepreneurial gamesmanship, the majority of the old fans refuse to acknowledge the fact that MK Dons exist, and you can’t really blame them.

So its over now, for another season at least, but if AFC continue their progression, and the Dons persist to slump, they may be forced to play each other domestically very soon, which would be a football-based field of foolery.

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  • Mystical Mike

    A Wimbledon derby, if you can actually call it that would be great for the game.

    99% of football fans would be supporting AFC, a victory for the real Wimbeldon FC would be a triumph for football.

  • Joe P

    Mystical Mike: Fair one.

    But being realistic, would Wimbledon have a good chance of winning against a team two leagues above? Therefore if Wimbledon did lose, it would be a real kick in the teeth for all those supporters and the club that has come so far since 2002.
    I think it would be better to avoid one another until a league meeting when Wimbledon would actually have a decent chance of winning (though that’s not the only reason that most Wimbledon fans wanted to avoid this fixture).

  • Mystical Mike

    you’re probably, but the fact that AFC could beat the MK Dons being two leagues below would make the victory even better, would be the best result in their history

  • Paul

    I’d prefer to see them go out of business alltogether, it’s been mooted that if Winkleman doesn’t get his state-funded stadium expansion as a result of the 2018 bid then he’ll walk. If we must face them then I agree, let it be a league clash. Just to soon in my opinion….

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