Ten Years Of AFC Wimbledon: A Prelude


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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15 Responses

  1. NRP says:

    Good article

  2. Basingstoke Don says:

    Great article that sums up the recent history of Wimbledon very well.

    Never forgive, never forget…

  3. point of order 1 – “They played the gamesmanship card to its fullest – including a sometimes viciously reductionist brand of the game” – to me gamesmanship is diving, feigning injury, and Dave Bassett would never allow that. Point of order 2: On the last day of the 1982/83 season, Wimbledon travelled to Bury needing a win to guarantee promotion from Division Four of the Football League. – err no we didn’t, we were already confirmed champions, it was bury needing a result to go up thank you very much!

  4. Ian says:

    Rob, I’d spotted the oversight over the Bury match and have already updated. As for definitions of ‘gamesmanship’, I was referring more to a slightly later era than 1983. What was it that was said to have said in the tunnel prior to the 1988 FA Cup final, for example?

  5. Nathan says:

    Yidaho! apparently.

    If that was enough to put off the likes of McMahon and the “team of the 80s” then maybe they weren’t as good as people thought they were.

  6. SW19 Womble says:

    Hi, great article! Just a little more info on the covenant on Plough Lane, which was put there by Sidney Black, who donated the land to the club in the 50’s after buying it from the council. Basically (and simplifying it a bit) the covenant froze the value of the ground at £150,000 plus interest, since Merton Council had first refusal to buy it back if it was used for anything other than sport (for instance, a supermarket)
    You’d think this would protect the club and the stadium, but Sam Hammam “somehow” managed to persuade Merton Council that it would be a great idea to purchase the stadium for £150,000 ‘plus costs and handling’ and then immediately allow him to buy it back via them. Of course, Merton didn’t attempt to ringfence the funds or place any other restrictions on the transaction… instead just said “oh yeah, here you go then!”, to which Sam said “Thanks!” and promplty sold to Safeway and pocketed the proceeds for himself.
    Morons and wankers. :(

  7. Ian says:

    Come on, Nathan. You know fully well what I mean when I say gamesmanship in relation to “The Crazy Gang” , as a general point.

  8. Marc Jones says:

    Ian, you are referring to an alleged remark by Jones to Dalglish as a player. It wasn’t 1988 nor at Wembley. It’s probably no more “gamesmanship” than what Vierra and Keane exchanged. I assume Arsenal and Manchester United are also viewed the same as Wimbledon on that basis? No? Thought not.

    Also the programme didn’t announce we was leaving. It suggested we might. It was a clever/cowardly move by Hammam. His stock in trade, part cunning dastardly swine and part yellow snide cunt.

    Regards Dublin, FIFA had killed that, and we’re recorded as doing so, before the Norwegians bought any stake. Had they put their mind to it, Wimbledon could have build a stadium and built a team in the way future wealthy football virgins across Britain would go on to do. Quite how they were so thick will always puzzle me. That said, I have no such trouble wondering why Charles Koppel resembled a bumbling idiot, it’s what he is. Arguing hard in a meeting with fans that Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday “seemed to both do fine with a groundsheet in place” was typical of his level of football understanding. A weasel if ever I met one (and I was at all club/fan/council meetings with Koppel).

    All that aside, you have my thanks for at least speaking about us. It’s appreciated.

  9. Marc Jones says:

    Damn that iPad autocorrect and pff to the “no edit available” comment section ;)

  10. Ian says:

    Yeah, the editing comments thing is a functionality that I have left out. I’ll amend the original comment.

    But anyway, the only point that I was trying to make there was that it is possible to support the supporters without necessarily supporting the team or the way that they go about their business. From a personal perspective, one of the most dispiriting things about what happens on the pitch in the modern game is the gamesmanship – that certainly has more of an effect on grassroots football than any of the other stuff that pundits constantly whinge on about. It’s a point at which I probably diverge from most people on the subject.

    On Hammam, yeah, agreed, and if he didn’t show his colours enough at Wimbledon he proved himself beyond doubt at Cardiff. I daresay there’ll be a place for him in the Top 100 Owners thing. The thing is, though, that finding out about this sort of shenanigans was much more difficult in the 1990s than it is now. We have it easy these days, relatively speaking.

  11. FOMK says:

    The author rightly refers to Ron Noades as “a serial football club owner in South and West London” but conveniently or through ignorance omits to record the fact that he purchased MK City FC in 1979 after they won the Berks and Bucks Senior Cup in front of 2000 fans. After he “abandoned” the club in favour of Crystal Palace in 1981 they went bankrupt. So the chairman of Wimbledon caused the death of a club in Milton Keynes working its way up the leagues… how ironic is that!

  12. Ian says:

    Fully aware of Noades’ involvement with that. I usually get criticised enough for articles being too long though!

  13. Nathan says:

    Not very ironic.

    Well done for noticing that Ron Noades isn’t a very nice man or very good for football anywhere.

    Not sure what any of that has to do with a League place being used to get a supermarket in MK built.

  14. Greg says:

    Nathan – Noades was only in it for the money really, admitting later that he didn’t see much of a fan base in Milton Keynes at the time. The link with later events is that Noades wasn’t the only man involved in 1979, but 3 other WFC board members, including a certain Sam Hamman.

    As a general comment, and as a follower of MK Dons, this article perfectly sums up how the real damage was done to WFC. It actually makes me feel sorry for Wimbledon FC supporters from this time, but this is quickly revoked by the fact that AFC Wimbledon only seem interested in what happened after Winklemans involvement. Events after this get caught up in passion, vitriol, and conjecture.

  1. May 30, 2012

    […] In part two of our series on the formation and rise of AFC Wimbledon, we rejoin the story in the summer of 2001. With the clubs owners having seen their attempt to move Premier League football to Dublin rejected by the Football Association of Ireland and in turn by the FA, UEFA and FIFA, an entrepreneur has turned up at Selhurst Park with a potential get-out for the loss-making clubs owners. Part one of this series can be seen here. […]

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