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In the end, it came about in the most perfunctory way possible. Cambridge City, part-time players from the Premier Division of the Southern Football League, couldn’t live with their full-time opposition and the resounding 6-1 win for the home side was proof, as if it were needed, that for all that we like to talk about the romance of football, the pitch is no place for sentiment and money talks louder than anything else. This was in sharp contrast to the events of Monday evening at Kingsmeadow, of course. York City should have been home and dry by half-time in their FA Cup First Round replay against Wimbledon, but a red card and an equalising goal from out of nowhere changed the complexion of the match towards the end of the first half, although a last minute York equaliser was enough to send this match into thirty minutes of extra time with the home side eventually coming through by the odd goal in seven.
Most of those that didn’t want Wimbledon to play their arch nemesis at this time probably knew that the game was up by the time that the full time whistle blew on Monday night, and now supporters of the club have to reach into their consciences and try to make a decision over whether to make the trip north to Buckinghamshire, to survey the estate of the company that took their league place, the weekend after next. Over the next two and a half weeks or so, familiar arguments will raise their heads as the lords of the Buckinghamshire manor seek to astroturf this particular “occasion.” It seems inconceivable that those behind this particular land grab will not seek to maximise the PR opportunities that this period in the media spotlight will afford them, so it’s probably appropriate to take a few moments to dispel a few of the myths that will be thrown around over the next eleven or twelve days or so:
Their opponents have already shown a degree of disrespect in the comments of their manager Karl Robinson immediately after the draw was made:
I was made up. I did a dance around the living room in excitement. I’d love it to happen. It’s one I want. It needs to happen.
I was made up. I did a dance around the living room in excitement. I’d love it to happen. It’s one I want. It needs to happen.
And therein, perhaps, lays the rub when it comes to this fixture. This isn’t “just another match” for the supporters of Wimbledon. It isn’t just a match for their supporters to enjoy a couple of weeks of “banter” over and treat as the mother of all local derbies. Some supporters will travel – all clubs have a number who will support their team no matter what – but it seems unlikely that there will be many who don’t feel a little dirty at entering the stadium built on the theft of their clubs Football League place (there is an excellent analysis of the fundamental dilemma that Wimbledon supporters face today here) and the risk of disorder is sufficiently high for it to be likely that the match will have go ahead in the face of onerous policing conditions. Everything about this game shouts UGLINESS as loudly as it can be shouted.
The positives that can be taken from this match taking place have the hint of a pyrrhic victory about them. It seems likely that the prevailing consensus amongst football supporters seems to remain that what happened to the supporters of this club was an abomination, although comments such as this one from the Brighton & Hove Albion – a club who, of course, lost their ground and, for a couple of years, a place in their home town as the result of the carpet-bagging of others – forum North Stand Chat demonstrates that agreement on the subject isn’t necessarily universal. Perhaps there is a boil there which needs to be lanced. Perhaps Wimbledon will do very nicely financially from those that opt not to go and give the money that they would have spent on tickets to the club instead. More importantly than anything else, though, no amount of astroturfing from the PR men from Buckinghamshire can take away what Wimbledon supporters have, and when this FA Cup tie is over and done with, that fundamental truth will remain.
You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking here.
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.
For once we shall have a FA Cup game where I foresee every football fan in England, whether of a Prem League side, or the Ryman 1 South fans like myself, all really wishing for the same outcome i.e an utter thrashing of a plastic GM club that should have been strangled at birth.
I have no love for AFC but a deep respect for what they have achieved and hatred for anyone who would remove a club and transplant into an alien environment that had local clubs for people to support.
The only ones who will support MK are there own followers and possibly some Kingstonian fans who I have no argument with at all, I saw posted in another earlier response the idea of fans of all clubs turning up in their club shirts to support AFC. A grea idea but only if AFC fans groups agree to this
Finally a great chance for the Wombles to really clean up leftover dirty festering rubbish (well someone was going to say it, I thought I would do it first!)
(Originally posted as response to earlier article, I felt it would be better placed here, Kenty)
It is time that MK Dons as a club were given the respect accorded to any other club in the country, they have done their time in the public stocks and now that Wimbledon have their league place back this is a great occasion to lay the past to rest and move on.
The relocation happened 9 years ago in 2003. There are people who will be in the crowd for this game who have known nothing other than a football team in MK. Kids of up to 12-13 years of age who are supposed to cower from other football fans, who are supposed to wear sackcloth and ashes instead of their team’s shirts?
Look, the circle has been completed now, AFC Wimbledon are in the 4th tier of English Football, right where the MK team was in 2005/6, they have got right back to where they would be if none of this had happened. What is there to continue to be so bitter about? Why are innocent fans being pilloried? If you want to get at someone get at Pete Winkelman who was the architect of all of this.
“It is time that MK Dons as a club were given the respect accorded to any other club in the country, they have done their time in the public stocks and now that Wimbledon have their league place back this is a great occasion to lay the past to rest and move on.”
franchise was, is and always will be just a supermarket property deal. Have you not noticed the giant ASDA next door to the White Elephant stadium that paved for the entire move?
Wimbledon have earned another League place purely down to a huge amount of effort, time and money from several thousand dedicated Wimbledon fans, nothing else.
To use that fan-tasic effort to legitimise franchise in any way makes me sick.
Wimbledon are still paying the price for the crime committed against them, while MK Dons have received no practical punishment.
Rather than invest in and build up MK City, those who oversaw the move took the easy way out, forcing Wimbledon fans into ten years of hard work to get back to two tiers below where they were.
I’d say inflicting a sense of shame on MK Dons, and drawing attention to the crimes, is a pretty gentle punishment, all things considered.
Plans are afoot to have a party at KM instead and watch the (inevitably) televised game. All fans will be welcome as they always are down there.
Many of us cannot face giving that bastardised monotrosity and its eager owner and manager a penny of our money.
Good luck to any fans who can stomach going. I hope they enjoy the experience and can take the goading when we lose to what is patently a better team at the moment.
Wombles v Dons, should be a cracking encounter and all true fans of the two clubs should make every effort to be at Stadium:MK whenever it is that the fixture is played.
For a second round tie it is as good as it gets, a top team in League 1 against a team in the lower reaches of League 2. The form book says that it should be a bit of a stroll for the Dons, but this is to ignore the magic of the Cup, and I expect the Wombles to give a very good account of themselves. It would be a great shame if AFC’s fans stay away giving the well rehearsed reasons that Buckinghamshire is too far and inaccessible from London. The effort should be made for what should be the match of the century (so far).
For many Wimbledon fans, this is still an open sore, but we have to follow our own individual paths. To some extent, it’s like a grieving process. Everyone is affected by grief in different ways, and everyone handles their own grief in different ways as they progress along their own path of healing.
Some Wimbledon fans will no doubt go to this game, seeing it as somehow cathartic. I respect their own approach, but it’s not something I could ever do.
The nightmare is that for the next fortnight I will have people expecting me to be looking forward to this game. Those people seem to think that this is solely a football matter, but it’s not.
This tie for me personally reopens many painful memories, not just about my club but also about the loss of my father at around the same time, a combination of events that, to be frank, pushed me to the brink of suicide. I’m now in a much better place, but this tie does nothing to help the process.
Ron Ipstone – get your facts right. Wimbledon fans won’t go because it’s ‘too far’ or ‘inaccessible’, they won’t go because of many reasons. Some won’t go because it’s too painful, some won’t go because they can’t stand to give money to Winkleman and boost the coffers of a club we all hate, some won’t go because they feel sick at the sight of the words ‘Milton Keynes’…there are many reasons, please don’t cast off an AFC Wimbledon boycott of this game as because it’s ‘too far’ for all of us.
Ron Ipstone – naiive views mate.
“giving the well rehearsed reasons that Buckinghamshire is too far and inaccessible from London” that is NOT the reason why 99.5% of Wimbledon fans did not follow the new club in MK. It is because the whole ‘re-location’ was about using the league place of WFC to create a club for Milton Keynes and unlock their free stadium and enabling development. Remember, Pete Winkleman tried to lure Luton & QPR there first.
Joel – Factually wrong. When the Mk move was permitted by the FA, Wimbledon FC were a top 10 CHAMPIONSHIP club still getting Premier League parachute payments. AFTER the actual move, the ‘new club’ got promptly relegated TWICE down to League 2. There is no ‘circle’ FFS.
[…] Confirmed: AFC Wimbledon & The FA Cup Match They Emphathically Didn’t Want […]
“It is time that MK Dons as a club were given the respect accorded to any other club in the country”
To be blunt, they can go fuck themselves. If they wanted respect they should have started in the South Midlands League when they moved. The theft would still have been utterly wrong, but at least any success would have been earned. But that’s not “the MK way” is it?
And Ipstone, you’ve been doing this sad, tired routine for years now, surely you must be as bored of it by now as everyone else?
So youi start a club so that you have a team to support in Wimbledon so you say. Even though that team hasn’t actually been in Wimbledon in 21 years and now you decide you don’t actually want to support them and would rather boycott them-this is why your club went to the wall.
Real fans support Real Clubs in Real games. End of.
O’Dreary, there is much which is confused about the MK Dons/WFC debate, but one thing which is clear is that it was the football club Wimbledon FC AND the company which operated it Wimbledon Football Club Limited which moved to Milton Keynes after the 2002 ruling. That they were enticed to do so by those hoping to build a stadium there is equally clear.
What I have never understood is why there should be so much hatred and nastiness directed to the MK Dons fans, who after all are just ordinary football supporters like the rest of us. WFC had to move because its Plough Lane ground had been sold away from the club, without any provision made for a replacement. Again not the fault of any Dons supporter.
If this (relocation of WFC) is the worst thing that has happened in the lives of AFC’s supporters, then they are very lucky people indeed.
My advice is to enjoy the match. Wimbledon might win, and even if it does not, then it will be still a great occasion.
“What I have never understood is why there should be so much hatred and nastiness directed to the MK Dons fans, who after all are just ordinary football supporters like the rest of us”
Speak for yourself – I certainly wouldn’t have abandoned whichever team I previously followed because a shiny new pro soccer franchise suddenly appeared in my home city. Whoops, sorry, it’s a town isn’t it.
Ian Somerset – nice try, I had to read it twice before I got it.
I see. The hatred and nastiness directed at MK Dons fans is because they have ceased to follow whichever of the Manchester or London clubs they previously followed and have chosen to follow the club which plays locally. I now see it. Thanks for the explanation.
I will be going to the match as i follow my team (MK Dons) to every game, i can’t understand those that say they won’t.
Did you AFC fans think that Arsenal supporters stopped when they moved or QPR fans or any of the Scots teams that have merged/moved.
Go support “your” team or quit whinging about it on every football forun i’ve seen.
Some of you really need to get over it. Far more important things in life.FFS
I’m an AFC fan, and I won’t be going to the game, nor will I be watching it on TV. I have no desire to watch Franchise, ever. I’m quite prepared to ignore them in everyday life. But attending the match as if it were just another game would be to legitimize them as a football club. And they aren’t a legitimate football club. They’re a franchised club that stole their league place. From us.
I could understand how even a well-intentioned naive observer might want to regard this match through the usual prism of footballing rivalry, like Spurs vs. Arsenal, or Liverpool vs. Man Utd – exciting grudge matches where two clubs that don’t get on clash repeatedly over the years. That’s a common thing in football, so it’s an understandable mistake to make for someone not familiar with the realities of the situation. But AFC against Franchise is not a footballing rivalry. There is no rivalry there whatsoever. The clubs have never even met, and AFC fans in the main would be happy to never have to visit Milton Keynes, or to set eyes on their fake plastic football team, for any reason, ever. The only reason there’s any perceived association between the two clubs is because in 2002, a businessman stole our club in order to get planning permission for an out-of-town ASDA, so that he could make himself a lot of money. As a result, we had no club to support, and had to build our club up again from nothing. That isn’t Spurs vs. Arsenal, that’s an injustice come about solely because of greed. It’s desperately misplaced of Franchise fans to think of this match as an exciting clash of two grudging rivals. It’s not. For us it’s the equivalent of playing “Paper, Scissors, Stone” with the bloke that stole your house and everything you own. To focus on who wins is to choose to ignore the bigger picture, and would be an insultingly trivial diversion. That’s why I won’t be following it.
Nothing that happens in the match will change anything about the abhorrence of what happened. If Franchise win 6-0, it won’t suddenly mean that they’ve earned their stolen league place. They’ll still be an ugly football franchise. If we win 6-0, it won’t erase the years of protest against the move, and the years of work to regain our place in the league. I don’t expect other people to care about this as much as I do – though it is genuinely heartening to read the messages of support from fans of other clubs. But I know that some people might reasonably wonder why a group of fans passionate enough to build a league club out of nothing would suddenly, for one game only, choose not to watch their team. This is one man’s answer to that. WTID.
Ron, talk us through why they weren’t interested in the previous local club that existed before the franchise experiment landed on their door step…
Yep, Ipstone, you’ve got it.
Anyone changing their team deserves derision and ridicule.
Some of the comments on here are an absolute joke!! I can’t even believe i’m reading them!!
Joel – Franchise will NEVER have the respect of true football fans, this is because the club is plastic, and not worthy of respect – ever.
Ray – True fans eh, which club are you actually a true fan of? Stevenage Boro, Luton, Milton Keynes City?! Let us all know when you decide yeah. This is why you don’t get it, because you switch clubs whenever it suits, will you go to the next place winklepicker moves his franchise on to? Wimbledon take a sizable following everywhere they go don’t you worry, it’s just that no one wants to give half of their ticket money to franchise.
Ian Somerset – Clueless, don’t bother wasting your energy typing next time…
Anyone – player, manager, coach or supporter who has anything to do with franchise has been ‘infected’ and should be treated accordingly.
“this is why your club went to the wall.”
Yes, our club went to the wall because some of our fans chose not to go to one FA Cup fixture because it was against the supermarket property deal that killed our old club.
Brilliant. Thanks for pointing this out to us all. Hurry back now.
Whilst is factually correct to say that Wombles were not responsible for Kingstonian’s pre-existing financial problems, paying an asset-stripper a colossal profit helps neither your own moral superiority nor Kingstonian get back on its feet.
More Winkelman lies:
“The administrator said ‘I’m going to liquidate this football club tomorrow unless you come up with the money to keep it going’.”
The club didn’t enter administration until 5th June 2003 long after Winkelman and his consortium had obtained legally-binded permission for their supermarket property deal from an FA Commission on 28th May 2002.
Once they had permission for the supermarket there is no way any group of fans would be able to compete with the value the club had for ASDA-Walmart, one of the largest companies in the world by turnover.
“But I am not proud of the way this club came to be, and that is very hard for me to live with.”
Which is simply unbelievable.
Hi Rex. So it would have been better for the asset stripper to have slowly bled both clubs to death instead. You ought to be careful what you wish for as sadly there are plenty more Khoslas out there.
In my humble opinion, I sincerely hope no Wimbledon supporter makes the trip. I have no vested interest in this as I’m a Villa fan but what happened 10 years ago still sickens me. MK are the only team I would happily see go bust and have to leave the league. They have no roots, no history and their mere existence is proof that football mislaid its moral compass a long time ago. Let every empty seat on view prompt a TV spectator under the age of 20 to ask their Dad why Wimbledon fans don’t like MK and why not many people in MK are actually that bothered either.
Rex – You should be a little more grateful really, you’d be playing at Corinthian Casuals if it wasn’t for Wimbledon, and Kingsmeadow would be the new B&Q…
The fact that you play there rent free too is more than charitable.
Moral superiority restored
[…] spoken about their disgust that this fixture is ever taking place. A few good examples are from twohundredpercent, Wise Men Say fanzine and inthewiderinterestsoffootball . As I’m not a Wimbledon fan I have […]
As a Wimbledon fan of 32 years, I’m not going.
It’s not a boycott, it’s an attempt to stay out of trouble.
Confronted with a gloating supporter from MK (they generally know nor care a thing about the origins of ‘their’ ‘club’) or a player attempting to rile the away support I genuinely think I would be looking upon a football ban or a spell in prison.
The emotions run that deep.
It’s not a boycott and I have never remotely been involved in trouble before
The notion, implied in the article (unless my tin foil hat is on the blink) that any Wimbledon supporter that does go is somewhat unthinking or indeed “over” anything is off kilter. Some of us that might go will do so in defiance. To say to the entity that declared us meaningless and puny and in need of “rescuing” have achieved something they never even tried. To build a club from nothing in order to represent not only Wimbledon but also to respect the entire concept of pyramid football and worthiness.
That nitpick aside, thanks.
Of course we do all know our youth teams played them already this season, no?
It’s a shame that Ks fans have a reputation for being whinging, ungrateful tossers simply because of the inane bleatings of a handful of their number.
Yes we did pay over the odds… but as a result of this, Ks still play at the ground, rather than being displaced elsewhere or (more likely) forced into extinction, as would have been the case under Khosla.
Moreover, they currently play rent-free….. that’s RENT-FREE (for benefit of the visually-impaired & terminally thick among their moaners), in a Football League standard ground, following structural improvements & much improved facilities that their club has not paid a penny towards nor lifted a finger to maintain.
Therefore, as well as not bemoaning the Dons presence (which, to put it bluntly, saved them), maybe Ks should be asking themselves what they’ve been doing for the last 10 years to raise the money to buy the ground back?
Ron Ipstone wonders why MK fans are so reviled.
Well Ron, ever heard the term, “being in receipt of stolen goods” ?
Guilty as charged.
I think that the fact some of you to hate a Town and it’s people over football is pretty sad if I’m honest. I have lived in Merton for a long time and I’ve never seen Wimbledon here practically nobody in Merton supports Wimbledon it’s all Chelsea/Liverpool/Man Utd. AFC are a new club and not a continuation of Wimbledon, So calling yourself Real Dons is not correct, maybe you once were but you’re not now.
You have the crest of Merton BC on your badge and you’ve never even played there.
Your owner comes out talking a good talk but where was he when the Real Wimbledon was taken over?
Pete Winkleman knew exactly what he was going to do with the club and SO DID YOU! why did you let this man take over your club? Have you ever sat there and instead of blaming everyone else wondered why or how Wimbledon football club came into the hands of Winkleman when you have such a ‘fantastic’ group of supporters? Numbering in your thousands?
You could’ve formed a consortium of fans and bought the club? Like he did…
As for the give us our name back? You should be AFC Kingston/Nurbition and have no right to the Wimbledon name as you have never played there, just because you’ve spawned off the back of Wimbledon going to MK doesn’t make you the rightful owner of the name. The Real Dons? cobblers that died with the name change and relocation of Wimbledon FC.
As for MK well the Franchise name is apt but they average 10,000 a week at Stadium MK on their supermarket complex. There is more chance for them to fill their ground than you attracting new support with Chelsea and even Fulham on your doorstep, so you understand why Winkleman moved them there. However it was wrong to take Wimbledon away and they should’ve built up MK City.
Good luck AFC and may you never play in my borough as I wouldn’t want a bunch of spiteful, bitter sheep coming through here fortnightly. I was going to say return but you’ve never played here, ever.
RIP Wimbledon FC there will be no other. AFC doesn’t come close. I’m glad MK Dons at least renounced all their ties with Wimbledon and gave the FA Cup to Merton BC.. WHERE IT BELONGS.
Real Wimbledon supporters will be cheering on the MK Dons. The ones who stuck with the club through thick and thin. Not all WFC chose the cry-baby AFC Kingston. Some chose the real Dons.
Merton Resident you’re the biggest idiot I’ve ever seen. Go and support United u plastic fan.
‘Merton Resident’ gives himself away a bit by saying, regarding playing in the borough “never played there” rather than “here”. I bet he’s never even been 2 south London! I suspect he’s been stuck going around the same roundabout over and over again! Grow up you numpty – football fans aren’t thick you know.
You don’t even know who I support? It’s not AFC or MKD!
Things you learn on here, literacy rates are obviously not very good up north.
Wimbledon FC RIP my club AFC are a poor imitation.
Merton Resident – I’m gueesing it’s Chelsea judging by the state of your postings?
4.5/10 Merton Resident
I particularly liked Nurbition
You know I’m right. You’re not Wimbledon, and you never will be.
RIP Wimbledon FC
Ye are like a bunch of kids looking to blame each other for stealing a bag of sweets, get over your selves as English football has sold it’s soul to the money men and greed that is now implanted in your national sport.
And yes I will watch the game for football reasons and not for all the rubbish that is being said here
Merton Resident – certainly one of the more moronic posts I’ve seen, and your understanding of the background of how Winkelman came to be in charge is, at best, badly & fundamentally flawed.
Erik Samuelson is not our “owner”, he is the CEO.
You call the AFCW fans bitter, but the general tone of your post suggests some sort of grudge or bitterness over something.
And the Franchises average & potential cup-tie attendance is irrelevant & hardly justifies the move.
Don’t preach to other fans as to how to react in such circumstances, unless it happens to you or your club, whoever they are….
Typical AFC fan online ‘nitpicking’ I couldn’t careless how you brand the man he is head of AFC Wimbledon.
I’m not bitter just bored of listening to the tosh coming from AFC fans about how hard done by they are when they all walked away when the plans were put forward to move to MK.
And you call me the moron? I understand how Winkleman came to be in charge of WIMBLEDON if you were a WIMBLEDON fan then you know what I’m saying is true. The fans who walked away bottled it and made a new team.
Real Dons.. yeah in your head! if you were true fans then the Real Dons would be in your heart.. the real Wimbledon not your bastardised version who play in Kingston.
Why do AFC Wimbledon claim Wimbledon’s history? I just read your website instead of jumping on the hate MK Dons bandwagon you have rolling.
I found that in your list of honours you have the FA Cup you’ve never won. You also make reference to being ‘back’ in the Football league when you’ve never been in it?
You’re a new club formed out of the fans of Wimbledon FC not a continuation of Wimbledon FC.
MK Dons relinquished all ties with Wimbledon FC and although Franchising is bad and will never happen again they admit they’re not Wimbledon FC even though effectively they are a continuation of it.
What I don’t understand is why AFC are claiming history that isn’t theirs? They’re a new club and fair play to them but frankly Samuelson is an idiot for trying to pass off that his team is Wimbledon FC or a continuation of it.
Hmmmm..Strange, is it not, how these MK apologists above like “Merton Resident” have the PRECISE same basic grammar error with their writing?
To those questioning us AFC Wimbledon fans : Fuck off as you will never understand. Chelsea fans fuss about how bad it is as a CFC fan, get real.
Franchise FC is not a club just a reminder of what happened and havn’t relinquished all ties (the name proves it).
We started from scratch with trials on Wimbledon Common. The reason we don’t play in Merton yet is because you have to find space and money and Hammam and Koppel made sure that couldn’t happen.
Read books about the club rather than gossip/believing media before coming up with delusional crap!