Council leader calls for Drop The Dons talks
Political leaders are set to enter into talks about the Wimbledon Guardian’s campaign for football justice.
The Leader of Merton Council, Stephen Alambritis, has called for a meeting with his counterpart in Milton Keynes to discuss the Wimbledon Guardian’s Drop The Dons campaign.
Our campaign calls for MK Dons FC to drop the 'Dons' nickname to help both communities move on after Wimbledon's football team was shipped out of south London and relocated in Buckinghamshire.
MK Dons was created after Wimbledon FC was sold and moved to new owners in Milton Keynes – robbing our community of its football team and prompting the creation of AFC Wimbledon.
In an open letter to Councillor Andrew Geary, leader of Milton Keynes Council, Coun Alambritis warned that AFC Wimbledon and MK Dons FC could play each other soon and it was important to resolve what he called “the ‘Dons’ issue”.
He wrote: “There is every possibility that AFC Wimbledon and Milton Keynes Dons FC will either be drawn against each other in a cup tie or meet in a scheduled league match at some stage soon.
“Resolving the ‘Dons’ issue would assist in ensuring such matches will be a joy to watch and ultimately contribute towards better relations between our two clubs.”
Since launching in January, our ‘Drop the Dons’ petition has attracted more than 1,800 signatures and been raised in the House of Commons and cited by national news broadcasts national newspapers.
Several former Wimbledon FC football players have also backed the campaign, including Marcus Gayle, John Scales, Chris Perry and Alan Kimble.
That letter in full:
I am writing to you with reference to the ‘Drop the Dons’ campaign set up by our local newspaper, the Wimbledon Guardian. This campaign refers to both of our clubs in our respective councils, namely Milton Keynes Dons FC and AFC Wimbledon.
I want to salute the achievements of our two clubs. AFC Wimbledon is a fan-owned club which rose from the ashes of the old Wimbledon FC and was last year promoted to the football league. Milton Keynes Dons FC are currently riding high in the npower League 1 in the play off places.
A landmark accord signed in 2006 by our two councils saw all of the honours and trademarks won by Wimbledon FC returning to Merton, with Merton Council transferring the trademarks to AFC Wimbledon.
I now believe it is appropriate that we meet to have a discussion about our two clubs. There is every possibility that AFC Wimbledon and Milton Keynes Dons FC will either be drawn against each other in a cup tie or meet in a scheduled league match at some stage soon.
Resolving the ‘Dons’ issue would assist in ensuring such matches will be a joy to watch and ultimately contribute towards better relations between our two clubs.
I note that Milton Keynes has applied for City status and I wish that application every success. If there is anything I can do to add my support to that application I will be more than happy to do exactly that.
I will be very pleased to host you here in Merton for a meeting but equally content to come over to you in Milton Keynes.
Councillor Stephen Alambritis
Leader of the Council