Council leader calls for Drop The Dons talks

Wimbledon Guardian: All sixty Merton councillors have signed the Wimbledon Guardian's Drop the Dons petition All sixty Merton councillors have signed the Wimbledon Guardian's Drop the Dons petition

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:

Dear Andrew,

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

Comments (5)

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2:30pm Tue 6 Mar 12

peacedon says...

Is there really nothing of importance that the local council has to do? Focus your energy & time on issues that really matter to the people in the area
Is there really nothing of importance that the local council has to do? Focus your energy & time on issues that really matter to the people in the area peacedon

4:15pm Tue 6 Mar 12

MK Fan says...

Dear Stephen Alambritis

Can I remind you that it was your Council who sold the covenant on Plough Lane that forced Wimbledon FC out of your Borough.

And that you have failed to provide a home within Wimbledon for the new club purporting to represent your Borough.

Perhaps you should put your own house in order before lecturing us.

Yours faithfully
Taxpayer of Milton Keynes
Dear Stephen Alambritis Can I remind you that it was your Council who sold the covenant on Plough Lane that forced Wimbledon FC out of your Borough. And that you have failed to provide a home within Wimbledon for the new club purporting to represent your Borough. Perhaps you should put your own house in order before lecturing us. Yours faithfully Taxpayer of Milton Keynes MK Fan

4:19pm Wed 7 Mar 12

Rob_W78 says...

Rather than signing up to this campaign, why doesn't Merton do something useful for AFCW by following the example set up their fellow London borough of Newham and pledge financial support for a stadium (in Newham's case £40m to help West Ham buy the Olympic Stadium) - that's the most important off-field issue currently.
Rather than signing up to this campaign, why doesn't Merton do something useful for AFCW by following the example set up their fellow London borough of Newham and pledge financial support for a stadium (in Newham's case £40m to help West Ham buy the Olympic Stadium) - that's the most important off-field issue currently. Rob_W78

3:24pm Fri 9 Mar 12

SteveDodd says...

Agree with above. Wimbledon wouldn't have been shipped out of London at all if this council had not obstructed every attempt to get a ground in Merton.

Stop wasting your time with this pointless exercise in political hand-wringing. If you want to do something useful instead, help AFC get a ground within Merton. Or are AFC a bit of an inconvenience as well?

That lot in Milton Keynes can call themselves whatever they like. They reckon Dons reflects their history, which can hardly be denied since some people insist on raking over it.

The article is misleading anyway, AFC formed over a year before Wimbledon FC moved to Milton Keynes.
Agree with above. Wimbledon wouldn't have been shipped out of London at all if this council had not obstructed every attempt to get a ground in Merton. Stop wasting your time with this pointless exercise in political hand-wringing. If you want to do something useful instead, help AFC get a ground within Merton. Or are AFC a bit of an inconvenience as well? That lot in Milton Keynes can call themselves whatever they like. They reckon Dons reflects their history, which can hardly be denied since some people insist on raking over it. The article is misleading anyway, AFC formed over a year before Wimbledon FC moved to Milton Keynes. SteveDodd

6:14pm Fri 9 Mar 12

stony bloke says...

Agree with all the above. It's becoming embarrassing to Merton Council now, especially as I gather Andrew Geary told them where to go.
Agree with all the above. It's becoming embarrassing to Merton Council now, especially as I gather Andrew Geary told them where to go. stony bloke

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