Written by Liam
Milton Keynes Dons, the little mention of the controversial club makes many seething. But as the city approaches it’s 50 year anniversary…Let’s take a look in depth at MK Dons, from an MK fan.
Contrary to the common misconceptions, Milton Keynes is a very traditional area, with history dating back to prehistoric times.
The village called Milton was around as early as 1086, with the name being anglacanised in the 13th century, known as Milton Kaynes.
In the 1960’s, the city was under renovation, and it was formed. Joining on to the village of Milton Keynes.
That’s enough of the history of the city, now let’s talk about the team from ‘MK1’… MK Dons.
In 1980, Wimbledon chairman Ron Noades claimed that Merton Council didn’t want the club, and is in talks with Milton Keynes over a move. Noades went on to state there is no future for Wimbledon FC at plough lane. He also acknowledged that Milton Keynes has fantastic potential, fit to build a state of the art stadium.
By 1993, Wimbledon’s finances were on a downhill spiral, and cost the club £250,000 a year playing at Selhurst Park. Throughout the 90’s, many of the board saw no future for the club, and the board and fans alike became increasingly frustrated by playing at Selhurst park.
On the 14th May 2000, Wimbledon were relegated from the Premier League. This was even more disappointing for the club. They were well and truly dying. After relegation, attendances dropped by 54%.
And on the 2nd August 2001, Wimbledon announced their intentions to move to Milton Keynes. That’s a common fact people don’t know; Wimbledon really wanted to move to MK.
AFC Wimbledon started setting up their own club, even before Wimbledon completely died. Hence why MK fans sing “You abandoned your club”.
Many clubs have also relocated, QPR for example have relocated 18 times to 14 different locations in their history.
In 2003, Wimbledon football club entered administration whilst at Selhurst Park. Now listen to this…
The Administrator stated that the fans who formed AFC Wimbledon, destroyed Wimbledon FC. Leading to a financial disaster for the club, losing £20,000 a day. John Fashanu defended Charles Koppell, the man in charge of Wimbledon, and supported the move to Milton Keynes.
After efforts by the Luton Town board offering to merge with Wimbledon were rejected, by September 2003…Wimbledon FC relocated to Milton Keynes.
Pete Winkelman: “We’re the real child of Wimbledon because of the actions of the AFC Wimbledon group. They left their team before their team left them”.
AFC fans decided to buy someone elses ground, Kingstonian FC’s. The same ground which they pleaded Charles Koppel not to buy.
In June 2004, Winkelman wrote a letter asking for a name change to MK Dons. This was in the idea of keeping the club heritage with ‘Dons’, but including Milton Keynes in it.
And on the 27th June 2004, Wimbledon exit administration and Become Milton Keynes Dons.
And almost 13 years on, there are two clubs in the same division. MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon. But this article isn’t about the so called “Innocent” AFC Wimbledon, it’s about MK Dons.
Whatever happens, people will not like MK Dons. Whether it be for it’s history, fans, atmosphere… it’s a club that most football fans hate, without knowing the facts.
What’s good about the club?
The club have gained a great reputation in the community, constantly offering initiatives and discounts for games, to connect the city and the football club.
To celebrate “MK50” the club are giving back to the city by offering a ‘Gift of football’ scheme. People with an MK postcode can attend the match vs Bolton for free. Obviously this has it’s critics, with many labelling it as embarrassing and plastic.
The club also have produced some fantastic talent over the years. With the likes of Sheyi Ojo, Brendan Galloway, and none other than Dele Alli coming through the ranks.
This season, MK sold the 4th highest amount of season tickets in league one, but still… this isn’t good enough for many. Who seem to think we should be selling out our 32,000 seater stadium week in week out. That’s not happening every week, let’s face it.
The fantastic stadium doesn’t look great with only 8.5k fans in there, I’ll admit that. It also lacks atmosphere, I’ll admit that. The surrounding areas can be soulless at times, I’ll also admit that.
But MK Dons has more to it, than a so called ‘Plastic Franchise’. People need to open up their eyes to the facts…
What are your views on this? Let us know in the comments below!