My considered reaction: #afcwimbledon and the franchise

Well, after 90 minutes and then 30 minutes of extra time AFC Wimbledon have qualified for the 2nd round of the FA Cup.  As a Womble this is naturally pleasing!  In 24 hours time though, all of our angst as a fan-owned club will come home to roost with the very real possibility that we could be playing Milton Keynes football club very soon.

Our club, my club, our Wimbledon had our league place, our history, our original club stolen by Milton Keynes and owners interested in making money by establishing a franchise football club in Milton Keynes – and our football club was the victim to establish the franchise football league club.

We have long agonised over how to react when we inevitably first face Milton Keynes and now after 10 years this is the closest we have got.  If the franchise win on Tuesday evening, we play them.

After a lot of thought I have reached my personal view – after 10 years of thought and 10 years of AFC Wimbledon…

They should not exist, but they do.  Franchises should not exist in football, but the FA allowed this to happen and it has happened.  We have a wonderful amazing club, the envy of so many others, we have so much to be proud of and we should focus on us, our club, our community, our spirit – we are amazing and always will be (because we are fan-owned!!)

So while I will never recognise Milton Keynes as a proper club really and I will never go to their stadium, I accept that the match has to happen so that everyone (and especially the media) can get over their obsession and hopefully we can all move on and just treat Milton Keynes with the antipathy and natural disdain we should be expected to have.

They couldn’t earn their place in the Football League and we have done it twice.  We have nothing to fear and everything to be proud of.  So AFC Wimbledon may well play the franchise football club, well so be it.  And after that game the Wimbledon players will come back to South West London – where they belong, where our club belongs and nothing is better than that.

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