MK Dons chief ‘not proud’ of moving Wimbledon to Milton Keynes

09:10 15 November 2012

Milton Keynes Dons chairman, Pete Winkelman. Photo credit: PA wire

Milton Keynes Dons chairman, Pete Winkelman. Photo credit: PA wire

PA Archive/Press Association Images

MK Dons chairman Pete Winkelman has admitted he’s not proud of the “bad decision” to move uproot Wimbledon, rename them and move them more than 50 miles away to Buckinghamshire.

The businessman led a consortium that bought the original Dons ten years ago but then relocated them from south London to Milton Keynes.

It sparked outrage amongst fans who then formed phoenix club AFC Wimbledon.

A second round FA Cup tie between the two clubs – there first ever meeting – was confirmed this week as both won their firsts stage replays. They will now face off at stadium:mk on Sunday, December 2 live on television, where emotions are set to run high.

Winkelman told BBC Three Counties Radio: “I’m not proud of the way this club came into being.

“It’s very hard for me to live with that. It’s possibly a little bit more personal for me than anyone else.”

Wimbledon were in administration when Winkelman completed his takeover but said the move was the only way the club would have survived.

“To most people in football the way they imagine it happened is so different to the way that it actually did,” he said.

“It wasn’t the big Norwegian billionaire owners who moved the club to Milton Keynes. It was an administrator who said ‘I’m going liquidate the club tomorrow unless you come up with the money to keep it going’.

“The only way I could come up with the money to keep it going was to move it to Milton Keynes.

“For the first seven weeks of that administration we did nothing. I will never understand why AFC Wimbledon did not buy their club. That’s the bit that always confuses me.

“Since we made the decision I’ve tried to make a bad decision a good decision by the things we have gone on to do.”

AFC Wimbledon was instead formed as a new club that remained in south London and they embarked on a remarkable nine-year romp through the non-league pyramid to eventually reach Football League Two last year.

“I want to be the first to admit the incredible adventure AFC Wimbledon have had. They’ve put fan-owned clubs on the agenda,” said Winkelman.

“We’ll never be friends but we are related and I hope we can have a good family get-together.”

Related articles

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Another two men were taken to local hospital with serious injuries.

Read more

A dream hotel room for many little girls.

Read more

Promotions

BT Home Smart Cam

When I was first told by my boss that I would be doing a review on the BT Smart Cam 100 I didn’t quite know what to expect. Before even looking at the product I was picturing it as nothing more than a web cam with a fancy name.

AGA Living Subscription

Every issue of AGA Living magazine is packed full of celebrity AGA owner interviews, interior and design features, ideas to inspire your culinary imagination, mouth-watering recipes and inspirational shopping ideas.

Birmingham City have got to get back on the horse after their 8-0 defeat. Unfortunately that horse is actually a pack of Wolves…

Alonso has said people will be “very excited” about his future plans. We try to guess what they might be…

Three Grand Prix left. Could there be some prize steers in Austin? Or will the race be a Tex-Mess for leader Hamilton?

Quizzes

Ian Wright scores for Crystal Palace in the 1990 FA Cup final against Manchester United. Picture: PA

Crystal Palace are not short of a legend or two, whether it be from decades gone by or more recent times.

Read more