The sad day they hoped they’d never see
Here is an interesting article from a website called: llandudnojetset.wordpress.com. It gives some interesting opinions on the forthcoming match between AFC Wimbledon and the disgrace that is MK Dons. It also lavishes praise on FC United, for sticking to principles (hope that doesn’t offend anyone…)
This weekend will feature a coming together of clubs with polar opposite world views. One club is the epitome of community values while the other club is a rich person’s vanity project. This is another way of saying that Bangor City are hosting The New Saints Ersatz Football Experience Brought To You By A Self-Publicising Midget FC.
On Sunday there is another clash between modern football’s opposed incarnations ; AFC Wimbledon are playing the MK Dons in the FA Cup, you’ve probably heard about this match. This is how the MK Dons are selling the match:
Sadly ITV have not only swallowed the MK Dons line they have absorbed it and regurgitated it. Last night I saw their advert, it had all the usual understated shouty panache; “UNITED THEY WON, DIVIDED THEY FELL!!!!! FATE HAS BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER IN THE MOST TALKED ABOUT SECOND ROUND TIE!!!!!!…….THE FA CUP ON ITV!!!!………BECAUSE IT MATTERS!!!!!!”
If this is the game that everybody has been waiting for I have to make a choice. The choice is obvious.
Comparing MK Dons and Wimbledon is not a new idea, neither is arriving at the conclusion that you’d rather be a Tory minister than be associated MK Dons. Everybody knows that the MK Dons, or to give them their correct franchise title “The MK Club Stealers”, are a soulless creation. We cannot allow PR bullshit to hoodwink us in to thinking that Sunday’s match is a massively important match, although it is an easy trap to fall in to.
By thinking that the match is massively massive we are helping “Winkelman, the PR obsessed chairman”. He says it’s “a match the whole world wants to see” . Karl Robinson, the smoothly self-assured manager of The MK Club Stealers, is also giving it the big one ; “I was made up. I did a dance around the living room in excitement,” We can’t let them win.
The MK Club Stealers want to turn this into a just another passionate match because it allows them to appear as a normal club. After the explosion of PR bullshit we see that they’re aching to be treated as a normal club. They want to talk about normal things and use normal phrases like “water under the bridge”. For example, after Robinson claimed to have danced around the room he went on to say “But you have to take stock that there’s an awful lot of water to pass under the bridge between now and then.”
Water going under bridges seems to be a running theme with The MK Club Stealers. “Winkelman, the PR obsessed chairman” tells us that “There’s obviously been a lot of history and water under the bridge over the last 10 years” as if the birth of “The MK Club Stealers” was a normal process.
Normal people show contrition, and to give ”Winkelman, the PR obsessed chairman” credit he has shown a bit of PR-led contrition;”Winkelman ‘not proud’ of origin” as the BBC’s website put it.
I bet he wishes that the fans of the “MK Club Stealers” were on message but they celebrate their version of history instead of showing contrition:
We cannot allow these idiots to hoodwink us in to thinking that Sunday’s match is massively massive. Sunday’s match is merely one small part of the war for football’s soul and every match involving The MK Club Stealers is a small part of that war.
The MK Club Stealers are little more than an affront to sporting integrity, they should not exist, it’s as simple as that. By going along with the idea that this is just another normal massive match we normalise the The MK Club Stealers and we cannot allow them to be normalised. Just look at the depth of their fans idiocy; they actively celebrate the demise of their old club like there really was no choice.
This match should not be treated as the massive match that “football” wants to see but it’s illogical to deny there is an edge to it. This match is not the same as any other and feelings are obviously running high on the AFC side, as David Conn tells us.
This leaves a problem, how should AFC Wimbeldon fans treat the match? Someone on the When Saturday Comes message board said that a total boycott would be fantastic as it would leave a massive empty space and a massive empty space would be a very eloquent statement against The MK Club Stealers.
A boycott would have been the best course of action for several reasons; The AFC fans wouldn’t be giving The MK Club Stealers any money, they wouldn’t be part of Winkelman’s PR circus and they would be making a point. If I were an AFC fan I’d definitely boycott the match but sadly my attitude is not universal; Wimbledon’s directors may not accepting hospitality but the Wimbledon Independent Supporters’ Association is not organising a boycott and not every Wimbledon fan is in favour of a boycott, as this AFC fan tells us;
“AFC Wimbledon fans are roughly split 50-50 on the issue of whether to boycott the match. One school of thought suggests that a totally empty away end, with no AFC fan helping to line the purses of Franchise FC, would send out a powerful message. This isn’t going to happen. Too many Wimbledon fans have already declared their intention to attend.
“Even if they weren’t, neutral interest is likely to add to the numbers of people supporting the real Dons at Stadium mk. Another view is that all of our fans should go, with thousands of fans standing up against football franchising, perhaps through a symbolic gesture such as releasing black balloons – as Wimbledon fans did prior to the move to Milton Keynes in 2002 – or turning their backs on the game.
“The problem with this is that for many years, some fans of other teams due to play MK Dons would instead come to the AFC game that day as a show of support and goodwill, so for Wimbledon fans to suddenly all go to MK may look hypocritical.
“I imagine we will end up with something in between: some AFC fans will never set foot inside their stadium, others will go to support our club. The best solution would be for AFC Wimbledon to erect a giant screen at our home ground and invite our fans in to watch the game from there, leaving the option very much open for those who would prefer to go to Milton Keynes.
“Then, if ITV screen the game live, they will show the (hopefully) thousands of Wimbledon fans supporting their club from Wimbledon rather than going to Milton Keynes. This isn’t a traditional football rivalry like that of Arsenal and Spurs or Liverpool and Manchester United. Wimbledon fans would much rather MK Dons didn’t exist.”
The fact there isn’t going to be a boycott is quite sad as a properly organised boycott can work, one happened Germany in 2010 for example. Some might say that a boycott would never work as British fans aren’t “politically minded” but this is not strictly true. FC United have proved that principles have a place in football. They remained true to the founding principles by recently voting against having Sky TV in their clubhouse. While this is a small act it does show that a stand can be taken for what you believe.
A boycott would have been preferable to treating the match as a normal match, or even a hate-filled match. By treating the match as a normal match you normalise a “club’ that should never be normalised. Their foundation should never be viewed as innocuous history, or water under the bridge. There should be no adaptation or acceptance, there should be no ”living in the present” as this MK Club Stealers fan suggests;
“The MK Dons fans did not steal a club. The MK Dons players did not steal a club. The MK Dons staff did not steal a club. Pete Winkleman had a hand in the sanctioned move of a club but he did not steal a club. I, an MK Dons fan and season ticket-holder since 2004, understand why the Wimbledon supporters were upset. I regret that our club came to us the way it did and I admire the achievements of AFC. But I am living in the present.
“At present, MK Dons and Pete Winkleman are doing amazing things for the city of Milton Keynes, and particularly its underprivileged children. MK Dons is a well-run, financially shrewd club playing excellent football designed by an excellent manager. If AFC can recognise and accept these facts, live in the present, and support their club, there is no reason this match could not be a fitting end to a regrettable saga.”
We cannot run away from David Conn’s two opposing view of modern football; community versus ”Never mind the history look at our lovely superstore”. This tension is why The MK Club Stealers must never prevail. Sunday probably won’t prove anything but let’s hope Wimbledon win anyway.
Give llandudnojetset.wordpress.com a visit as it has some other interesting articles on politics in football.