I always remember back to Wimbledon and their rough playing style (the Crazy Gang). Wimbledon as a team was filled with sometimes misfits and out of character players. However, they did entertain and showed courage on the pitch. That is why the Wimbledon team was respected and deserved credit for what it did.
However, at some point the team fell apart. It also got relegated and got new owners. That really relocated the team and its facilities. This cause furore and fury among the loyal supporters. Wimbledon deserved much better. The owners went ahead and relocated it. Nevertheless, the supporters started from scratch and built up a new team.
MK Dons – The Owners Club:
“MK Dons, formed in 2004 from the ashes of Wimbledon FC, began playing their football at the National Hockey Stadium under the guidance of Stuart Murdoch, but poor results would lead to his dismissal in November of the same year and the appointment of Danny Wilson in his place. The experienced Wilson was in charge during the Dons’ most turbulent spell as a Club, escaping relegation from League One on the final day of the season thanks to Gareth Edds’ 84th minute winner against Tranmere Rovers.” (MK Dons – History).
AFC Wimbledon – The Supporter Club:
“It was preserving that glorious past that drove followers of the club to start again in the summer of 2002 after a specially appointed three-man FA commission shocked football fans everywhere by allowing the old Wimbledon FC to relocate to a Buckinghamshire new town. Determined not to let a proud 104-year history die, Dons supporters organised themselves and within just six weeks AFC Wimbledon – a club the commission had declared would be “not in the wider interests of football” – was born” (AFC Wimbledon – About Us).
This here is a cautionary tale, as well as one that has to inspire, as AFC Wimbledon is the game ahead and what the supporters needs to do. Yes, the owners can have the stadiums, the licenced names and jerseys. They can have the logos and even the grounds where the proud history of the clubs was made. However, the owners doesn’t own the supporters or the fans. They are the reason why the clubs are profitable and big business. These are the ones spending and making football viable as an investment.
Therefore, now that the Super League becomes a thing. The fans of the Big Six in the United Kingdom better learn from AFC Wimbledon. If they want to take care of the rich history and what matters. They better start their own clubs and forget the old ones. They are like the MK Dons. The clubs of the owners like Glazers, Levy and Henry. These people are in it for business and profits. Those fellows isn’t in it for the love of the game, but to earn quick bucks. That is why they are invested and interested in a Super League where they control and secure the bag.
That is why the supporters, fans and everyone who loves the sport. Have to start a fresh. They got to do like the Wimbledon fans had too. They had to stand strong and united, be courageous and not take the bollocks from the owners. They have to start new clubs in their stead. The supporter unions and organizations have to organize together in a manner where the they all can participate and create new clubs. Clubs which will represent the supporters and be “theirs”. Not be money-making machines for rich investors or hedge-funds.
Supporters have to stay grounded and think for the long run. Because this Super League is only envisioned as a cash-grab for a selected group of owners who has no care in the world in the spirit or the ideals of the competitions. They want a huge profit quickly and earn fortunes on the hard work and dedications of supporters for decades before they arrived to the clubs. These individuals want to take the heritage and the history of these clubs to get a few more shillings. That is what they do and leave behind a lot of national leagues, cups and European competitions without their presence. All been done for a creation of a money-ball situation. That’s it. The rich historic clubs traded on the alter of crony capitalism. That is tragic and therefore, the supporters have to challenge this. Just like the great supporters of Wimbledon who lost their home, their club, but they started their own with AFC Wimbledon, because the owners traded it away with the MK Dons.
Now, the big clubs are trading away their histories and their collective place for a shot at this Super League. In their stead the supporters have to create new teams in Milan, London, Manchester and elsewhere. To show the owners that they got nothing without the supporters and in the end… the souring profits will stop when they don’t have the ratings, the licences, the merchandise and gift selling. They only have empty stadiums and TV-deals, which the supports might boycott. That will be the tragic end. That is if the supporters are willing to risk their clubs, which have already been traded and taken for granted by a few greedy owners. Peace.