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  Dons Trust - Structure

This is a description of what the DT Board currently does and what is done by its subsidiaries and the operational activities that are directly supervised by the DTB. It does not deal with support activities such as secretarial; communications; legal and constitutional; membership; volunteers; finance, etc.

What does the DTB do?
Sets and/or agrees strategy. For example, the DTB has:
  • Published its strategic aims and is now committed to reporting progress on achieving those aims to members

    • At its first meeting in 2007, the Board decided to adopt the general approach and working patterns piloted in the second half of 2006 under the Strategic Review and Oversight Board (SROB). In practical terms, what this means is that throughout 2007 and since the Boards of the DTB and AFCW PLC have worked together very closely in order to give the Trust and Club unified, strategic leadership and direction, with a clear line of accountability running from the three Club Directors up to the full elected DTB which is, in turn, accountable to the membership as a whole.

    • The DTB has deliberately kept itself at arms length from the day-to-day operations and management of the Club which have been left in the hands of the three Directors of AFC Wimbledon Ltd - Erik Samuelson (Chief Executive), Ivor Heller (Commercial Director) and Nigel Higgs (Youth and Community Director). The three Directors (all of whom are simultaneously elected members of the DTB) are accountable to the Board as a whole and they come to it for approval of strategic policy developments (eg response to developments at the Greyhound Stadium and Morden Park) and/or major financial commitments (eg maintaining the Kingsmeadow planning permissions, agreeing our negotiating position on the perimeter lease and drawing down sums from the 600k Barclays Bank credit facility).

    • Typically, the agenda of the monthly DTB meeting comprises major issues of the kind just itemised as well as issues that are of continuing strategic importance to the Trust (eg membership levels, fundraising, and member participation) and the Club (eg the stadium, training facilities, the youth and ladies teams) and receiving, discussing and questioning the regular reports and accounts from Erik, Ivor and Nigel.

    • Where does football fit into this? In their formal sessions, the fans who make up the Board stick to a self-denying ordinance that all footballing matters are channelled through the Chief Executive so that the first team Manager has a clear and uncluttered line of communication with the Club management.

    • Rather than indulge in general footballing discussion, the Board confines itself to strategic matters, key ones in 2007 being the size and availability of the playing budget and the endorsement of the process adopted for selecting and appointing a new first team manager.

  • Runs its own administration, including:
    • Organising and holding elections
    • Encouraging participatin and membership across teh supporter base
    • Communicating its activities to the membership (and wider)
    • Secretarial matters, including board minutes, legal interpretations, etc.

The DTB has traditionally met on the second Monday of each month for about 3 hours but, in that time, it has not been able to address all the matters that need attention and so in 2004 there were about 6 additional meetings, including preparing for SGMs.

What is the structure of the Dons Trust ?Group??

What do the subsidiaries do?


The PLC was created as the company in which shares would be offered for sale. At 1 February 2005, it had about 2,000 shareholders of whom fewer than half (864) were also DT members.

Its board comprises the 3 executive directors Ivor Heller Erik Samuelson (who are also directors of AFC Wimbledon Limited and AFCW Stadium Limited) and Nigel Higgs (who is also a director of AFC Wimbledon Limited) plus the following non-executive directors:
  • The chair of the DT board David Cox, who was elected by the DT board in 2005.

  • Two members of the DT board, Matthew Breech and Iain McNay.

  • One "external" director, whose role is to protect the interests of the PLC shareholders, especially those who are not DT members, and to give expert views on football matters (Ian Cooke)

  • Following the governance review in 2006, the PLC board meets irregularly and as required. It receives reports on key areas of the business and detailed quarterly financial reports. It reviews progress against plans, its non-execs are responsible for appraising the chief executive, and it offers advice and guidance on business decisions.

    To download the "Roles and responsibilities of AFCW plc" as a PDF file click here (48kb)

    To download the "Roles of the Dons Trust-appointed plc non-executive board members" as a PDF file click here (40kb)

    To download the "Roles of the non-executive directors" as a PDF file click here (44kb)

    Adobe Acrobat 4.0 or higher version is need to view these .pdf documents. Download the latest version here.

    AFCW PLC owns 100% of AFC Wimbledon Limited and AFCW Stadium Limited.

    AFC Wimbledon Limited

    This company is basically the day-to-day operating company and includes the football club, the bar, merchandise, functions, youth and community etc. The directors are Ivor Heller, Erik Samuelson and Nigel Higgs and the secretary is David Charles. The management committee meets about 3 weeks out of 4. Its formal board meetings are mainly to carry out business that requires a board minute or for events such as its agm.

    The directors prepare an annual budget and plan (which incorporates the relatively minor activities of the PLC and AFCW Stadium) and monitor their progress against this plan. This is then reported to the PLC board as explained above.

    The directors have laid-down limits on cheque-signing and spending on capital expenditure outside the agreed budget. Variances from these limits require approval by the PLC board.

    AFCW Stadium Limited

    This company owns the stadium and owes the debt for that stadium. Its only income is from AFC Wimbledon Limited for the use of the stadium (the football club doesn?t own the lease, so there is a league requirement that it should have a legal agreement setting out its right to play at Kingsmeadow) and also Kingstonian Football Club for its use of the stadium.

    Issues affecting AFCW Stadium are dealt with at the AFC Wimbledon Limited management meetings and its board meets formally only for events such as its agm.

    AFC Wimbledon Ladies Limited

    This company is about to be formed as a means whereby the DT can take ownership of the Ladies? football teams.