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Monday 23 March 2009
From the Welling programme

After each home game we publish articles from the programme that provide news or information about the club and Trust and which haven't previously appeared on this site.

This linked feature updates fans on the publication of recommendations arising from the strategy review, an explanation of the action we have taken re AFC Wimbledon Girls, and the result of the ground grading review.

The content may vary slightly from the programme as the original article is subject to sub-editing and may have been, for example, shortened slightly to fit the page.

Good afternoon and welcome to the fans, players and officials of Welling United.

Itís ages since I talked about the project to look at our strategy and some key decisions about the future direction of the club. We were overtaken by day-to-day matters and it slipped down the list of things that had to be done. But strategic decisions set the context in which we make our day-to-day decisions so, recently, the Dons Trust board returned to the subject. Today the board publishes its recommendations about where we should be going and what we need to do to get there.

There will be a range of reactions, from people who think itís all common sense, so why donít we just get on with it, to strong disagreement with some proposals. In the end, the purpose is to get these matters discussed and finalised so that, in future, we can take actions confident that the members have approved the underlying principles. If you arenít a member of the DT you wonít be able to vote on these matters but we still want to hear what you think. (Why not join the DT, so that next time you do get a vote?)

Next week the DT board will publish a document setting out the thinking behind the recommendations. The summary and the backing paper will also be sent to all DT members as part of the notice of a special general meeting on 23 April where the recommendations will be discussed and voted upon. If youíd like a copy of the paper, please contact the clubís office. This is a chance to get involved and have your say about matters that are fundamental to our future, so please donít pass up that opportunity.

You can find the recommendations and an introductory article on pages x Ė y.

Changing the subject, last week we published a statement about AFC Wimbledon Girls on our web site. In it we said, in slightly more formal language, that after over six months of discussions and email exchanges we had totally lost patience with their management and have withdrawn permission for them to use the name ĎAFC Wimbledoní. The reason is simple Ė they want to be an autonomous group, while having the benefit of using our name when recruiting girls to play for them. Incidentally, the withdrawal of permission starts after the end of the season, as we didnít want the girls to suffer as a result of their managementís decisions.

We made a number of proposals which would have allowed them a large degree of autonomy, so long as they accepted that, ultimately, they are part of the wider Dons Trust organisation. We also wanted to centralise the finances, as we already do for the equivalent boysí teams, although we gave a written undertaken that the money collected would only be spent on the girlsí teams.

We will start new teams in our name, while welcoming any of the old ones which want to come back. The others canít use our name any more and weíve made it clear that we will take whatever action is needed to stop them using our name, or any similar name. This outcome is a great pity but we made it clear from the beginning that if you use the clubís name you must be accountable to us, so I really canít understand what on earth made them propose the exact opposite, six months later.

Finally, on a happier note, we had a ground grading visit this week to confirm that we had taken the necessary steps to comply with the requirements for playing in the Blue Square South. Iím pleased to say that we passed and that we are, therefore, now safe from relegation!

Enjoy the game.