Thursday 26 June 2003
The Fans' Stadium
AT 11am today a press conference was held at Kingsmeadow to announce the exchange of contracts for the stadium and to launch the campaign to raise the necessary funds, including a public offer for shares in AFCW PLC.
We also presented the concept of The Fans' Stadium, a home not just for Kingstonian FC and AFC Wimbledon but also a place that all football fans can be part of.
For more information visit the website www.thefansstadium.org.
Thursday 26 June 2003
Jo Jo have a go!
WITH the squad back in training and supporters keen to find out if there will be any new faces at Kingsmeadow this season there was a familiar face at Terry Eames' second session after the summer break. Former player Roger Joseph is keen to impress and grab a place in the starting line-up.
Roger's career with the Dons ran from August 1988 until May 1996 seeing him record 189 starts in both league and cup matches.
We caught up with Roger at training to pose him a few questions...
Q: Where did you end up playing after WFC?
A: I played for Chelsea reserves (but there was no chance of first team action with Gullit in charge), WBA (Ray Harford was boss) and then Leyton Orient.
Q: How is Francis these days? (Roger's brother and former Wimbledon Player of the Year).
A: Francis is still coach at Wealdstone.
Q: What made you want to lace up the boots again?
A: I never wanted hang my boots up but a badly torn calf muscle forced me to quit professional football.
Q: Do you think it will be a hard job to get a start at AFCW?
A: I'm not sure, a lot depends on Terry Eames opinion of me and also the other new players. I am still quite fit as I think I showed during the running where I was in the main pack all the way. I also kept up with Coops during the sprints!
Q: What have you made of the club on the occasions you have visited?
A: A friend (and AFC Wimbledon fan) Mike Harris got me down for the Chipstead game and I have been to six games since. I think AFCW has some very good players and have a very professional set up for a non league club. I am very impressed.
Q: How many years do you think you have left?
A: Not sure... how long is a piece of string?!
Wednesday 25 June 2003
Signed at last!
AFCW Stadium Ltd today finally exchanged contracts on Kingsmeadow.
Although it has taken just over three weeks longer than we hoped, we finally have an agreement which provides a great deal for AFC Wimbledon without jeopardising our financial future.
Further details will be released on Thursday this week, when we launch the major fundraising campaign which has been planned by TBWA and Cohn & Wolfe over recent months.
On Thursday evening, we are holding a "make a stand" party, where all AFC Wimbledon supporters, Dons Trust members and all of our friends can celebrate having control of our own stadium at long last.
Come on down to Kingsmeadow anytime from 7 PM and make sure you bring plenty of cash.
Monday 23 June 2003
Premier Challenge Cup draw
AFC Wimbledon have been drawn away to Merstham in the 1st round of the Premier Challenge Cup. The winners will face Walton Casuals at home. No dates have been decided yet for these matches.
AFC Wimbledon will also face new opponents next season in Horley Town who were elected to play in the Seagrave Haulage Premier next season.
Saturday 21 June 2003
Ginge to miss start of season
MIDFIELD player Gareth Graham has undergone an operation on his right knee which will mean he will miss the start of the season and could take a number of months to regain his fitness.
Gareth suffered an anterior cruciate ligament disruption on the last game of last season against Raynes Park Vale. It showed up whilst Gareth was on a coaching course and his knee was painful and kept giving way. He underwent an ACL reconstruction which revealed the damage was not as bad as first feared.
Manager Terry Eames is disappointed that he has lost a valuable player but said:
"I am more disappointed for Gareth. He is a class player who is, and remains, an important part of our club's future."
John Harris, the club's sports therapist said that Gareth will be given physiotherapy at the hospital for the next week or so, before he takes over Gareth's rehabilitation. When Gareth gets back to full fitness and can function properly, Paul Braham will work on his strength training before the coaching staff get him back to playing.
John pointed out that this injury was not the result of the injury Gareth suffered to the same knee on his debut against Westfield:
"That had cleared up completely. The arthroscopy showed that the ACL damage was more recent."
Saturday 21 June 2003
History repeating itself?
AFC Wimbledon and Malden Wanderers Cricket Club are looking to roll back the years when they meet for a 25 over cricket match on Sunday 29th June at Malden Wanderers' ground in Cambridge Avenue, New Malden at 2.00pm.
Mickey Stewart and Graham Roope will be there and may even take part in the match. Both England cricket Internationals, they also represented Malden Wanderers CC and Wimbledon FC during their careers. Phil Driver and Steve Ketteridge, former Wimbledon FC players and now keen cricketers, are also planning to be there. The match will revive the challenge matches held some years ago between the two clubs.
AFC Wimbledon players are keen to demonstrate their prowess with the willow and you can be assured that the team will feature many of the stars from this first historic and very successful season. Manager Terry Eames is set to lead the team in what is expect to be a fun-filled afternoon.
There will be plenty to eat and drink and there will be sideshows for the youngsters, run by the Junior Dons. Admission is £5 for adults but kids will be admitted free.
All profits will be split equally between the two clubs ? Malden Wanderers are planning to develop their pavilion whereas AFC Wimbledon are in the process of purchasing Kingsmeadow football ground.
Saturday 21 June 2003
Update on Kingsmeadow purchase and share issue
FOR the last few weeks, we have been in detailed negotiations over the purchase of Kingsmeadow. There have been several "sticking points" that have been extremely hard to overcome and have absorbed enormous amounts of time seeking a resolution.
In a meeting that ended at midnight on Friday night, we reached agreement with Mr Khosla about all of these matters and we now believe that there are only minor issues to resolve. However, the deal is not yet finalised, as both sides need to go through the small print before we can sign, hopefully on Monday or Tuesday.
We realise that there is a danger that something may yet arise that frustrates the deal but we also wanted to keep members and fans informed about the situation. Therefore, please note that there is no cause for celebration yet.
Nonetheless, given the need to maintain momentum, we have called a press conference for next Thursday to announce the deal and launch the share issue through which we aim to fund it. More details will follow as soon as the contract is signed.
With the signing of the deal a matter of days away, the board of The Dons Trust has been making the final arrangements for the management of the football club and stadium, once the stadium has been acquired and the share issue launched.
As discussed at the recent open meeting of the Finance Working Group, as well as at the Special General Meeting last week, AFC Wimbledon and the new stadium will each be held in a separate company. Each of these companies will be 100% owned by a new entity, AFCW plc, in which shares will be offered for sale to the public. This new company will continue to be controlled by The Dons Trust, thereby guaranteeing the security of the club and the stadium, and the share issue has been designed to ensure that this will not change.
AFCW plc will have a board of directors made up as follows:
Kris Stewart - Chief Executive
Ivor Heller - Commercial Director
Erik Samuelson - Finance Director
Tom Adam - non-executive Dons Trust Board representative
Nigel Higgs - non-executive Dons Trust Board representative
There will also be two independent non-executive directors, and suitable candidates to fill these two positions are now being sought. The Dons Trust intends that one position will be filled by someone with extensive football experience, and the other by someone with experience of the issues involved in managing a public company of this size. This second person will chair the board of AFCW plc.
The stadium will be managed by the board of AFC Wimbledon - Kris Stewart, Ivor Heller and Erik Samuelson. Although matchday operations (stewarding, turnstiles, cash management, etc) are clearly an important part of the football club and stadium activities, the board of The Dons Trust has decided that it is not necessary to have a board-level director responsible for this area. These activities run relatively smoothly on matchdays due to the work put in by Lou Carton-Kelly and others in our first season to set up the procedures we currently use.
Lou, as Chair of The Dons Trust, will continue to play an important role at AFC Wimbledon matches, representing the Trust. Having been elected to the board of Supporters Direct, Lou will have a leading role in developing supporters' trusts around the country as well as her work for The Dons Trust.
The board of The Dons Trust has appointed Kris Stewart, Chairman of AFC Wimbledon, as Chief Executive with immediate effect on a one-year contract, at a salary of £27,500. This role recognises that the move from being a football club to running all the related activities cannot continue to be done on a voluntary basis. The appointment also acknowledges Kris's achievements in getting us to where we are from a standing start, only just over a year ago. Details of the duties and responsibilities attached to this position, as well as the objectives by which his performance will be measured at the end of this contract, will be circulated to members as soon as possible. All the other directors named above will work on a voluntary basis and receive no remuneration.
As mentioned above, we expect to finalise the deal to buy the leasehold interest at Kingsmeadow within the next few days. Please keep an eye out on this website for news of our first public event at Kingsmeadow, which we hope to be on Thursday evening, after the press launch of the share issue, where we will celebrate owning our own stadium at last.
Friday 20 June 2003
Pre-season fixture added to build-up
A further date for your diary has been announced with the Dons due to face Dulwich Hamlet at their Champion Hill ground on Wednesday 30th July. The match, which will kick-off at 7:45pm, is a repeat of the fixture last season which saw a fledgling Dons' side go down 1-0.
Wednesday 11 June 2003
THIS is AFC Wimbledon's full pre-season schedule, this includes two reserve team friendlies. Please note the revised dates for some games.
Wednesday 16th July
Saturday 19th July
Dorchester Town , away
Monday 21st July
Hampton & Richmond Borough, away
Wednesday 23rd July
Saturday 26 July
Watford, Kingsmeadow - in aid of the Milly Dowler fund
Tuesday 29th July
Carshalton Athletic, away - Neil Robson Testimonial
Saturday 2 August
Newport County, away
Tuesday 5 August
Luton Town, Kingsmeadow
Saturday 9 August
Sutton United, away
Wednesday 13 August
The above matches will include players from the full AFC Wimbledon Squad.
Saturday 19th July
Saturday 2 August
Wednesday 04 June 2003
Last call for commercial shoot
THANK you to all those who turned up for the casting on Saturday.
If you have not been called by the film company and given a specific time we like to invite you all to Kingsmeadow at 3pm. Please wear your AFC Wimbledon tops and bring along any scarves etc. you may have.
We would also be grateful for any other available supporters aged 18 years to 100 years to show up and take part in the filming of our fund raising commercial.
Please called Paul Loram at Radicalmedia on 020 7432 6804 or Julian Fennell on 020 7432 6835 ASAP and let us know your name and mobile number. We need up to 100 supporters dressed in your AFC Wimbledon shirts, waving your scarves.
Wednesday 04 June 2003
Dons Trust SGM
DON'T forget the Special General Meeting to be held tomorrow, Thursday 05 June 2003, at Wimbledon Community Centre. The meeting starts at 7.30pm and is expected to be a short one.
At this meeting we will be discussing changes to the Dons Trust constitution which are needed to enable us to launch the stadium fundraising campaign which we have outlined to members. To make these changes we must have a good turnout and a strong vote in favour of the changes, as per our rules.
Although this meeting might not be as "sexy" as some we have and will hold, it is very important to the future of the Trust and of AFC Wimbledon.
If you have not lodged a proxy form in respect of this meeting, to allow someone else to vote on your behalf, please make every effort to attend.
Monday 02 June 2003
Kingsmeadow deal near completion
AS you are aware we were hoping to be able to take control of the stadium, and the income from it, from Sunday 01 June 2003. However, we are still finalising all the details which is taking slightly longer than expected and as such are now aiming to sign the deal later this week.
Watch this space for details of when we do take over, and how we are going to celebrate when it happens.