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Stadium backer Pete Winkelman
"The stadium in Milton Keynes is not just a possibility but a probability"
 real 14k

Wimbledon manager Terry Burton
"It's a positive move for the club"
 real 14k

Mark Jones - Wimbledon Independent Supporters Assoc.
"Other possibilites need to be ruled out"
 real 14k

Former Dons Chairman Ron Noades
"I looked at Milton Keynes in the 70's"
 real 14k

Former Don and Wycombe manager Lawrie Sanchez
"They need something to start them off again"
 real 14k

BBC News' Nick London
reports on the plans
 real 56k

Thursday, 4 January, 2001, 16:17 GMT
Dons weigh up Milton Keynes move
Selhurst Park
Wimbledon share Selhurst Park with Crystal Palace
Wimbledon Football Club has confirmed it is considering a move to a new 50m stadium in Milton Keynes.

It would bring to an end the Dons' 10-year search for a permanent home.

The club has confirmed it is considering a 55-acre site in the Milton Keynes district of North Denbigh.

The proposals include a 45,000-seat ground, hotel and offices.

In a statement the Division One club said: "In response to media speculation surrounding the relocation of Wimbledon Football Club, it is a well documented fact that the club has for some time been actively seeking an appropriate location to develop a new stadium.

"In this regard, the club are evaluating various opportunities and that in the event any of those opportunities should appear to be appropriate for the club then a statement will be made."


We have looked for alternatives in the south London area but it has been hard to come up with any that are viable
  Dons chairman Bjorn Gjelsten

Wimbledon have been lodgers at Crystal Palace's Selhurst Park ground since 1991 when they were forced to move from Plough Lane in the London Borough of Merton.

Frustration at the difficulty of finding a site in London has led to the club considering moves as far afield as Basingstoke, Gatwick, Cardiff and even Dublin.

Norwegian chairman Bjorn Gjelsten told the Evening Standard that Milton Keynes is now the most realistic option.

"We have looked for alternatives in the south London area but it has been hard to come up with any that are viable," he is quoted as saying.

"That leaves us trying to make the best of Selhurst Park or moving and I don't think the future of the club lies in being a tenant. It is very limited.

"But there is still homework to be done on Milton Keynes and it is not a done deal."

Music man

The man behind the Milton Keynes scheme is local music promoter Pete Winkelman.

"The stadium in Milton Keynes is not just a possibility it is a probability," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

Mr Winkelman revealed he had opened talks with several other clubs including Luton Town, Barnet and Crystal Palace but that Wimbledon were his most favoured candidates.

"We have to aim as high as possible - the plans are for a 45,000 seater stadium so Premiership ambition is absolutely the name of the game."

Fans fury

It is understood that the proposal has not yet been discussed by the Wimbledon board and it is likely to face opposition from many fans.

Kris Stewart, chair of the Wimbledon Independent Supporters Association, said: "This proposal is unacceptable to us.

"We are a south-west London club and belong in Merton not 50 miles away in Milton Keynes.

"If you take the club away from south London it will not be Wimbledon. It will be the end of Wimbledon FC."

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