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Friday, 10 August, 2001, 04:08 GMT 05:08 UK
League warns Dons over move
Wimbledon's temporary home at Selhurst Park
Selhurt Park: Wimbledon's temporary home
Football League chief David Burns has warned Wimbledon their proposed move to Milton Keynes is by no means a "foregone conclusion".

The Dons announced plans last week to switch from their ground-share at Selhurst Park to a new stadium in the Buckinghamshire new town for the start of the 2003/2004 season.

But supporters are angrily opposed to the plans.

Many fans favour a return to the club's original home in the London Borough of Merton after being forced to leave Plough Lane in 1991.

And Burns told BBC Five Live the possibility of a move back to Merton would be investigated thoroughly before any decision could be made on the club's future.

It is something to be looked at extremely carefully
Football League chief executive David Burns

He said: "The general principles of the Football League have always applied - and there is no reason to depart from those except in exceptional circumstances - that a club should play its football in its natural home.

"Wimbledon have moved from their natural home and one of the things that we in the League will do - and I have already written to the council - is to find out why they cannot go back to their natural home.

"It has to be one of the things to be considered and all those who cynically seem to think this is a foregone conclusion - it is not by any stretch.

"It is something to be looked at extremely carefully, because were it to be permitted it does establish some sort of precedent.

"That would then open up an opportunity by some people to perhaps damage the very fabric of the game and I think we have to be very, very cautious about changing things like that."

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