BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Football: Teams: Wimbledon  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Teams
Statistics
FA Cup
Eng Prem
Internationals
Champions League
Uefa Cup
Eng Div 1
Eng Div 2
Eng Div 3
Eng Conf
Scot Prem
Scottish Cup
Scot Div 1
Scot Div 2
Scot Div 3
Europe
Africa
League of Wales
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

Tuesday, 28 May, 2002, 18:35 GMT 19:35 UK
Dons get Milton Keynes green light
Wimbledon supporters campaign against the proposed move at a game at Selhurst Park last season
Wimbledon supporters oppose the proposed move

Wimbledon have been given permission to move to Milton Keynes by an independent commission.

A consortium led by Dons chairman Charles Koppel wants to build a 28,000-seat stadium at Denbigh North in Milton Keynes.

The Football League blocked the proposed move twice but Koppel won an appeal to have the matter reconsidered.

An independent commission was then set up by the Football League to re-consider the proposal and began hearing submissions from all sides last Tuesday.

It has now found in favour of Koppel despite fans holding a vigil outside Football Association headquarters in Soho Square all week.

The Wimbledon Independent Supporters Association is fiercely opposed to the move 70 miles from the club's traditional home of Plough Lane in Merton.


I've stood and watched Wimbledon since 1979 and now I don't have a club to support any more
Marc Jones
Supporters' spokesman
Koppel and his consortium argue the club is losing 20,000 a day and that a move is the only way it will survive.

"This decision brings to a close 10 months of uncertainty and will allow the club to achieve an exciting and sustainable future," Koppel said.

"The commission, after a careful examination of the evidence, accepted that the club had no viable future unless it moved to Milton Keynes."

But Wimbledon's supporters were left devastated by the decision.

Marc Jones, spokesman for WISA, said: "It's pretty sickening. I've stood and watched Wimbledon since 1979 and now I don't have a club to support any more.

"I won't be going to Milton Keynes. It has to be the death of our club. If it moves it will mean nothing to us."

The FA was eager to emphasise that the decision was not a license for more clubs to move away from their homes.

A statement read: "The commission has made it clear that their decision is based on exceptional circumstances particular to Wimbledon Football Club.

"They see Wimbledon FC as a one-off. This is not the beginning of a franchise system.


The Football Association sees it as vital for the game to stop these circumstances ever happening again
FA statement
"The Football Association is greatly concerned that this decision should not in any way be seen as a precedent.

"The view of The Football Association is that for clubs to move is not in the best interests of the game.

"However, this is binding on everyone under the Football League rules - there is no appeal.

"This will be no comfort at all to the fans and supporters of Wimbledon.

"The FA's submissions and those of supporter groups had many similarities and the FA shares their disappointment.

"The Football Association sees it as vital for the game to stop these circumstances ever happening again."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Wimbledon chairman Charles Koppel
"We faced the reality of going out of business"
Vice chairman of the Dons' Trust Ivor Heller
"One way or another we'll bring the Dons home"
 VOTE RESULTS
Should Wimbledon move to Milton Keynes?

Yes
 38.60% 

No
 61.40% 

12157 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
Wimbledon are planning to relocate to Milton Keyes

Latest news

Background
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Wimbledon stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Wimbledon stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales