And lo, on the 16th day of the 8th month of the….. that’s enough. Perhaps the most major shock of the blue for, well, can you remember when? Neither can I, but here’s that FL statement in (I guess) full:
‘Following a long and detailed discussion, the Board has concluded that the proposed move by Wimbledon Football Club to Milton Keynes cannot be sanctioned.
‘League rules clearly state that, clubs should play in the conurbation from which they derive their name or are traditionally associated unless given the approval to do otherwise by the board.
‘To allow this move would have created a precedent at odds with the heritage of football in his country.
‘Our football clubs are the heart and soul of their local communities, and that is something that cannot be transferred from place to place.
And here’s the best bit
‘The Football League will now actively encourage Wimbledon Football Club to work in partnership with their supporters and with Merton Borough Council to find a long-term solution to their homelessness.’
Excellent – looks like all that supporter representation has paid off. I have to admit, the timing came as an utter surprise – we were led to believe that it would take up to 9 months, that everything would be considered thoroughly. Needless to say, the fact that this has been rejected “unanimously” could mean anything – whether it really WAS going to be decided today, or whether just too much grief has happened within the last 14 days is anyone’s guess. Personally, I suspect the latter. After all, how would YOU feel if you got 1000+ phonecalls a day (or so I’m told) about a certain situation. To be honest, I had heard stories from as early as Monday that the FL (or was it FA?) had rejected it, but it’s very easy and sensible to be cynical.
As for WFC, they’re going to make a statement tomorrow (Friday morning) which I’m sure will be a rather meek “We are disappointed at such a move but we will consult our fanbase” type thing. Frankly, those at WFC who were pro-MK are fucked. Koppout certainly is – his position has surely become untenable. It appears that he was the major mover in MK, so I find it almost impossible to believe that he can stay now. Unless of course he tries the legal assault, which knowing him is very possible. That will fuck him up – I doubt in all sincerity if he has a legit case. Don’t believe me? OK then, WFC are a member of an organisation, namely the football league. What tends to happen is that if you join this organisation, you do have to abide by their rules. And as the FL state, their rules state the 25-mile radius. Of course, if THAT is on “legally suspect” ground then I’m sure the known lack of interest by WFC on other, more local, sites, are going to be taken apart in court.
Speaking of other, more local, sites, Merton have sent out letters to 30 councils around the SW19-M25 Corridor asking whether they’d dig a club like us on their doorstep. Tie this into the bolded out comments above from the FL and I guess we can all sleep easier tonite….