Skip to content

The Dons Derby

No, not that one. The other one…

It’s been a nice week ohne Fuẞball, hasn’t it? No Wednesday morning picking out yet another post-mortem on why we can’t defend.

Or why nobody other than Ali al-Hamadi is remotely capable of finding the net.

Alas, we have a trip to south Yorkshire tomorrow, to face Doncaster Rovers. A team who, like us, got relegated last campaign and are looking to bounce straight back.

You would think that they would be looking at our recent form and start chomping at the bit.

Well, not quite.

They could be us, couldn’t they? Some of what’s been expressed sounds a lot like us this season (and before that).

Maybe it’s illustrating just how difficult teams relegated from L1 find it to bounce back in L2?

With this in mind, it should be a humdinger at the ex-Keepmoat. Lest we forget that in the reverse fixture this season, we threw away a two-goal lead.

Back then, JJ was still getting the team to pass the ball around at the back a million times, before reality struck.

One only wonders what happens tomorrow.

That if it’s on, of course. According to another thread on the Donny forum there’s apparently a pitch inspection earmarked for today.

And if that passes, there’s another two very early on Saturday.

Judging by the Met Office, while it’s not going to get down to -6c it’ll still be cold enough to freeze it all over.

Given their trials and tribulations up north, I wouldn’t be remotely surprised if the home team wants a weekend on the training ground instead…

You could almost be forgiven about thinking the same for ourselves, and whilst our season is effectively over – I’d like us to at least attempt a fist at it.

We’re only two weeks into March, and the season ends on the 8th of May. That’s still a long time.

Still, other things may or may not be happening at AFCW.

Yesterday, Chris Gunter retired from the Welsh squad, although some will suggest he did that already in Qatar.

He seemed popular in Cymru though, so I wonder what reception he’ll get when we go to Newport on Tuesday?

We’re getting a new Starbucks opposite the south stand entrance. Shame it wasn’t the mooted McDonalds or even a Greggs.

I don’t drink there unless there’s not many other options, as I think their cups of tea are overpriced crap, but given it’s £2.50 for a lukewarm Tetley inside the ground, it might appeal after all.

Oh, and a new gym is opening in one of the retail outlets outside the ground. Maybe it will have a retro Sinclair Spectrum with Daley Thompson’s Decathlon on it? With authentic ruined joystick.

Actually, wasn’t there supposed to be the squash club which was at the dog track coming in? I know it had to move out when demolition came, but Covid hit and it seemed to disappear without a trace.

I don’t know whether this is partly Danny Macklin’s handywork, but I do get the feeling he’s had to deal with a lot of cheques previous decision makers wrote before he arrived.

And whilst I rarely if ever get involved with this side of things, somebody elsewhere posted the recent AFCW PLC minutes.

To me, the PLC has always been the de facto most important part of the club, as it’s where the financial bods sit.

Especially as the Dons Trust seems more and more like an overgrown students union.

Leaving aside we appeared to aim for the playoffs at the end of the transfer window, I’d be shocked if cashflow wasn’t strong.

Even now, I’m still amazed (and slightly impressed) at how many people use the bars and other concessions on matchdays.

Mind you, it does highlight how much off-field still needs to be done.

I’ve never been in the Silver Lounge, but if it’s not deemed suitable for matchdays, that’s not a good sign of how well it’s run during the week.

Indeed, it seems that the venue itself isn’t making nearly enough when there’s no games on.

I’ve sometimes wondered if the club itself was ready to move into Plough Lane, and I’m not convinced it was.

We’ve got more space than we ever dreamed of, certainly in comparison to the rabbit hutch that was Kingsmeadow.

Yet we’ve never quite known what to do with it, which might explain my comments about Mackin still dealing with what went before him.

Most importantly, and the reason for me mentioning this, it seems that the club is looking to sell a bit more of the club to investors.

How remains to be seen, but releasing more equity seems the most likely option at this stage.

To be honest we should have been doing this a decade ago. At least.

Mind you, that would have required us to be pro-active. Not to mention how taboo it was back then to even talk about getting more external investors in.

More now than ever, we seem permanently hard up, and I don’t think we need to be.

It isn’t glamourous nor “worthy”. It also feeds into whether people want to go to games, especially if many are sensing we’ll start getting left behind in League Two.

Despite the nice words about how the club will make decent wonga from sweating out the PL facilities, financial reality is finally biting.

Not just cost of living, though that doesn’t help, but even something as unavoidable as player wages.

I’d like to know how much the squad for Wombley cost in comparison to today. I think we might be shocked.

Repaying the Plough Lane Bonds is also something we have to do, as I suspect many will want their investment back.

I believe that many who invested aren’t AFCW fans, and we would be crucified if we reneged on paying them back.

Especially as you can now get instant access accounts that pay more interest than what we offered.

The first PLB was done pre-Covid, when interest rates were shite, but that’s no longer a viable option.

I have to admit, and speaking as somebody who was backing significant external investment long before it became publicly acceptable, it’s ironic.

Why? Well, considering they were bought in to “save fan ownership” as much as getting PL built, they might significantly dilute it after all…

Published inUncategorised