Saturday, 3 September 2011

Bull*******, part two

Returning to the supposedly revelatory interview with ex-Merton councillor Horst Bullinger, which as you'll already be aware is anything but what the Franchise customers proclaim it to be. So far ( we've seen allegations of lying by fellow council candidates and baseless nonsense about local support, but you knew there was worse to come...


 WISA stands for Wimbledon Independent Supporters Association. It was established, like all other supporters associations, to represent the interests of the supporters of Wimbledon Football Club. The biased agenda of the questioner is already clear just from the question - it is deliberately leading in a direction to suggest there was some other motive behind WISA.

"The role of WISA wasn't clear in the beginning. 

I joined them as I understood that they simply wanted to bring Wimbledon FC back to the Borough.  I remember a meeting during which Kris Stewart said that "our mate" Roger Casale, (then Wimbledon MP) will surely help us.  I raised a voice of caution and suggested that everything Roger Casale promised should be taken with a great pinch of salt.

Not much later I met Roger in the street near my home in Raynes Park and he asked me if I really wanted to keep Wimbledon FC in London.  I told him I certainly did, but you could easily see that he would be guided only by the vote winning (or losing) capacity of the issue. This is not a cheap political jibe as I was fully aware that my own party would view things in a similar light."

How was the role of WISA not clear? I can only presume that Mr Bull******* is having an extreme case of memory lapse, because WISA's role could not have been clearer - it fought against the move to Milton Keynes (and Dublin before it) tooth and nail, with every legal means at its disposal, right up until the FA Commission and even after it. The archive ( is peppered with the facts about how WISA campaigned vigorously to keep WFC in south London and back to Wimbledon itself. On 8th May 2002 it couldn't be clearer as to what WISA wanted: "We believe that the FA will be responsive to our calls for a line to be drawn under this sorry affair and confident that the right decision will be forthcoming to ensure that Wimbledon Football Club continues its 113 journey within the heart of its community in South West London."

"WISA's real role became clear soon afterwards when they dived head over heels into the AFC creation. Some of the articles on WISA's website demonstrate what the Council really had in mind for the great old Plough Lane.  It makes me sick to read WISA's statement of thanks to Barratt and the Merton Council."

Soon after what exactly? Soon after an FA Commission decision allowing the move to Milton Keynes, which was legally binding on the FA, the FL and the club? Right up until that decision on 28th May 2002, there is no evidence whatsoever that WISA wanted anything other than for Wimbledon FC to stay in south west London (see link above and other documents in the WISA archive). Bull******* seems terminally confused as to who he's supposed to be talking about here - why bring up the council and Barratt when talking about WISA? Clearly what's being referred to is the naming ceremony ( for flats built on the old Plough Lane. That was in 2008!

What's going on here is total hindsight revisionism by Bull*******. You cannot backtrack from events years later and try to use them to prove intent at an earlier time this way. There is no suggestion at all that WISA was trying to do anything else prior to 28th May 2002 than stop Wimbledon FC from moving to MK. It is only after the FA Commission's decision that things start to change. I'll look another time at all the details of why that day changed everything, but everyone involved at the time recognises that as the day when WFC deserted its fans and Franchise FC was created. Once that decision had been taken, Wimbledon fans, including WISA, were forced to re-evaluate their position and decide what to do for the future.

Whether you attribute it to a failure of memory or some other more insidious reason, Bull******* is simply wrong to accuse WISA of having a hidden agenda and he comes up with absolutely no evidence to back up his claim. It is basically an attempt to smear WISA and its members and it has no basis in fact. Indeed, it is perilously close to defaming those controlling WISA to suggest they had a hidden agenda, when he has no basis at all for doing so.

"Quite a few of my friends including Tory Councillors have become staunch AFC supporters and even my own grandson has joined a talent development group at the AFC. But I hope he graduates to Chelsea or Fulham at some stage."

This is curious bitterness for someone that claims to have been a Wimbledon fan. He's actually saying he'd rather people went to Chelsea or Fulham than a club that strives so hard to represent Wimbledon.

"In my opinion decent Wimbledon FC supporters were fooled into believing the Wimbledon FC follow-on lies dished out by WISA and are now AFC supporters, like one or two of my friends who were hoodwinked by the AFC propaganda.  If they regarded themselves just as a new Wimbledon club I would wish AFC well, but after stealing the WFC history (with Merton Council's blessing!) such support is not forthcoming."

Again Bull******* is perilously close to libel here, without providing a shred of evidence to back up his accusations. Where are these WISA lies? He has not shown there to be a single one. How can anyone steal history? That's a ludicrous suggestion. Is he referring to the honours and patrimony that a 2007 Accord transferred to Merton council? If so, what on earth is this accusation of stealing by AFC Wimbledon about?

Where is the evidence? So far, all we have had from Bull******* in his piece are nothing but bitter opinions, a couple of irelevant anecdotes and a complete absence of any evidence at all for his serious accusations.

Bear in mind, we have been presented with this 'interview' as supposedly first-hand evidence from a Merton councillor as to the real goings on at the time, but we've been given nothing at all that informs or clarifies any of the events. There is simply no evidence here to back up his accusations.

"Please don't think for a moment that I wouldn't be "so vocal" if I I didn't reside abroad. Firstly, I still reside in Wimbledon, (by 'ex womble' I meant 'ex WFC supporter), but spend a fair amount of time abroad. I have no hesitation to put my name to my comments and I was known on the Council for never holding back my very own views, often at the very end of the party line."

Good to know Mr Bull*******, perhaps next time you're in Wimbledon you'd like to come up with any actual facts or evidence to back up your slanderous views.

I'll be back to Bull*******'s piece again, and next time he starts ripping into all Wimbledon fans...

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