Hammam's other 'crime' was selling Wimbledon FC on to two Norwegians in 1997, having sold them on the idea that the club could be moved to a more lucrative venue - Dublin. (http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/football-league/david-conn-wimbledon-still-paying-for-hammams-dreams-651536.html)
Hammam exited the stage in 2000 and went on to cause more chaos at Cardiff City. His legacy is as the prime enabler in the destruction of Wimbledon FC, through the covenant removal and the implanting of the idea of a move to a different town/city. As guilty as he is of creating the circumstances that others exploited, he had no involvement in the Milton Keynes move. (Although ironically he was previously involved with MK City, along with Ron Noades in the late 1970s. Maybe that's why he didn't consider MK as an option.)
Mere words simply cannot express how despised this man is by Wimbledon fans for his actions. I could write another entire blog detailing solely the outrages perpetrated by Koppel in his quest to push through the franchising of the club to Milton Keynes. He lied to us, he campaigned against us, he betrayed both Wimbledon fans and the community, all in the name of trying to make money out of franchising the football team to another town. Koppel was the hatchet man, the ugly face of greed that looked to exploit Wimbledon's football club. That ultimately he failed to profit either personally or on behalf of the Norwegian owners who brought him in, is only of some small comfort. If it hadn't been Koppel though, it might well have been someone just as bad brought in by the owners and then subsequently exploited by Pete Winkelman.
Current involvement: None known of with either Wimbledon or Franchise, although there were hearsay reports of him sniffing around Franchise several years ago. He and fellow ex-Wimbledon FC director Matthias Hauger are now directors of Samco Gold, whose "principal business is the acquisition, exploration and development of precious metals resource properties in Argentina." (http://www.samcogold.com/Management/Directors) So, football men through and through then! Still looking to make pots of cash though, obviously. No mention of 'hatchet man deployed to kill a football club' though.
Kjell Inge Røkke and Bjørn Rune Gjelsten
Despite the fact that they did build a stadium for their home town club Molde in Norway, there is not a shred of evidence that they ever seriously tried to find a location for and build a stadium in Wimbledon or anywhere else in south London. Every single claimed effort by Koppel simply does not stand up to examination, it was all PR and spin without any substance whatsoever. (I'll detail this in another post sometime.) Particularly with hindsight, their ownership is one of the most blatantly opportunistic and appalling pieces of dealing ever, and it has heralded more owners at the top of the game who use football clubs as bargaining chips in property deals and other financial wheeler-dealing. The fact that they were allowed to get away with the franchising of a football team may not have resulted in more teams moving towns, but the message that businessmen could do just about whatever they liked with a football team as long as they had enough cash and power to wield it, was received clearly by many and has resulted in a catalogue of other clubs being affected. Maybe that's where the game was headed anyway, but what happened with Wimbledon FC was clearly a contributory factor.
We can never know exactly how early or detailed the plans were between the Norwegians and Koppel - they were far too careful and intelligent for that ever to come to light - but there is no doubt whatsoever that from the moment Winkelman hove into view with his scheme in Milton Keynes, they never had any other intention than pursuing it and in so doing killing Wimbledon FC.
Current involvement: None known of with either Wimbledon or Franchise. Although Kjell Inge Røkke has a conviction for corruption and has served jail time for it. http://www.webcitation.org/5fPBIa15Q Clearly not the sort of person you want owning your football club. A shame his conviction came too late to stop him failing the fit and proper person test, although I have no faith in the test that he would fail it even now.
London Borough of Merton council
The Football Association
The Football League
Raj Parker and Steve Stride
To read the Commission report now is like reading an absurd work of fiction. It makes so many ridiculous statements, including impractical recommendations that were never going to be met. It was discredited from the moment it appeared, by journalists, fans and even the FA Chairman himself who described its verdict as "appalling". http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/w/wimbledon/2209767.stm Parker and Stride are guilty of giving the final permission for the move, but such power should never have been placed in the hands of two men who were in no position and clearly did not have the ability to responsibly wield that power.
Current involvement: Parker is still a lawyer at Freshfields http://www.freshfields.com/people/profile/11/2468 and Stride has retired and written a book. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Stride
Other Wimbledon residents
Milton Keynes council
MK council hasn't received nearly the opprobrium it should have over this entire affair. While Merton is blamed by some, MK council has escaped the wrath of all but a few. Yet they encouraged Winkelman's scheme, insisted on the FL team, gave the land for nothing and were involved in the negotiations, all so that Asda/Walmart would pay for MK to have a stadium. Should be held far more accountable than they so far have been.
Other Milton Keynes residents
Winkelman's guilt is established beyond a shadow of a doubt to all except the most blind of Franchise customers who claim he 'saved' Wimbledon FC. The fact that nothing of Wimbledon FC was saved in MK seems to escape their notice. I'll return to Winkelman's actions in this blog again and again, because while he remains in charge at Franchise, we still have one of the biggest villains of the piece at the dark heart of the matter.
So there you have it. There are many minor players within the grand scheme of things, but it would take several books on the subject to list them all. So the next time someone says, 'But what about...', you know where to send them for a list of those to blame and those who have been wrongly blamed.