Saturday, 10 September 2011
No one cares? Guess again
Franchise customers are very fond of pretending that no one else cares about the franchising of Wimbledon's League place and that they are now universally accepted and welcomed around the country. This is not true. Naturally enough, the passing of time mellows some opinions, but the reality is far from what the customers want people to believe.
What there is, is a widespread acceptance amongst fans of other clubs that it's not the fault of the customers currently handing their cash over to Winkelman. This is understandable enough - the customers are, at worst, guilty of rewarding Winkelman for his disgraceful actions in attempting to lure a number of football clubs to MK and succeeding with Wimbledon FC. Still nothing to be proud of, but many of them have no shame when it comes to something like that, they put their own self-interest first. And it would be the same in any town, there are always those prepared to put their own selfish interests ahead of any notion of common good. I have nothing against Milton Keynes as a town, it's the customers that prop up Franchise and, more importantly, insist on spreading a complete pack of lies across the internet and, presumably, in person, that I object to.
So, what of this supposed acceptance they keep claiming? They make much of individual other fans not giving them a hard time at face to face meetings, but this is a nonsense. Most football fans go to watch their team play and to have a good day out. The last thing they are looking for is to have a row with some Franchise customer. Those that do care deeply about the whole business are highly unlikely to seek out a customer just to have a row - that's the behaviour of someone looking for trouble and most normal people simply don't do that. Those people that care are far more likely to give Franchise customers a wide berth and want nothing to do with them.
So let's look at a few forum threads and other sources to see how the customers' 'acceptance' notion stacks up. None of these will be meaningful taken on their own, but they weren't hard to find and they build up to make a bigger picture...
The comments at the end of this Guardian article do not suggest acceptance is as widespread as they'd like (and I didn't weigh in until late on remember):
When Saturday Comes still excludes Franchise FC from its season review and this piece from late last year also generated plenty of vociferous resonse:
Recent opponents Carlisle had a bit of a ding-dong on a forum about their returning hero John Gorman. Note the usual lies being repeated about Wimbledon FC being guaranteed to go bust and, of course, a Franchise customer pleading on behalf of 'the children' and spreading the usual crap about them being lied about:
Stevenage not exactly showing the love:
This one went on a bit:
Today's Franchise opponents Sheffield Wednesday managing not to forget, or forgive in some cases, either:
And these were easy to find just this morning - there is masses more material out there, and it's not ancient stuff either, the hate at the franchising of a football team is still strong out there. (I'll add to this list if anyone cares to share further recent examples.)
So who are Franchise customers trying to kid with this notion of acceptance? Partially I think they are hoping it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy and influence football fans (part of the continuing charm and PR offensive by a few from the favoured customer clique), but mostly I think they are the hollow words of people hoping something will be true while knowing it's not.
The hate for Franchise FC was never universal and it's certainly not now, but when you see a Franchise customer claiming everything is now sweetness and light for them and that Franchise has been accepted, recognise it for what it is - wishful thinking.
Of course, there is one way the Franchise could help itself be more widely accepted... drop the ludicrous attempted link to Wimbledon provided by having 'Dons' in the team name. Will they? Doubt it - they simply don't have the sense to.