Friday, 13 January 2012

Drop the Dons

As everyone will be aware, this week the Wimbledon Guardian has launched a 'Drop the Dons' campaign, urging Franchise FC to drop the 'Dons' part of their name.

Readers of this blog will be aware that Franchise dropping the use of Wimbledon's nickname in its team name is one of my key criteria for progressing things.

I don't expect the WG's campaign to meet with instant success, but it has produced the predictable and, frankly, stupid responses from certain Franchise customers. I'll come back to them. First, let's deal with how Wimbledon fans feel about things...

Opinion is divided amongst the fans, ranging from those who view Franchise's use of 'Dons' as an ongoing outrageous insult to us, to those who want them to keep being branded with it, so that they are forever indelibly marked with the shame of having stolen another town's team. Personally I fall in the camp of wanting the 'Dons' dropped, because I favour progressing to a world where none of us have any further cause to ever even think of Franchise FC. I accept the other views on it though and there is merit in branding the Franchise so that it NEVER escapes the stigma and shame of its bastard birth. But that brings me on to the Franchise customers...

What sort of psychotic, self-abusing masochist argues vehemently in favour of being branded with the very thing that makes them the target for abuse? Well, apparently, being a Franchise customer has brought exactly that sort of behaviour out in some of them - notably the vociferous ones on internet forums. And why? The only two reasons they come up with for their stance is (1) to spite Wimbledon fans and (2) to 'honour' the handful of people who in 2002 followed a League place instead of a community football club. A handful of people who never were important to the Franchise organisation itself either financially or by their presence, who have never received any substantive recognition from Franchise and who demonstrated in 2004 that the name of the team in the League place they followed wasn't important enough to them to stop following it when it changed. That handful of people have been ignored and trampled over from day one, so it is illogical bordering on insane to now claim that their wishes are paramount above all others. Yet that is what these vociferous Franchise customers are claiming.

Bear in mind that these are the same Franchise customers who have spent the last 10 years telling Wimbledon fans to 'get over it' and 'move on', but when presented with THE best opprtunity to help us do just that, they throw their arms up in horror and want to maintain the one thing still guaranteed to make a Womble spit blood every time they hear it - our nickname taken in vain by a franchise in Bucks. It's nothing short of telling someone to stop crying and then poking them in the eye - illogical in the extreme.

Look to the future
The one message Franchise customers should be getting is to look to the future and not the past. It is their own tired mantra about 'moving on' that they actually need to heed, because it is their own dogmatic clinging to the past that is stopping both them and us from moving on.

I'll address the Franchise customers directly...

Every year you cling to the 'Dons' name it will be brought up and used to fuel the anger and hatred.

Every year you cling to the 'Dons' name it will stop your team from properly representing Milton Keynes and gathering ALL the support it could there.

Every year you cling to the 'Dons' name it will make the inevitable fixture against the real Wimbledon a bigger flashpoint for trouble.

Every year you cling to the 'Dons' name it will get harder to drop and harder to explain why it's there.

Every year you cling to the 'Dons' name you will drive a larger wedge between yourselves and acceptance by other football fans.

It's your choice. You are the ones who can mount the most effective pressure on your club to change its name. You are the ones who can take the credit for doing the right thing and making a stand by organising your own campaign. You are the ones who can build bridges with the rest of the football community by recognising that dropping the 'Dons' is the right thing to do.

And if you don't? You all know what's going to happen - Winkelman will do what HE wants to WHEN he wants to, regardless of any vote against it or protests you make. So what you really need to decide is whether you want to win one and gain credit and respect or whether you want to just lose again, at the hands of your own chairman, just as you did in 2004. And don't fool yourselves, Winkelman is marketing to more than 250,000 people and he certainly won't give a rat's arse about a handful of ex-Wimbledon fans. He'll change the name whether you like it or not. So what's it to be? Cutting your noses off to spite our face? Or coming to your senses and doing the right thing for once? I expect the answer is that you'll keep merrily hacking away at your own noses, but I live in hope. :)

Edit to add... It didn't take Nostradamus or a crystal ball to predict that the Franchise customers would keep hacking at their noses, but sure enough, large knives have been slicing into Franchise probosces. Here are just a few of the things that have been said:
"Where is the petition for AFC Wimbledon to drop the Wimbledon part of their name considering their {sic} not actually in Wimbledon?"
Astounding eh? Wimbledon play a good walk or a short bus ride from both the club's birthplace and Plough Lane, but some Franchise idiots think it's something they can use as a defence for their own club using the nickname of a town's club from more than 50 miles away! Dumb beyond belief.
"From a logistical point of view, the cost of the re-branding would be gigantic."
 No, it wouldn't. Change a few seats, some marketing materials and letterhead, that's about it. The cost is negligible.
"Removing the name wouldn't help build bridges, and would only alienate us from those who have an affinity to the original Wimbledon and MK."
Yes, it will help build bridges. Denying this is to completely fail to understand how the use of the Dons nickname enrages many Wimbledon fans, and others. As for alienating ex-Wimbledon fans - they kept going in 2004 didn't they?! Why would they worry about a nickname when they already gave up on the club name?!
"The name serves as a reminder for both the pros and cons of the club in both my own eyes and the eyes of the footballing world."
No, it doesn't. It simply serves as a reminder to Wimbledon fans that Milton Keynes has a League place that Wimbledon earned. No pros, just cons.
"all the nonsense with MK Dons should have been dead and buried well before they got into the league. It's dragging the club down, when they should be thriving"
Franchise should have helped bury the 'nonsense' by losing the 'Dons' tag. As for why anyone would think it's dragging Wimbledon down, all I can suggest is that they actually attend a Wimbledon game and realise what utter rubbish they're talking. Record attendances this season, despite a record winless streak! Someone really needs to look up what being dragged down and thriving actually mean!

There has been lots of other nonsense written by the customers, but we've yet to see what the 'silent majority' in MK think. My suspicion is that more commercially-minded heads will prevail on this one and that the pressure to 'Drop the Dons' will continue to mount in MK. The internet-warriors will deny it until the day it happens of course, but their protests will be swept away and they will all just troop back to Franchise afterwards like the spineless lap-dogs they are.

1 comment:

  1. Nah, in the keep it and suffer camp am I.

    I want to see the angst if they ever really do get City Status and cant use MK City.

    LMFAO on that one I will