Thursday, 23 August 2012

Follow the money

To be fair to some Franchise customers, a few of them have seen Pete Winkelman, chairman and owner of Franchise FC, for what he is and realised it was always about the property deal and not about 'saving' Wimbledon FC. However, most of the customers either live in ignorance of the truth or choose to believe the web of fairytales he has spun from start. I'm sure most Wimbledon fans remember the 'biggest conurbation in Europe without a professional football team' lie (you didn't have to look outside England to find more than one at the time (2001), for example Dudley and Wakefield) and heaven only knows what fibs he told the FA Commission, because, as I've shown before, a man that registered the 'MK Dons' domain names in 2000 and then subsequently told the Commission he was an advocate for keeping the 'Wimbledon' name, was clearly not telling them the truth. So what has the weasel-worded one been up to now?

Have a read and you'll find it's the latest instalment in the ongoing property deal that caused him to go scouting for a football club to poach and destroy. He's looking to build a cinema complex, because he didn't get permission to build a casino. As per usual, a number of the dimwit customers have greeted the news with delight, thereby confirming, once again, that some people just don't learn from past mistakes. They are under the blissful misapprehension that this will mean good news for their football club. Extremely odd when you take even a moment to think about it, because the football club won't benefit from any income (it doesn't own the stadium or receive income from the associated businesses - hotel, fast food outlets, etc) and by providing competing entertainment venues (cinema and arena) it will further dilute the available spending locally and actually divert customers away from the football.

Let me pick out one particular quote from the story, because it's the one that you would have thought even Franchise customers could look at and realise they were being taken for mugs, particularly in these times of austerity:

"You could spend your whole weekend here!” joked Pete Winkelman, chairman of MK Dons and InterMK. “People can come down, watch the football, shop, then go out for dinner, go to the cinema and stay at the hotel."
So, let's see...

Football - £30 (or thereabouts)
Shopping - ?
Dinner - £25 per head if you're lucky (fast food crap is not 'dinner')
Cinema - £10 per head
Hotel - £50 a night, at least

The MK Citizen says he's 'joking', but he's the one laughing all the way to the bank of course. And while he's rubbing his hands with glee at the prospect of yet more cash in his bank balance, some Franchise customers are acting as if he's done a civic service.

On a related note, and dripping with irony, is the move of the Milton Keynes basketball franchise to London.

The MK Lions had been promised use of the arena at Winkelman's stadium, but he reneged on that promise, as he did on so many promises he made to the Commission about Wimbledon FC. Some in MK are clearly not happy:

The supreme irony that yet another sports team has failed in Milton Keynes due to lack of support, should come as a slap in the face to all Franchise customers that so casually call Wimbledon fans 'deserters'. However, if they haven't been able to see through Winkelman after all these years, the full irony of the Lions failure in MK will also be lost on them. By their  reckoning, the town of Wimbledon failed to support its football team and deserved to lose it, so their own logic must hold that they are all responsible for failing to support the MK Lions and must be held accountable for its departure. Any sane and sensible person knows their logic was completely flawed in the first place, but those are the kind of impossible knots Franchise customers have tied themselves in by trying to justify the unjustifiable.

Will recent events mean a few more Franchise customers see the light? I doubt we'll see much evidence of it from the vociferous minority on the internet, but the continuingly poor attendance figures at Franchise and the complete absence of atmosphere, suggest there's still no great appetite for Winkelman's sorry franchise of a football club.

Edit to add: Just in case you thought I was overstating the case of how misguided and misinformed Franchise customers are, check this out: 

I'll just quote a small extract:

"We're now in a position where we can say "we've got the biggest facility in the area and can host up to 5,000 guests and there's 300 hotel rooms on site if you need them". Nightmare scenario would be saying No to these companies because "we"ve got a Lions game on that night"."

We? This is supposedly a football fan (in reality a Franchise customer) talking about their football club, which doesn't own the stadium, or the arena attached to it, or get any income from it. WE?! Either this individual is involved with Winkelman's InterMK company (which would be an even bigger issue) or they are accidentally or deliberately trying to mislead others about where the income from the arena goes. This is just one small example of the illogical and nonsensical thinking afflicting Franchise customers.

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