Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Close to a breakthrough, but still deluded

Obviously not all Franchise customers are deluded nutjobs like the loudest ones on the internet, just as most Wimbledon fans aren't obsessed pedants like I am, and one does occasionally get a glimpse of some common sense. This post gets so close to addressing the only big issues that are left, but then sadly veers off into nonsense instead of following through to the common sense conclusion that anyone outside the customerbase would point out. Here's the quote:
"Doesn't the fact that we can fill the ground for a second tier England game say something about the potential for football in Milton Keynes - and in comparison the relatively low gates we still get for ordinary MK Dons games demonstrates clearly how our club has been successfully poisoned by AFC Wimbledon's propaganda lies?"
Quite rightly the poster points out that the attendances for certain events at Stadium:MK, particularly an England U21 game and even Premiership reserve sides, demonstrate there can be a big demand for football in Milton Keynes. That demand has never been in doubt for me - the people of Milton Keynes are no different from the people in any other town.
Where the poster goes horribly wrong is to blame Wimbledon fans for the poor turnouts for average Franchise games. Much as I'd like to believe it's down to us, it isn't. There are certainly principled people in MK who have looked at the facts and taken a stance to have nothing to do with Franchise, but they would have done that without any assistance from me or any other Wimbledon fan, because they've learned the facts for themselves and understand right and wrong.
Other Franchise customers blame the fact that most adults in MK already supported someone else, which is true, but it's only part of the picture. The elephant in the room that the Franchise customers on that forum can't bring themselves to point out, is that it's a big problem that their team still has a massive stigma attached to it, embodied by clinging on to the 'Dons' nicked-name.
Working out just how big the damage is to Franchise's potential support is difficult - you would need an in-depth research study conducted in an unbiased fashion to get a reasonable figure. What isn't in any doubt at all though, is that the lingering stench of the lies spread around to create Franchise FC are still warding off potential fans of a Milton Keynes football club. Because where the poster of the quote above has fundamentally gone wrong, is that what he deludedly thinks are propaganda and lies, are the truth - and many people both in MK and outside know it.
What the existing Franchise customers need to face is that if they really want to fill Winkelman's white elephant stadium, they have to address the 'Dons' elephant in the room. If they want all of Milton Keynes to embrace Franchise FC, then they're going to have to do something clear, principled and dynamic to leave all the stigma and hate behind - and the only thing that they can do to fit that bill is to drop the 'Dons'. Winkelman knew it, that's why he put the decision in the customerbase's hands - he knows if it comes from them then it transforms the club, because anything he does is tainted. So far they haven't taken the hint though. They can't ever make the Milton Keynes 'Dons' something the whole town will view with pride, but if the fans (because they would be if they did it) make the running on the name change, the whole club will be transformed. They will hate me saying it, but it's true. If they took action then the whole football community would applaud them, even many Wimbledon fans. 10 years experience of all this tells me not to hold my breath for it, of course, but maybe one day someone will surprise me, look past their bitterness and hate and do the right thing. I live in hope.

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