Our Vice President and Dons Trust Board member, Iain McNay, updated us on the latest schemes for fundraising at the club in the Rochdale match programme on Saturday. For those who missed it, we today publish his article in full with a request at the bottom of this page for any feedback from supporters.
It is becoming pretty obvious to all of us now that we need to do all we can to raise more money to help our club consolidate its position in league 2. Our long-term ambition,of course, is to do much more than that and move forward over time, but realistically that is not going to happen until we have found ways to increase our income. On the stadium front, the brand new Kingston Road End Stand is the first stage of our major ground improvement work that we need to do to stay in the Football League. We did get a grant for half the building costs but the balance was paid for by money the club generated. On top of that there is obviously the matter of our intended move back to Plough Lane. As that hopefully progresses forward there will be all kinds of costs that we need to fund. And I haven’t even mentioned building a really good winning team yet. That is not going to be easy or cheap. There were several times in the summer when the management team thought they had secured a player, only to find another club coming in and offering the player higher wages. Winning teams are not cheap to put together and maintain.
I was recently asked by the Dons Trust board to come up with some ideas to help improve the club’s finances. I wrote a piece that appeared on the OS and club programme which prompted a decent response with around 25 e-mails back from you with feedback, ideas and suggestions. Many thanks for all those who took the time to write in. I went through them all and ran through many of them with Matt Breach, our Trust Chairman, Eric and Ivor. So here is a summary of where I have got to so far on a practical basis with new initiatives:
The newly formed ‘Financial Ideas Group’ had its first meeting, a dinner which nine people attended. We had some good discussions about different possible financial initiatives. It was an encouraging start and we plan to meet again later in the year.
The original idea for a 12th Man club for supporters who come to games regularly (Blue), and the Wimbledon Angels project for those who want to support the club financially but for various reasons can’t get to most home games (Yellow) were combined and the ‘Blue and Yellow club’ was the result. This has the brief of raising money to help with the playing budget. We launched this at the beginning of the season with membership set at £1,000 per year and so far have around 15 members. I expect this to develop into a vibrant organisation which will help the club in different ways. We plan to meet up regularly with our own table in the carvery (Greg Clarke, the Football league Chairman joined us at the Dagenham match), for travel together and lunch at certain away games, and dinners during the season with our Football management team and other interesting guests. If you are able to join then please do, I think you will enjoy it.
The AFC Wimbledon Legacies scheme is now up and running with local solicitors and club sponsors Morrisons as our partners under the slogan ‘Be A Womble ‘Till You Die…. And A Good Deal Longer.’ Have you thought about leaving something to the club from your worldly assets when you aren’t here anymore? Moving on is not something any of us want to dwell on but it really is worth making sure that when that time comes we have made proper plans. Please do think about it.
I am still keen to recruit more Vice-Presidents and develop the idea of ‘associate directorships.’ The latter is still being discussed by the FCB and we will hopefully have more news on that in due course.
Any ideas, feedback, suggestions, then do e-mail me by clicking on Your AFC Wimbledon.