Blue and Yellow Club provides vital funding
Neal Ardley has thanked members of AFC Wimbledon’s Blue and Yellow Club after their generous £20,000 donation provided vital funds to boost the playing squad.
With Wimbledon currently fighting for survival in League 2 and the Wimbledon manager seeking reinforcements during the January transfer window, the Blue and Yellow Club decided it was the perfect time to release funds they had raised since it was formed last summer.
The club, which has 21 members, presented a cheque to Chief Executive, Erik Samuelson, after the 2-2 draw against Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.
Members pay a subscription of £1,000 per season to join the club and in return they gain behind-the-scenes access that supporters would not normally get.
This has included having dinner with manager Neal Ardley and his assistant Neil Cox, a pass to the President’s Lounge, and VIP treatment at games.
The club’s founder members Iain McNay, Martin Fielding, Mike Richardson and Stephen Crabtree launched the scheme to give members unique benefits that have low direct costs to the football club. This therefore does not consume the membership fees and allows the funds to be available as far as possible for the playing budget.
Martin Fielding, (pictured above presenting the cheque to Erik Samuelson), said: “The idea was to give some supporters behind-the-scenes access that they would not normally get so that we could raise funds for the playing budget. We had a debate among the members and considering the position that the club is in, it was decided that donating the funds now was the right thing to do at the right time. We as a group have a great trust in the current management team and we want to back them to the hilt.”
Neal Ardley said: “We have met the people who are part of this club as Neil Cox and I had dinner with them last month. They are massively supportive of what we are trying to do. It sums this club up in that supporters are willing to do anything they can to help us out when they can.”
With AFC Wimbledon being run differently from most clubs as it is fan-owned and does not rely on directors making cash injections, the Blue and Yellow Club was formed to raise more funds to boost the football playing budget.
There are two packages, depending on how regularly members can attend games.
The benefits of the Blue membership, ( for supporters who attend matches regularly), include: 1. VIP treatment for you and a guest at two home games a season. This includes a special welcome from the Chief Executive, The Dons Trust Chairman and the manager; pre-match meal in the carvery, plus access to the President's lounge and seats in the Directors' box next to a former player such as Club President Dickie Guy or former Captain Ian Cooke. (If you can't make two home games but can get to one or two away games we will do our best to arrange a similar package for you there).
The benefits of the Yellow membership, ( for those who don't attend matches regularly), include:
(again for the cost of the meal)
5. Invitation to the occasional Wimbledon celebrity dinner each season
before home matches (for the cost of the meal)
4. Access to reserved table(s) for the Blue and Yellow Club in the carvery
3. Dinner with the Football management team and club Chief Executive twice a season (for the cost of the meal)
2. Two tickets for the end-of-season-dinner
1. A pass to the President's lounge for home matches (but not match day
with the Chief Executive and Manager
4. Invitation to at least one scheduled telephone briefing each season
signed copy of Niall Couper's new book, 'This Is Our Time.'
3. A club shirt signed by the whole squad team plus a club tie and a
2. A tour of the training ground and opportunity to meet the players.