Neal thanks supporters for the We Are Wimbledon Fund
Neal Ardley has saluted Dons supporters for raising the 2013/14 playing budget through contributions to the We Are Wimbledon Fund.
Supporters of fan-owned AFC Wimbledon started the campaign earlier this year with the aim of providing more transfer funds for a club that has one of the lowest playing budgets in League 2. The scheme has been highly successful with the outcome that an extra £70,000 will now be committed towards next season’s playing budget. This will take AFC Wimbledon’s playing budget above the £1 million mark for the first time since the club was formed in 2002.
Neal Ardley said: “I’d like to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who has contributed to the We Are Wimbledon Fund (WAWF). This is a fantastic way to provide funds directly to the playing budget and the £70,000 that has been committed so far makes a big difference during these critical weeks when we are preparing for the new season.
Of course, I know that this will not be possible for all of you but if you can afford to set up direct debits, whatever the monthly amount, it will be a big, big help.” “While I am confident in our ability as a management team to deliver success on the field, even with this extra £70,000 we are likely to find that our budget for 2013-14 will be in the bottom four or five in League 2. So I make no apology for appealing to every Wimbledon fan to consider getting involved in the WAWF if you possibly can and let’s see how far we can push on.
A total of £40,000 will be committed from fans by direct debits throughout 2013/14 and the remaining £30,000 has been accumulated through one-off events such as bucket collections, an auction/raffle at the end of season dinner, and direct debit payments made so far.
The scheme, which is endorsed by The Dons Trust, owners of AFC Wimbledon, has been worked on by a group led by long-term supporter Xavier Wiggins. The designated We Are Wimbledon Day made a big difference to the campaign on 1 April when the Dons played Barnet (our picture above shows Dons supporters getting behind the campaign in the Tempest End at that match).
Chief Executive Erik Samuelson said: “This has been a magnificent effort by our fans and this project has already delivered a substantial amount towards the playing budget. The board has worked really hard to match last season’s playing budget of £940,000. So when we add the extra money from the We Are Wimbledon Fund this takes our playing budget above the £1 million mark for the first time. We told Neal about this a while ago and he has already factored it into the playing budget for next season.”
.Transfer FundsSupporters who wish to sign-up to the We Are Wimbledon Fund to further boost the playing budget, should go to the website by clicking on