Return of our summer news bulletin
We are publishing a one-off "What’s Happening at Kingsmeadow" bulletin to bring you up to date with the latest news around the club during the summer.
The Cherry Red Records Stadium
We are grateful to all the volunteers who pitched in for a whole range of jobs. They attended the Conference play-off final in 2011 and, impressed by the sense of ownership by Dons fans, they’ve been coming to the work weekend ever since; this was their fourth successive visit to help out. The picture above shows father-and-son Bartek and Maximillian Wisniewski at the work weekend. Mingling with the Dons volunteers were Dave and Simon Peacey, Cheltenham and Bristol Rovers fans respectively. .Your AFC Wimbledon This ‘Work Weekend’ has already been featured on the club’s site and can be viewed by clicking on A lot of preparatory work goes on during the summer and last weekend saw about 50 volunteers carrying out a whole range of jobs.
Please contact Margaret Adam if you plan to come so that we can plan how many to cater for at lunchtime. Although a lot was achieved there’s always more to be done and the next event is on Saturday and Sunday 4 and 5 July – only one week before our pre-season friendly programme begins! The work weekend is hard work but there’s a great sense of camaraderie and everyone enjoys it, whether they come for both days or just pop in for a couple of hours.
The pitch and pre-season friendlies
Tickets for this game are on order and will go on sale in about a week’s time. As a result, the pitch is a lot further forward than at this time last year; it looks very green already, well in advance of schedule for our first pre-season friendly on 11 July versus Watford, newly promoted to the Premier League. The work hasn’t been as extensive as last season with a surface skim that left the longer-rooted grass in place. Elsewhere in the stadium, Gabor Tanczos, the club’s groundsman, has been overseeing the preparation of the pitch for next season.
The team will depart on 20 July, returning on 26 July after the friendly game and in good time for the final weekend of pre-season. For that final pre-season game, Neal was keen to play a team from the Football Conference (in future to be known as the National League), hence the game against Cheltenham. This is the club’s second trip to the La Manga resort for pre-season preparation and we are grateful to Your Golf Travel for their sponsorship of the team’s stay there. The opponents in one pre-season friendly game are yet to be confirmed and that is the game at the end of the pre-season training camp in La Manga.
We know fans are anxious to know if we’ve been able to meet seat requests but please don’t call us to ask about progress – we’ll announce when the work is completed. Once existing ST holders’ requests have been dealt with we will move on to allocating any remaining seats to new applicants. This is a complicated and time-consuming process. Season tickets continue to sell well but we are still accepting applications. Over the next couple of weeks we will be carrying out the allocation of seats, trying to help existing season ticket holders who have asked to move to get what they would like.
In due course we will announce despatch dates for season tickets but we are not yet ready to specify an exact date.
We’ll report progress as it develops but recruitment can be a long, slow process, and a lot of patience is needed. Obviously, there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that remains unseen, but rest assured that work continues to strengthen the team for next season. As to who will be in the squad for next season, Neal continues to do a lot of ground work on the recruitment front.
Once that has been done, Merton will need to conduct a further three week consultation period before the council’s officers can make their recommendation to go to the planning committee at a date to be confirmed and expected to be in the summer. The team hopes to finalise these issues so that a consolidated response to all the consultation comments can be submitted to Merton in the near future. Work continues on a small number of outstanding issues relating to comments from the various statutory bodies. The other area that is of particular interest to fans is progress towards a new stadium.
Also, following discussions between the Trust vice chair David Growns and Kingstonian joint chairman Malcolm Winfield, the board held a meeting with Malcolm and the executive of Kingstonian Supporters’ Club as part of a formal consultation process around the sale of our current stadium. Meanwhile, to make sure that no time is lost, the Dons Trust board recently approved further spending on preparatory work for the stadium design.
To make sure that the issues are properly explained and the vote is as inclusive as possible, a working group is developing material for circulation to members in anticipation of a vote early next season. These RAs were incorporated into the Trust’s constitution some years ago to ensure that the club or the stadium cannot be sold unless there is very strong member support. That sale will require members to vote twice to approve a resolution on a ‘Restricted Action’ (‘RA).
Both Roger and David are working on a voluntary basis. Meanwhile, DT board member Mark Davis has been drafting the detailed documentation for distribution to members. Roger is the former Chief Executive of St George’s Hospital and is able to bring a lot of expertise of major projects to bear; he has been working closely with the DTB, the club’s Chief Executive Erik Samuelson, and a DT communications working group chaired by David Lloyd. A little while ago, recognising that there is so much going on, the DTB appointed Roger Evans to record, monitor and provide feedback on all the processes that need to be completed to enable the RAs to be voted upon in good time.
This is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. All these activities are putting even heavier pressure than normal on club officials and they have also substantially increased the workload of DTB members, on top of the ‘business as usual’ matters that are dealt with in the monthly meetings.
We will keep you up to date on developments on each of these matters as they arise by publishing articles on the club’s website. If appropriate, we’ll also publish a further WHAK later in the summer.
The wide-ranging agenda includes a discussion on the League’s insolvency policy, various panel sessions on matters such as increasing attendances, and a look into the future of, and the priorities for, the Football League itself.Operations Director and Club Secretary, David Charles is attending the Football League’s agm later this week, along with Chief Executive Erik Samuelson.