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Dons host Secretary of State on landmark day for football

AFC Wimbledon proud to host government officials for press call

23 February 2023

Club News

Dons host Secretary of State on landmark day for football

AFC Wimbledon proud to host government officials for press call

23 February 2023

Club staff and supporters summed up what AFC Wimbledon is all about when we hosted government officials at our stadium on a landmark day for English football.

Following the long-awaited release of the White Paper on Reforming Club Football Governance, we were visited by Lucy Frazer, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, plus Sports Minister Stuart Andrew.

The pair were given a tour of facilities at the Cherry Red Records Stadium, before meeting staff and fans to hear all about the remarkable AFC Wimbledon story.

With the protection of community clubs at the very core of the White Paper plans, our Foundation Director Phil Rudling talked to government officials about our award-winning initiatives and he is pictured below (centre) with Kris Stewart and Lucy Frazer.

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On such a pivotal day for football in this country, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) chose to set-up a press call at a club “financially sustainable and with fan ownership at its heart”.

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After hosting an event attended by national TV media, including Sky Sports, ITV and TalkSPORT, our Managing Director Danny Macklin said: “As a club, we’ve been waiting for this moment with the release of the White Paper.

"On initial reflection, we are encouraged by it and praise the government, along with Tracey Crouch, for getting the document to this stage. What now needs to happen is continued discussion and negotiation between the Premier League and the EFL, knowing that the government, via the independent regulator will intervene, if required, to ensure a fairer deal for football. A big element of that is a fairer distribution of wealth within the game.

“We are very proud of our structure as a fan-owned club and the success we’ve had to date. Hopefully, moving forwards other clubs will be able to adopt the model. Furthermore, we hope that with stronger tests for owners and directors, as well as stronger rules for protecting heritage status via club stadiums, crests, names and home shirt colours, that the heritage of clubs up and down the pyramid can be maintained.

“Today has to be viewed as a watershed moment in protecting the community assets that football clubs continue to be up and down the land. We look forward to learning more as regards the next stages of this with the creation of an independent regulator and a fairer distribution of wealth to ensure that there’s a secure and sustainable football pyramid in this country.”

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The picture above shows (left to right): Kerry McQueeney, Ray Armfield, Terry Langford, Kris Stewart, Lucy Frazer, Danny Macklin and Xavier Wiggins, who is pictured below with Stuart Andrew.

Read the White Paper in full.

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PICS: Chris Thorpe

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