FanDuel - WFBC

November 11, 2010

AFC Wimbledon May Face MK Dons in FA Cup: The possibility that AFC Wimbledon will play MK Dons in the FA Cup's second round is "very painful for us," former AFC Wimbledon manager Dave Anderson said. MK Dons were formed when the financially troubled Wimbledon FC was moved to Milton Keynes, a franchise relocation unprecedented in English football. "In my book, what happened was the footballing crime of the century," Anderson said. "No one has a problem with Milton Keynes having a football team but why didn't they start like everyone else at the bottom and work their way up?" AFC Wimbledon was started at the bottom by former Wimbledon FC supporters who held an open tryout. The team has been promoted four times, reaching the fifth tier of the sport. The MK Dons sit two tiers higher. They've never played each other.

posted by rcade to soccer at 05:43 PM - 7 comments

I've been an owner of AFC Wimbledon for a couple years, which cost me around $50 a year and gives me voting privileges on how the club is run. They air live audio for the games at WDON.Com. I wish we had something equivalent to this in the U.S., where a team could start at the beer league level and potentially work its way to the pros. The Dons should reach the league with promotion this year.

posted by rcade at 07:49 AM on November 12

In the article, the repeat supporters and the manager saying 'this is painful'. Why? Is this a British thing? Shouldn't AFC Wimbledon be pumped to beat the splitters (in the same way much was made of the Ravens/Colts games shortly after the former Colts left Indy in an ugly move to become the Ravens)?

posted by kokaku at 10:25 AM on November 12

My best guess is that they hate acknowledging the existence of the other club, they want the match so badly they are afraid to admit it and they are afraid of losing.

When I was in elementary school I organized a five-Mississippi touch football grudge match between friends in my grade and some two-years-older kids on my street who'd been giving me shit. It was the battle of Crossbow Lane in Garland, Texas. Perhaps you've heard of it. To my eternal shame, I cried at the onset of this showdown, overcome by the emotion of the moment and the John Facenda narration I'd been doing in my head all week in school telling of our certain triumph.

The crying proved to be even more embarrassing than the loss they hung on us.

posted by rcade at 10:31 AM on November 12

EDIT: Sorry double posted somehow

posted by kokaku at 10:33 AM on November 12

A recent episode of Football Weekly touched on the AFC Wimbeldon fans' feelings. It sounds like it comes down to two issues:

• Not wanting to acknowledge the Dons' existence
• Concerns about the level of hate boiling over into violence

posted by yerfatma at 10:36 AM on November 12

Is this a British thing? Shouldn't AFC Wimbledon be pumped to beat the splitters

As I posted previously, there have been a few good pieces (like this one) on the background. This isn't simply, say, Cleveland-Baltimore animus: most AFCW fans who'd supported the Dons consider their club stolen from under them in a way that's completely alien to British football.

So I really don't think they "want the match so badly" -- at least, not yet. Perhaps a league meeting if and when the time comes, but not a cup contest -- particularly, as has been noted elsewhere, because FA Cup rules require a 50-50 split of the gate receipts, which means AFCW would be writing a cheque to Franchise FC.

posted by etagloh at 02:27 PM on November 12

Is this a British thing? Shouldn't AFC Wimbledon be pumped to beat the splitters

Football clubs in Europe aren't franchises; they almost never move, except across their street or across their city when they build a new stadium. If your town doesn't have a professional team, you put money into your local club and move "up the ladder"; you don't move someone else's club from their city to yours.

It's the defining difference between a closed cartel-like system that is used for professional sports in the USA, and the open system used in Europe and elsewhere where any club can move up the ladder. In America if your team moves they tell you to stop being a "baby" and to "grow up", because sports "is just a business". In the European system, it's not just a business; it is a bit more intense than that. Hence the feelings here are not at all comparable to what you would get between, say, the Indianapolis Colts and the Baltimore Ravens.

posted by dave2007 at 05:29 AM on November 13

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