Wimbledon urge MK to drop Dons tag

AFC Wimbledon have urged Milton Keynes to drop the word 'Dons' from their official club name ahead of what promises to be a highly-charged English FA Cup tie between the two clubs next month.

MK Dons were formed in 2003 after the original Wimbledon club, nicknamed 'The Dons', having gone into administration, were relocated from their original base in south London some 50 miles north to the commuter town of Milton Keynes.

Angry fans of Wimbledon, whose team caused one of the great FA Cup final upsets by beating Liverpool at Wembley in 1988, set up AFC Wimbledon in response.

AFC, having started in non-league football have since been promoted five times and now play in the fourth tier League Two, one division below MK.

Now MK and AFC are set to meet for the first time on the weekend of December 1 in the second round of the FA Cup after both clubs won first round replays.

But some AFC fans say they will refused to travel to watch the match in Milton Keynes in protest at the decision by MK chairman Pete Winkelman to rename the original Wimbledon Milton Keynes Dons in 2004.

AFC Wimbledon chief executive Erik Samuelson urged Winkelman to drop the 'Dons' tag Wednesday, telling Sky Sports: "If he offers me his hand, as long as it's got a letter in it saying that they agree that what they did was wrong and that they're going to drop the name Dons, I'll shake it.

"Otherwise I think we'll just move on.

"It's up to them. I think it reminds them and everybody of how they originated. They really don't have much to do with Wimbledon but it's their decision, not mine.

"I'm not going to agitate for it, I think it would be the better thing to do but that's for them to decide."

Asked about a possible boycott of next month's tie by AFC fans, Samuelson said: "We're owned by fans and have regular meetings of fans, and they're entitled to put forward anything they like.

"A few said we shouldn't play them and we explained that if you enter a competition then you abide by the rules, and that means playing whoever you're drawn against.

"It was very short-lived and I don't think it would ever amount to anything. It was certainly never a club policy, or even a proposed club policy.

"A fair number are saying they are not going to go as a matter of principle, and that's a personal decision. Those of our fans who do go, I would think, will be very vocal indeed.

"Emotions are running very high and it's reminding everybody of how we started. Our job is to get the game played and over with - and hopefully win.

"This is a chance to show the footballing world just how proud we are of what we've achieved."

Like AFC Wimbledon, MK too have enjoyed success. In 2008 they completed a League Two and Football League Trophy double.


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