I (as WISA Press Officer) wrote this early in June 2002 following various Wimbledon Independent Supporter Association meetings after the Three Man FA Commission sanctioned the theft of Wimbledon FC on the 28th May 2002. Two days later on the 30th May 2002 a huge meeting took place at Wimbledon Community Centre, and now 10 years later, we can look back at what was achieved by so few for so many – sounds very Churchillian.
The original with spelling mistakes can be found here: http://www.wisa.org.uk/cgi/l/articles/index.cgi?action=show&id=124
I am sure you will find others too and some grammamtical errors for good measure!
WISA Wimbledon News Article
WISA Article Thursday 6th June 2002 By Laurence Lowne
28th May 2002 will go down as the day that Wimbledon FC Ltd was removed from the conscious mind of Wimbledon supporters.
30th May 2002 will go down as the day Wimbledon supporters reclaimed their heritage.
On Thursday the 30th May almost 1,000 Wimbledon fans packed into the WISA agm at Wimbledon Community Centre. After much passionate debate lasting over 2 hours, the members agreed to create a club called AFC Wimbledon and to make an application to the Ryman League to join Division Two in time for this coming season.
In the space of 48 hours, despair has been replaced with hope.
It is intended to initially groundshare with a team local to Merton, create a team with a forward thinking manager and harness the disenfranchised fanbase that follows Wimbledon.
This is a massive opportunity for supporters, businesses, the media and local government to be in at the start of a revolution as the fans reclaim the game that has been disastrously treated during recent years. This is the opportunity to build a club of the community.
Right now the priority for AFC Wimbledon is to raise £20,000 which is a commitment to the cause and must be in place by the 12th June 2002. Supporters are being asked to pay £200-00 as a Season Ticket advance – many are contributing more. This will ensure sufficient funds are in place to pay for the groundshare, registration fees and licence to play during the first year.
Once the funds are in place, an application will be made to the Ryman League to join the reorganised Division Two on the 17th June 2002, which is 25 years to the day since Wimbledon FC were elected to Division Four of the Football League – poignant or what?
Within 4 years AFC Wimbledon could be promoted to Division Three of the Football League – we have done it once before, we can do it again. And we are going to have great fun attempting it – the excitement is infectious.
Kris Stewart (WISA Chair) commented: ‘This is the opportunity for the fans to demonstrate their love for the name Wimbledon. We call upon every person who has a connection with the name of Wimbledon to stand up and play their part today, tomorrow and forever. You could have the skills we need, please get in touch.’
WISA and The Dons Trust are bringing a team together to make this happen, but it is vital that people with experience and knowledge of non-league football are brought in to act as a guiding hand. There are a surprisingly large number of people within the Dons ranks who have retained connections with non-league football and these business-people will have a vital role to play in the formation of AFC Wimbledon.
It is not possible just now to confirm which ground we will be sharing, but we can assure all supporters that the facilities will be excellent.
So what can you do right now?
· Invest £200-00 or more in a Season ticket advance (see Dons Trust column for details)
· Help spread the word about AFC Wimbledon
· Volunteer your services – please either call 020 8540 7396 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – there is a lot a to do
· Attend all events being organised – Dons Trust at Mitcham Carnival this Saturday
· Write letters, send emails and call the phone-ins relating to the theft of the shell of our Club by the MK Imposters (if you need addresses, please send a request and a large sae to WISA PO Box 32923, London SW19 4FN)
· Display a poster in your shop window
The £20,000 being raised right now by the 12th June 2002 will be used to secure the groundshare, pay for registration and the licence to play.
It is the first stage of fundraising – there will be further requests and a need for funds. There will be a number of Dons Trust events during the summer. One for all supporters comes on the 17th June, when we shall celebrate 25 years to the day our election to the Football League Division Four. That could become a double celebration, since it is the date that the Ryman League hold their AGM and consider our application for membership. Clear indications are that following their reorganisation they would welcome us (they didn’t – editor)
This is an exciting time for Wimbledon supporters; it provides a focus for our energies, but do not for one second think that we have given up the fight to retain our name, badge and history.
WISA will be following a two pronged attack.
1) to work towards the solid creation of AFC Wimbledon
2) to fight the MK impostors for what is rightfully ours
An information release will soon be in the hands of members outlining our plans for the next few months and will include an application for membership. Please renew and ask three other supporters top join as well. Your membership is needed more today than ever before, and if you can renew early that would be fantastic, and a donation too – even better.
In closing I would like to pay tribute to Kris Stewart, Ivor Heller, Marc Jones and Trevor Williams, who have worked really hard over the last 10 days putting this together – as Kris says: ‘sleep is for wimps’. I can tell you sleep has been at a premium for a quite a number of people recently and will be even more so over the next few weeks.
Filed under: News | Tagged: AFC Wimbledon, Football Association, Ivor Heller, Kris Stewart, laurence lowne, Marc Jones, Trevor Williams, Wimbledon FC, Wimbledon Independent Supporters Association, WISA | 4 Comments »