Wednesday, 14 December 2016

The tide is turning

Simple message first...

If you want WimbleDON's move to Milton Keynes to stop coming up and being the subject of anger, then stop having the 'Dons' nicked-name in the Milton Keynes team name.

Simple, right? Could not be any more straightforward and easy to accomplish. Most readers can stop there, you get it, it's always been obvious and doesn't need spelling out further. Still with me? I'll go into more detail. First, an analogy...

If you tell Wimbledon fans to 'get over it' and 'move on', but then make them see 'MK Dons' flaunted about all over the place, it is like having asked someone to stop punching you in the face, but you then hold up a sign that says 'Punch me in the face'. If you want Wimbledon fans to stop going on about how Milton Keynes took Wimbledon's Football League place, then stop bringing it up and reminding them of it by having Wimbledon's nickname in Milton Keynes team name! What could be more blindingly obvious?

Seriously, every time a Wimbledon fan sees 'MK Dons', what do you think it stirs up? Sure just 'MK' would still remind them of events, but 'MK Dons' keeps rubbing it in, keeps saying there's a part of Wimbledon in MK - and there really isn't, only the seriously deluded are banging on about that now. So when Franchise customers (you won't be MK fans until the 'Dons' is dropped) defend keeping the 'Dons' they're not only holding up that sign from the analogy, they're punching themselves in the face to save anyone else the bother. And no, I'm not advocating violence, I'm highlighting how keeping 'Dons' is a masochistic piece of self-harm on the part of Franchise customers.

Won't Winkelman mind the expense? No. He's already said it's up to the customers, he's privately admitted he'd be in favour of a change and, critically, he has laid the groundwork for the change:

Page 15, section 10... Subsidiary undertakings - Milton Keynes City Football Club Limited, Milton Keynes Football Club Limited.

It's there in black and white. He's ready for the change, he wants the change.

And to wrap up, this whole 'get over it' and 'move on' thing... There's a reason the comment sections of stories about Wimbledon/Franchise are no longer full of Wimbledon fans defending themselves - they got over it and moved on, they can't be arsed to bother with the people that peddle the lies about Wimbledon. So yes, the comments are now a larger proportion of Franchise customers metaphorically punching themselves in the face by going on about 'Dons' and embittered old fools still complaining about Wimbledon's football style in the '80s and '90s.

And to my devoted Franchise customer fanbase, note the one thing that comes up time after time after time in the comments, and on which the tide has truly turned... drop the 'Dons'. We want it, neutrals want it and an increasing number of Franchise customers want it. So just get on with it. Get over your obsession with Wimbledon, move on to Milton Keynes - drop the 'Dons'.

Monday, 5 December 2016

One-nil to the Wimbledon

It seems like a good time to update and re-publish this piece from 4 years ago. This piece was originally written for and reproduced with permission from the commemorative issue of Yellow & Blue in December 2012...

We won. It's that simple. We won. No matter what the result of the 2nd round FA Cup tie against Franchise FC, we won. And we've been winning for a long time now, we've been winning ever since 28th May 2002, which is when we last lost. Admittedly what we lost that day was an entire football club, but the response of Wimbledon fans to that loss has been nothing short of magnificent.

28th May 2002 was the last time that we were victims and since that date, starting with the meeting at Wimbledon Community Centre that effectively re-created our football club, we've been winning. When the manager and players representing Wimbledon, representing us the fans, representing our club, step on to the pitch next door to the supermarket that effectively killed Wimbledon FC, it will be with the knowledge that we took all they could throw at us, survived the death of our club and came back to create something glorious from the wreckage. Our very presence on that pitch, in the stadium a supermarket paid to build on Wimbledon FC's corpse, reminds the whole football world that we've won, we refused to stay dead, we refused to go away and we refused to sit down and shut up.

Winkelman will goad us (he did, with lies about the administration period), Winkelman will use weasel-words about family (he did), Winkelman will fail to apologise for what he did (he still hasn't, despite admitting what he did was wrong), but as he watches Wimbledon walk out on to his pitch, as equals (even more so now as we sit above them in the Football League), he'll be watching the victors, he'll be watching the club that really could do it all, he'll be watching the fans who really did stick by their club through the worst times – and he'll know. We won.

To those who want to stick the proverbial two-fingers up to Winkelman, Koppel, the FA, the Norwegians, Hammam, Stride, Parker and anyone else that brought us down to that crushing defeat of 28th May 2002, you should glory in the fact that our mere existence has been a permanent two-fingered salute at them for the last 10 years. Every achievement we make, large or small, has built on that initial refusal to accept the destruction of our football club just so Winkelman could facilitate his property deal in Milton Keynes.

It's not easy to list all the things we've won – the list is just too long – but here are some reminders of just how total our victory has been:

* Our club exists – that's the greatest victory of all over those who thought we weren't “in the wider interests of football”.

* We're back in the Football League, five promotions in nine years – meanwhile Franchise FC is one division lower than it started. Make it 6 promotions in 14 years now.

* We have more season ticket holders and twice the attendance than the average attendance at Plough Lane the last time we were in the fourth division of English football.

* We play as close to Wimbledon as is possible, as close to the Old Centrals birthplace as Plough Lane is – no small victory in London, and with ongoing plans to embed ourselves even more closely with our community. Plans that have now been approved and will go ahead.

* We own the ground we play at – and not just that, we have helped another football club survive and keep playing at their ground along the way. Franchise FC does not own the ground it plays at.

* We've resurrected a successful FITC scheme from absolutely nothing – Franchise FC destroyed Wimbledon FC's scheme in south London, despite Winkelman's promises.

* Thanks to WISA the honours of Wimbledon FC are back in Merton. Franchise FC considers itself a new club born in 2004.

* The trademarks for Wimbledon FC are owned by AFC Wimbledon.

* The vast majority of ex-Wimbledon FC players consider AFC Wimbledon to be the true inheritor of the Wimbledon legacy – none now claim that a club in Milton Keynes is the Wimbledon FC they played for.

* There's still a huge groundswell of popular support for Wimbledon, even after 10 years – the precise opposite is still the case for Franchise.

* AFC Wimbledon and The Dons Trust has advised other groups of fans on re-creating or saving their clubs, making many great friends along the way. What we have achieved has been recognised and inspired others across the country.

* Everything has been achieved while the club is still owned and run by its fans – Franchise is still the plaything of a property dealer.

There have been lots of little victories against the Franchise customers along the way too, ones that not everyone will have been aware of. Little things that have built up over the years and resulted in a complete bunker mentality among a core of the customers that they believe, wrongly, has strengthened them. We will see the culmination of that denial and delusion on 2nd December, when they unveil their 'We're the Dons' flag to a national TV audience that will look on with, at best, bemusement. They will follow it up with many goading chants that no one but a core of the customers will understand either – chants about Kingston and other obscure trivialities they have grasped at as straws of legitimacy or just to spite us over the years. Crucially, it won't just be the neutrals watching that will be bemused by their behaviour, it will drive a wedge between that core of Franchise customers and those in Milton Keynes who want to support an MK football team, not an anti-Wimbledon protest group or a club delusionally clinging on to a nicked-name link with another town. Whether the Franchise customers want to face it or not, and even whether Winkelman wants to admit it or not, this will be a watershed moment for the ludicrous 'Dons' nicked-name. (And so it has proved. They still cling to the 'Dons' nicked-name, but its inevitable dropping is now just a matter of time.)

Take strength and heart from every single chant and goad we get from the customers, because every single thing they do just demonstrates that what they started out deriding as a 'pub team' is now such a huge focus of their attention and has turned into their obsession. It's understandable for us to be interested in our old Football League place and those that took it away, but seeing the rabid froth emanating from some of the Franchise customers about us is a massive compliment to what our club has achieved. If we really were a pub team they wouldn't have to give us a moment's thought, but instead many of them are obsessed with us, because they know how much we've achieved, how far we've come and how completely we've won on all fronts.

If, as I expect, we lose the football match (who knows this time around?), it will of course be momentarily depressing as the Franchise customers celebrate winning their cup final (like Hampton & Richmond, Bromley, Withdean 2000 and others we have left behind, just like we'll leave Franchise behind) and we exit the FA Cup for this year (we haven't, miraculously, we're in the 3rd round draw!), but what will follow is far more important. Our players will leave the pitch built on Wimbledon FC's corpse... and AFC Wimbledon will still exist. We could lose 10-0 and walk away having still won what's most important – a football club for Wimbledon fans. In defeat, the true extent of our victory will be apparent, because most of us have been through far worse than losing a football match. We'll wake up the next day with our football club intact, our victories still in place and our hopes for the future undimmed.

AFC Wimbledon has proved over the last 10 years that not only was the FA Commission wrong to grant permission for franchising a football club, but that we are the very definition of being “in the wider interests of football”. It's one-nil to the Wimbledon and, just like the 1988 FA Cup Final victory, no one can take it away from us, the fans. We were there, we're still here and we are Wimbledon.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

We're going back to Plough Lane

"On 10 December 2015 Merton Council’s cross-party planning committee unanimously approved the planning application from AFC Wimbledon, Galliard Homes and GRA Ltd to build a new 20,000-seater football stadium in the borough."

And with that unanimous approval, 15 years of lies, smears and spin by opponents of Wimbledon's football club were confirmed as the lies we always knew them to be.

I would happily leave it there (and I've been busy celebrating since the decision was made), but I'll expand on the matter because, as expected, those who have been telling the lies and smears for 15 years don't have the common sense or good grace to just congratulate us and then shut up.

Just for fun, let's link to the Franchise SA's collection of even-less-facts-than-there-used-to-be, because what they gathered to try to give them legitimacy is now even more of a repository of lies:

A doozy from Hammam. Read it again in light of Merton granting planning approval and bear in mind that despite Hammam's accusations, 2015 was the first time Merton even had a planning application to approve! Hammam and the subsequent owners never made a planning application, for anywhere.

More rambling nonsense from Hammam, now laid bare for the rubbish it was - he throws out a claim about no viable sites in the borough, yet AFC Wimbledon found more than one and, with the Greyhound Stadium (just as viable in 2000), have succeeded. Hell, there was even a viable plan for the old Plough Lane site back then, never mind the Greyhound Stadium site.

Facts? The existence of Hammam's letters is a fact, but the contents of them, more than ever now, is revealed as nonsense.

Here's a good one:

What a pile of crap that has all been shown to be. Recent events prove, beyond doubt, what a manufactured load of bollocks this was.

And what of the changes over the last 10-15 years? Do the deniers really believe Merton has been flooded with football-loving residents who weren't there before? That the political landscape has changed so dramatically? (When it obviously hasn't.) That football wasn't already well clear of its dark days and a welcome community asset in 2002? That any changes explain a unanimous 10-0 vote for plans that were just as plausible to create and viable in 2002? No. We called bullshit in 2002 and I call bullshit now - there's no solace for the liars in the passage of time, Wimbledon's football club could have had a home in Merton 10-20 years ago if the club's owners had wanted it. The fans always wanted it and since becoming the owners of Wimbledon's football club the fans have made it happen.

So let's get back to the glorious news that again proves how empty were the lies of Hammam, Koppel and others - we are Wimbledon and we're going home to Plough Lane.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Franchise FC is not a legal continuation of Wimbledon FC

The recent rerun of the 1988 FA Cup Final (Wimbledon beat Liverpool 1-0 at the old Wembley Stadium), which Liverpool won 2-1 to give them a modicum of revenge, provided a deluge of nostalgia, memories and fantastic PR for Wimbledon. It also stirred up a few people who were indignant that the BBC and the national press (almost universally) viewed the game as I have described it above - a rerun of the '88 final.

It's a perfectly legitimate opinion to believe that there is no continuation of Wimbledon FC. I think that those holding that opinion are missing out on an amazing aspect of the game, but it's their choice and they're entitled to it. In agreement with AFC Wimbledon's website, and as I've stated before, I think there's much more to a football club than just the legal entity that controls it financially and administratively. As the website states, "The supporters of AFC Wimbledon believe that our club is a continuation of the spirit which formed Wimbledon Old Centrals in 1889 and kept Wimbledon Football Club alive until May 2002. We consider that a football club is not simply the legal entity which controls it, but that it is the community formed by the fans and players working towards a common goal."

There are some that ridicule us for this belief, but that's water off a duck's back to us - we know our football club, we know what it is and where it came from. Others are entitled to their opinion, but we are the ones who know who Wimbledon's football club is.

The other side of this is the status of Franchise FC. I've written about this before and the position has not changed, no matter what wishful thinking comes from a small minority in Milton Keynes. 'Milton Keynes Dons' (as they still ludicrously title the football team) is not a 'legal continuation' of Wimbledon FC and has not been since a CVA put into force in July 2004. This CVA transferred the assets (including player contracts) of Wimbledon FC Ltd to a new company called Milton Keynes Dons Ltd. (Wimbledon FC Ltd continued in administration and was wound up in 2009.)

It's important to note that the phrase 'legal continuation' has a specific meaning - the new entity (in this case a company) takes on the legal responsibilities and debts of the old entity. I had never seen the phrase used in connection with a football club until some joker at Franchise came up with it as a wheeze some years ago - quite a pervasive and stubborn wheeze as it turns out, but still a big fat lie. It's usually used for far weightier matters relating to countries that change their name and such like, not football clubs trying to claim some shred of legitimacy.

So... CVA meets 'legal continuation' claim - and CVA wins, because the main point of a CVA is to separate a company from its past debts and stop all legal proceedings against it. In fact it's not claiming too much to say that a CVA could be renamed a 'Company Legal Discontinuation', because that is precisely what it does.

If Franchise FC were a 'legal continuation' of Wimbledon FC, then they would still be liable for all Wimbledon FC's debts and subject to all its liens and encumbrances. It isn't. Case closed.

It's a very simple matter of fact and anyone telling you different can only be ignorant of the facts or a shamefaced liar.

If anyone wants to have the opinion that AFC Wimbledon isn't a continuation then that's their prerogative, but if they also claim 'MK Dons' are a legal continuation, then they are factually and provably wrong.

I'm sure I'll still be debunking this lie in another 10 years time, but the only harm it does is to Franchise FC and its customers, as they continue to fail to properly create their new club as a Milton Keynes club, instead keeping it mired in the past and stirring up bitter recriminations. Only when they eventually come to terms with this reality will they drop the 'Dons' and get on with creating an already legally disconnected club that Milton Keynes can properly get behind.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Why don't some Franchise customers 'get it' yet?

When the Franchise FC experiment got underway in 2000 and went into full gear in 2002, it was understandable that lots of people in Milton Keynes didn't really have a clue about what was going on or even what being a football fan was all about. For them the anger and vilification that has been heaped on them for 10 years must initially have been a shock, because they simply didn't understand how fans feel about their football club. 10 years have passed though and by now they ought to be getting it, realising how much one's football club means to one and therefore why Wimbledon fans and others were so incensed about what was done. And yet... you look on forums, Twitter, Facebook and article comment sections and there are not just older Franchise customers with lack of understanding and empathy, but some of the children who've grown up with Franchise show not only the same lack of knowledge and understanding, but a really nasty streak of bitterness and hatred towards Wimbledon and its fans. Why is that?

Bunker mentality
The obvious answer is that 10 years of being one of the most hated clubs in the country has an effect. Undoubtedly they have retreated into a bunker mentality and somewhat understandably sometimes lash out at what they perceive as attacks on them. Initially they tried defending themselves with a variety of means, but all of these are pushed aside, either because they weren't relevant or they weren't true. In fact it has been a long succession of clutching at straws that they hoped would stem the tide of hate or give their club legitimacy. Let's not mince words, some of the attempted 'defences' have been outright lies cooked up those who don't care about the truth and they include increasingly twisted attempts to blame Wimbledon fans instead of those actually responsible for the move.

The blame game
Of course the main thing they blame us for is all the hate and abuse that has come their way for 10 years. That would be fair enough if it weren't for two things... one, it's not hate and abuse if it's facts and the truth, and two, we don't control what other football fans think or do and never have. Point one deserves further explanation too...

...It's not wrong to say our football club was stolen from us, it was. The fans never gave permission and received no recompense. It's not about legality and 'stolen' does not mean 'illegal'.

...It's not wrong to blame Winkelman and his associates for the move, he approached Wimbledon FC, he promised the 'free' stadium, he helped convince the 3-man Commission, he blocked Koppel's consortium and much more. Even he admits it was wrong and that he made it happen.

...It's not wrong to say we didn't desert our club, the owners deserted us for Milton Keynes. It has been proved time and time again that AFC Wimbledon was set up exactly when it needed to be in order to re-form a football club for Wimbledon.

...It's not wrong to call it Franchise FC, it is the only example since the league system was properly formed of a club moving between towns. There are a number of definitions of the word 'franchise' and the one relating to the North American sports franchising system is entirely accurate.

There are many more things, but the point is clear, these are the facts. It's not abuse, it's not a smear campaign, it's not lies - it's the truth. Sometimes the truth hurts, but that won't stop it being the truth.

What about the children?
What about the youngsters growing up in MK who have only ever known 'Milton Keynes Dons' on their doorstep as their local club. Nearly everyone, even the most dogmatic of Wimbledon fans, would have to agree that a kid just supporting their local football club is a good thing. It's a bitter pill for us when it means it's lining Winkelman's pockets, but I've never expected a 10-year-old to fully comprehend why I'd prefer them not to hand over their pocket money to Wormtongue Winkelman every fortnight. However, when they've grown up, I do at least expect them to know the facts and not the twisted pack of lies that were and are spread around by Koppel, Winkelman and their accomplices. Some of those young children back in 2003-4 when Franchise FC arrived in MK are now in their mid-to-late teens and early-20s - and a noticeable minority are repeating as gospel the lies and propaganda from the last 12 years, without the slightest pause to think that they've been lied to all those years.

Some of them do 'get it' and have had the gumption to do their own research into things, like this Charlton blogger I linked to recently (, but too many others demonstrate ignorance of the facts and, more worryingly, a vile hatred of Wimbledon and its fans. Recent forays into the land of 'tweeting' have revealed all too clearly that a number of these people exist and their inability to understand or accept the facts is a sign that they have been badly let down by their elders, either at home or at the football.

Empathy, what's that then?
The most amazing thing is that by now I expected a large number of Franchise customers to have got the football bug, fallen in love with it and therefore started to understand just why Wimbledon fans and others were so hurt, upset and angry about what happened to Wimbledon FC. Yet this empathy seems to be entirely absent. There's the odd claim of 'I know it was wrong but we've both got good clubs now, can't you be happy with that', but that's still a selfish 'just leave me alone' excuse and not a sign of empathising at all.

Trying to get them to imagine what it would be like if their club now moved to Wakefield or wherever, still seems to fall on unthinking minds. Instead of picturing how they would feel, they just say it won't happen. Maybe it's a guilt thing that means they simply can't process and accept the information?

Instead of trying to understand what happened in 2000-3 and understand why 95% of Wimbledon fans backed a re-formed club, I just see jibes about 'abandoning', delusions about 'saving' Wimbledon FC and lies about Winkelman's part in it all. Surely after 10 years there must be a few among the Franchise customers who can see past the lies and spin to the truth? If not, one fears for the future. Not for Wimbledon's football club, built on all the right things like passion, determination, loyalty and community, but for Milton Keynes' club, built on lies, deceit, guilt, hate and bitterness. It's a slow poison, but I see it clearly eating away at particularly the MK youngsters, the ones who should be taking the most from being part of a football club, but who never will be able to while it clings to past misdeeds.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Close to a breakthrough, but still deluded

Obviously not all Franchise customers are deluded nutjobs like the loudest ones on the internet, just as most Wimbledon fans aren't obsessed pedants like I am, and one does occasionally get a glimpse of some common sense. This post gets so close to addressing the only big issues that are left, but then sadly veers off into nonsense instead of following through to the common sense conclusion that anyone outside the customerbase would point out. Here's the quote:
"Doesn't the fact that we can fill the ground for a second tier England game say something about the potential for football in Milton Keynes - and in comparison the relatively low gates we still get for ordinary MK Dons games demonstrates clearly how our club has been successfully poisoned by AFC Wimbledon's propaganda lies?"
Quite rightly the poster points out that the attendances for certain events at Stadium:MK, particularly an England U21 game and even Premiership reserve sides, demonstrate there can be a big demand for football in Milton Keynes. That demand has never been in doubt for me - the people of Milton Keynes are no different from the people in any other town.
Where the poster goes horribly wrong is to blame Wimbledon fans for the poor turnouts for average Franchise games. Much as I'd like to believe it's down to us, it isn't. There are certainly principled people in MK who have looked at the facts and taken a stance to have nothing to do with Franchise, but they would have done that without any assistance from me or any other Wimbledon fan, because they've learned the facts for themselves and understand right and wrong.
Other Franchise customers blame the fact that most adults in MK already supported someone else, which is true, but it's only part of the picture. The elephant in the room that the Franchise customers on that forum can't bring themselves to point out, is that it's a big problem that their team still has a massive stigma attached to it, embodied by clinging on to the 'Dons' nicked-name.
Working out just how big the damage is to Franchise's potential support is difficult - you would need an in-depth research study conducted in an unbiased fashion to get a reasonable figure. What isn't in any doubt at all though, is that the lingering stench of the lies spread around to create Franchise FC are still warding off potential fans of a Milton Keynes football club. Because where the poster of the quote above has fundamentally gone wrong, is that what he deludedly thinks are propaganda and lies, are the truth - and many people both in MK and outside know it.
What the existing Franchise customers need to face is that if they really want to fill Winkelman's white elephant stadium, they have to address the 'Dons' elephant in the room. If they want all of Milton Keynes to embrace Franchise FC, then they're going to have to do something clear, principled and dynamic to leave all the stigma and hate behind - and the only thing that they can do to fit that bill is to drop the 'Dons'. Winkelman knew it, that's why he put the decision in the customerbase's hands - he knows if it comes from them then it transforms the club, because anything he does is tainted. So far they haven't taken the hint though. They can't ever make the Milton Keynes 'Dons' something the whole town will view with pride, but if the fans (because they would be if they did it) make the running on the name change, the whole club will be transformed. They will hate me saying it, but it's true. If they took action then the whole football community would applaud them, even many Wimbledon fans. 10 years experience of all this tells me not to hold my breath for it, of course, but maybe one day someone will surprise me, look past their bitterness and hate and do the right thing. I live in hope.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

The liquidation lie

I first published this over two years ago, but since it's the most common lie Franchise customers still come up with I'm bringing it to the top of the blog again. Add in the indisputable facts from the recent analysis of Wimbledon FC's accounts from 1995-2000 and you have the full story as to why it always was a complete lie that the club was going to go bust. Here's the post from 6/9/11...

It's amazing that even now, one of Koppel's great lies is still doing the rounds and treated by many as fact - the lie that Wimbledon FC were certain to go into liquidation without the MK move. And it is a lie. We knew it then and it hasn't got any more true in the intervening years. One can only presume this particular lie is still around because the Franchise customers cling to it as their last desperate attempt to show it wasn't all about building a supermarket, but that there was a company and jobs to be saved. The trouble is, it simply isn't true and, all these years later, they are still clinging to this complete myth.

First things first... Koppel did indeed threaten the club with liquidation (this from May 2002):

"If it rejects our proposal we will have to look at the club's future. It'll be up to the administrator to decide whether the club is financially viable."
"He may decide there's no option but to liquidate."
Note the key word here - "may". Not a certainty, just a possibility. And why would it only be a possibility? Because there were other options open to the club. Even in this short statement Koppel is having to concede that.
And let's be clear, it wasn't even certain at this point that the club would go into administration, again this was just a threat Koppel made prior to the Commission. He was keen to talk up the financial difficulties as much as he could:
(NB Important to note here that this piece is from 1st May 2002 and Koppel is expecting to play the following season in Milton Keynes at one of the two temporary stadium sites. That is what was expected when the Commission's decision was made and that is why a Wimbledon club had to be reborm immediately. Accept no revisionism from those who have created the lie that AFC Wimbledon was formed too soon.)
So Koppel is threatening imminent financial meltdown. But that's something we have seen dozens of times previously, from football clubs in particular, accompanied by screaming headlines about 'X number of days to save the club' and so on. Certainly Wimbledon FC had some major financial problems to address, of that there is no doubt, but already we've seen that even Koppel was not saying the club would be liquidated, just that it was a possibility - there is a world of difference between those two things.
The last full accounts we have for Wimbledon FC are for the year ended 30th June 2001, and they do indeed make for poor viewing:
Operating loss: £7,069,128
Loss for the year: £6,607,816
Looks pretty bad, right? Well, it does until you realise this is a football club that had sold players on at considerable profit for its entire time in the top division. Look deeper and a different story appears. There's a note in the accounts that says:
"Post year end sales of player registrations amounted to £5,540,000."
Whoa! That's the loss for the year nearly completely covered. Dig deeper...
Intangible fixed assets - £8,179,007
This largely covers player registrations. It's an accounting procedure to reflect the value of their contracts within the accounts - and these are audited accounts remember. Even by this measure the club has an awful lot of valuable player assets on the books. And even taking Koppel's unaudited claimed £8m loss for the 2001-2 year (audited accounts were never filed, so all figures presented to the FA Commission remain questionable), that doesn't allow for the transfer fees for the likes of John Hartson, who was sold to Coventry in February 2001.
And even Koppel is admitting in the Telegraph article by Mihir Bose that massive savings can be made by cutting player salaries. Yes that would have major implications for the playing squad, but like Leeds, Plymouth, Portsmouth and any number of other clubs both before and since Wimbledon in 2002, savings could have been made and the club could have lived within whatever means it had.
Even a cursory study of these facts, conducted nine years later, quickly reveals that liquidation was certainly not inevitable and, in fact, highly unlikely... as I'll now explain.
Even if Koppel had gone through with putting the club into administration (bearing in mind we'd be talking about 2002 here and in a world where the FA Commission had refused permission for the move), then how likely is it that the administrator would have liquidated the club? And bear in mind we are already into the realms of supposition, so this idea of guaranteed liquidation is already a nonsense.
The reality is that an administration period at Selhurst Park probably wouldn't have gone much differently to the one that actually occurred, but with one major difference - the fans would have been on-board with trying to save a club that would by then be sure to remain in London. There would have been a fire sale of players, a new deal would have had to be struck at Selhurst Park (Ron Noades has already confirmed in his 2002 radio interview that this was easily done or another venue, relegation would certainly have been a likelihood. But there is absolutely no evidence that undergoing exactly the same process in south London would have meant any other outcome than similar to what actually occurred in MK. Winkelman didn't even come close to meeting WFC's debts with his 2004 CVA, yet still the administrator chose that instead of liquidation. Franchise customers will tell you that no other 'saviour' appeared in south London, but one never had the chance to, so it's moot. (Even Koppel's consortium was blocked during the actual events:

Bear in mind too, that with a move to MK thwarted, there is no guarantee at all that the Norwegian owners would have written off their investment by placing the club in administration. Faced with a reality of having to find a solution in London, there's simply no way of knowing what they might have done, but writing off a £30m investment by liquidating it is the last thing that any businessman would do, as the actual process of administration demonstrated - they even accepted a measly return on their investment from Winkelman's consortium rather than liquidate.

In the face of all this, we still have Franchise customers and others, who will blithely bring out the liquidation lie as if it's a fact - that's how pervasive Koppel's lies have become, and, as I've shown, even he never even said it was certain!

Of course, I guarantee you that those who still believe the lie will not be able to accept this or any other evidence to the contrary. It is they who have based their dogma on a lie and they who now can't accept it, because it would bring so much else of their world belief crashing down around them. The problem for them is, that most of the rest of the world can see the truth, thereby further isolating the Franchise customers who believe the lies.

And a message to those Franchise customers: We lost our football club in 2002 and we've been through the seven stages of grief: disbelief, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, acceptance. And believe me, we've done the lot, but some of you are still stuck on stage two - denial. What you lost in 2002 was the ability for Milton Keynes to create a proper football club for itself. What you are grieving over is the fact that MK's chance to make a local football dream happen died along with Wimbledon FC becoming Franchise FC and moving to Milton Keynes. But in order to move on, it's you that has to get past your denial of the truth before you'll ever reach a level of acceptance for how things really are. We aren't the ones propagating lies about the move - you are. Whether you mean to or not, that is the truth.