The inevitable has happened. MK Dons will play AFC Wimbledon for the first time in the FA Cup 2nd round. Already there has been talk of the ‘Dons derby’ and how it was the fixture everyone wanted from some sections of the media, but they are the ones with short memories.
Ripping Wimbledon out of South London and transplanting it into the 1960s planning Mecca that is Milton Keynes was one of the stand out decisions in the FA’s long list of allowing the money men to rule the game with little regard to how the fans feel.
The vast majority of Wimbledon fans have spoken about their disgust that this fixture is ever taking place. A few good examples are from twohundredpercent, Wise Men Say fanzine and inthewiderinterestsoffootball . As I’m not a Wimbledon fan I have little idea what exactly they are going through but it is a unique position in the entirety of football so however they react – either through a boycott or going to watch the match – I support them.
This fixture is not a normal rivalry like some are trying to paint it as. A rivalry is something that every fan looks forward to so you can get one over on another team and enjoy the collective and parodied hatred of a town that is nearby (and worse, obviously!). Dons fans, and by that I mean the real Dons in South London, are not looking forward to this match. They do not want it to happen and in fact they would prefer that MK Dons did not exist.
Many feel that if they go and pay their money at Stadium:mk that they will be legitimising a club that should never have existed in the first place. That the owners of the Buckinghamshire club and the wider footballing community will try to put what has happened in the past and ignore one of the biggest ever travesties to ever happen in football.
Do not forget what MK Dons are.
Until recently there was a Football Supporters Federation boycott of all MK Dons games which was only lifted because the franchise gave back the trophies that Wimbledon had won and stopped trying to claim Wimbledon’s history as their own. Part of that history is also the Dons moniker that they have attached to their name instead of it organically becoming their nickname. Until that goes and MK, at the very least, apologise to Wimbledon then they will remain the pariah club that they are.