News that Wimbledon Football Club had signed a deal to move to Milton Keynes disappointed and shocked Merton Council Leader Councillor Andrew Judge.
“I do not believe that this move is in the interests of the fans or the Club. The identity of the Club is special. It will be completely altered by such a move. Fans will now be expected to make a round trip by car of 124 miles taking 2 hours and 50 minutes to see their Club play.
“This is clearly a business decision, but football is more than that. It is apparent that the Club’s owners are seeking to protect their investment.
“I am surprised by this announcement. It was less that a month ago that Mr Koppel, in front of fans representatives, agreed to work with the Council and the supporters to look at neighbouring boroughs and investigate whether there was space for a stadium close to Merton.
“I understand that in the past the Football Association has said it would not permit Wimbledon Football Club to move outside the M25. Both the fans and the Council hope they will keep to this line.”
“Merton values the link with the Club. I note that in his statement to fans, Mr Koppel has pledged to continue the commitment to Football in the Community and a Football Academy in Merton. I can only hope that these promises are maintained.”
To interview the Leader of the Council contact Sophie Rauber 020 8545 3181