Wimbledon Football Club Chair, Charles Koppel, is clearly on the run.
That’s the verdict of Merton Council Leader, Councillor Andrew Judge, after hearing comments Mr Koppel allegedly made at an audience of specially selected members of the Haydons Road Residents Association.
At the meeting Mr Koppel accused Councillor Judge of opposing the WFC move to Milton Keynes and supports its return to Merton because Councillor Judge’s girlfriend was a WFC supporter.
Councillor Judge said: ‘Clearly Mr Koppel knows as much about relationships as he does about running a football club and gaining the support and trust of the Club’s fans.
‘I support WFC returning to Merton and Plough Lane because it is their home and the Club deserves the opportunity to return to its roots.
‘The fact that my long term partner has been a Wimbledon supporter for 20 years is irrelevant in this context. I make my decisions based on facts, by listening to Borough residents and what I consider to be the best for Merton. I keep my political roll separate from my private life.
Councillor Judge also rejected Mr Koppel’s claim that there was no popular Merton Support for WFC to return to Merton.
‘Mr Koppel selects one residents association, selects the audience, brings along a prepared motion and gets them to agree to it and claims he knows what residents think. He is off beam.
‘In recent weeks several surveys have indicated the support WFC has to return to Merton.’
The recent survey results show:
*Wimbledon Civic Forum: 85% say WFC should return to Merton
*Merton Council Residents Panel: 86% the panel want WFC back in Merton
The WISA/Council sponsored ICM survey results that will be announced this week will also confirm a huge local support for the Club to stay in Merton.
Councillor Judge concluded: ‘It is a sorry state when Mr Koppel, who appears to be so overwhelmingly confident in his belief that WFC should go to Milton Keynes, is now resorting to such desperate tactics to round up the little support he actually has.
‘Apparently Mr Koppel asked his hand-picked audience to write to the FA to tell them they do not want WFC back in Merton.
‘For those that do want to see the Club return, the FA address is:
The Football Association
25 Soho Square
London, W1D 4FA