The Football League Paper says...
Passion is fine but don’t cross the line
AS MENTIONED in our main story on this page, AFC Wimbledon host MK Dons in League One on Tuesday night. The sides have met four times before – with MK Dons winning three to AFC Wimbledon’s one – but all the clashes have taken place in Milton Keynes.
This will be the first time AFC Wimbledon have played at home against their bitter rivals and the atmosphere is sure to be intense.
Indeed, former MK Dons manager Karl Robinson was given a tough time when he visited Kingsmeadow as Charlton manager last month.
He alleged that he had been on the receiving end of verbal abuse by an AFC Wimbledon volunteer at the end of the match and had to be restrained. An abusive banner was also prominently displayed at the match.
Many AFC Wimbledon supporters have never forgiven the FA for allowing the original Wimbledon to relocate to Milton Keynes back in 2002. They feel the FA and MK Dons ‘killed’ their club.
Yet bitterness is not healthy for anyone and at some stage you have to move on. Why not now? AFC Wimbledon have, after all, worked their way up to the same level as MK Dons and gone above them in the table this season.
Yes, we understand the passion of the AFC Wimbledon fans, but we hope that it doesn’t cross the line in midweek. There is no need for abuse of any kind and it doesn’t show the club in a good light.
There is responsibility on the players, too, to behave properly on the evening and not get caught up in any silly feuds or inflame the situation.
It is also important that MK Dons players, staff and fans behave in the right manner.
This will never be a ‘normal’ game, but it needs to be as normal as possible.