The Political Economy of Hating MK Dons
Degree 1: Stop moaning and move on
The old Wimbledon trophies have been returned to Merton Council and public figures such as the esteemed Lawrie Sanchez have suggested bygones be bygones. There’s a body of opinion that sees nothing wrong with the North Buckinghamshire set (surely it’s no coincidence that they are the local club to those bastions of conservative education, Buckingham and Cranfield Universities).
To this crew, everyone hated the Crazy Gang anyway and that Pete Winkelman seems like a go-ahead kind of guy who carries off that hairstyle well for a middle aged bloke. They see nothing wrong with their fabulously impressive stadium being nominated for the World Cup and see it as the kind of fast growing, modern city that will help us compete with similar petrol driven economies like the United States.
Degree 2: I’d watch a match at MK Dons
This category features those who acknowledge the mechanism of unfairness that helped the Dons gain their place in the league but object in the kind of mild mannered way that Hong Kong Phooey would have been proud of. We need to forgive and forget, they’ll tell you, and point out that we all live in a country ruled by David Cameron for Pete’s sake, so we can’t be too sniffy. Plus, kids growing up in Milton Keynes deserve a club to support and it’s better they go there than Chelsea – it’s a go ahead kind of place and child friendly – there are plenty of places to park and Frankie and Benny’s serve surprisingly authentic Italian grub.
Degree 3: I’ll never watch a match at Stadium:MK
In the early days of the whole shabby business, the quickly agreed upon solution was the formation of AFC Wimbledon and a determination among fans to boycott matches at the National Hockey Stadium, then the home of the object of our study. This mild form of rebellion has been effective – without doubt, MK Dons or “Franchise FC” are still the most widely reviled club in Britain this side of Stamford Bridge and their crowds are still meagre given the size of the conurbation. Even the construction of the enormous, but far too capacious Stadium:MK has seen most stick to their guns although there has been some recidivism. Economist Christophe Chamley’s book Rational Herds would no doubt shed light on this sub-group’s motivations.
Degree 4: I’ll never watch MK Dons in any match
Admittedly, we are in fringe nutter territory here and if I can claim to have stuck to this condition myself thus far, that’s more to do with the fact that my club is yet to lock horns with the all whites. I’d like to think, however, that I would resist any temptation to go see them – even if it’s a Wembley final. That would be the ultimate feat of one-upmanship (for that would surely be the main motivational emotion) and even my fellow blogger Scarf, as vehement a critic of MK Dons as I have come across, has yet to verbally make this pledge.
Stage 5: Direct Action
And one can go further still. Let’s begin a logical chain – beginning with deep objection to MK dons’ right to exist, one concludes 1) that one shouldn’t visit their stadium, 2) that one should avoid ever watching them live, 3) that one should refuse to watch them on television, 4) that one should boycott any television station that shows any of their matches, 5) that one should boycott other products and services offered by the parent company of which said TV network is a part, 6) that one should refuse to ever wear anything white (if this means supporting Leeds United, then STOP supporting Leeds United), 7) that one should refuse ever to set foot in Buckinghamshire (therefore depriving Wycombe Wanderers of any fans at all), 8) that one should boycott pukka pies because they are no doubt sold inside Stadium:MK – probably, anyway, because how would one find out without stepping inside such a den of iniquity? 9) that one should withdraw support for the 2018 Bid and 10) stop supporting any club who are also involved in said bid because it’s now inviolably tainted – Plymouth Argyle and Bristol City fans you are MK collaborators! Shame on You!
…and I was born in Buckinghamshire.