Portrait photo of Joe PalmerJoe Palmer takes over as Chief Executive Officer

The Dons Trust and AFC Wimbledon boards are delighted to announce the appointment of Joe Palmer, previously the club’s Chief Operating Officer, to the role of Chief Executive Officer, following the retirement of Erik Samuelson earlier this month.

Commenting on the Dons Trust board’s appointment of Joe to this role, Dons Trust Chair Mark Davis said:

“When we recruited Joe as Chief Operating Officer just over a year ago, it was very much with a view to him succeeding Erik as CEO once the new stadium was completed. We therefore recruited an individual who had been operating in very senior positions at major football clubs – Shakhtar Donetsk and Sheffield Wednesday.

“Whilst the timing of Joe’s succession is earlier than we expected because of Erik’s decision to step down, I am confident that he is ready for the role, having already made some important contributions behind the scenes as COO. These include innovations at The Cherry Red Records Stadium, such as the electronic admission system, and some creative proposals for the new stadium. Joe’s experience in the world of football beyond AFC Wimbledon will be invaluable to preparing us for the next phase of this club, back in Merton.

“Although Joe was the front-runner for this role, we did go through a formal and thorough process prior to appointing him. This included an interview by a panel comprising Dons Trust board members, a subsequent presentation on Joe’s vision for the club to the Dons Trust board, and seeking feedback from colleagues who have worked with Joe over the past year.

“I speak for all on the Dons Trust board in saying that I am delighted to welcome Joe to the role of club CEO.”

Commenting on his appointment, Joe said:

“I’d like to thank Mark and the board for the trust they’ve shown by appointing me CEO of this very special club. It’s an immense privilege and a challenge and I will do my upmost to live up to the board’s expectations.

“I always knew this club was different but it was only when I actually came here that I realised just how special it was. I know I made the right decision and I’m confident I can show that the board made the right choice in giving me this responsibility.

“There’s a great team off the pitch at The Cherry Red Records Stadium and, with their backing and the help I know I’ll have from all you amazing supporters, we will make a triumphant return to Plough Lane.

“Erik Samuelson, more than anyone, has made that return possible and he is going to be a hard act to follow. He and I came here from very different sporting and professional backgrounds but we have one crucial thing in common – we both care passionately about seeing AFC Wimbledon meet its potential.

“I want to build on Erik’s legacy – and on what everyone else has done for this club – to bring us even greater success. There is a great deal of work ahead of us, especially over the next six months, but I will do my best to poke my head up and say hello to as many of you as possible.”

A video interview with Joe will be available on our YouTube channel later this week.

In the meantime, Dons Trust members can come and meet Joe – and the Dons Trust board – at the Trust’s Special General Meeting this evening (7.30 pm) at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.