Roger HobkinsonManifesto Roger Hobkinson

Proposers: Graham Brown and Ross Fraser

Home Advantage – Supercharged!

Hello everyone, I would be honoured to serve you on The Dons Trust Board.

My Wimbledon credentials

My grandad and dad first took me to Plough Lane in the mid 1970’s. So, I am a lifelong supporter, Dons Trust member since inception and live in Wimbledon, 10 minutes’ walk from Plough Lane. I grew up in Sutton attending Greenshaw High School, then Leicester University and University College London and have worked in the property industry for twenty-five years.  

As a member of the original stadium working group, I instigated and undertook the stadium search and development strategy between 2003-12.  In July 2011, I presented our work and proposals to Merton Council.  The rest is… history.  Thank you for the achievements of many people over the last 18 years.

Between 2009-2019 I lived in Dublin, attending about 10+ games per season. Returning to Wimbledon last year, now I want to contribute to our exciting opportunity-filled future.

Returning home, we face two big issues

  • First, I have a strong belief in fan ownership – it is who we are – whilst remaining fans owned, we must adapt our clubs’ structure to achieve our ambitions.  In returning home we have achieved a remarkable milestone. Despite this and the on and off field progress, nothing should paper over the cracks that our clubs’ structure is creaking.  It served us very well as a non-league start-up but now, as an established Football League Club with a new stadium, reform is needed.
  • Second, we have huge opportunities to grasp as our stadium evolves to full permanent completion.  This is crucial as we have debts and bonds to repay plus on and off-field ambitions. We really need to “sweat our stadium asset” to earn more money.   An injection of professional expertise is required.

What next?

My focus if elected will be to:

  • Support a rebooted club structure that is appropriate, agile, better at decision making and communicating with our supporters.
    • A fresh executive empowered to do the strategic planning and delivery plus the ability to grab the quick wins.
  • Support, through advice and/or oversight to the club and Dons Trust, initiatives to make more money from our stadium.
    • I have previously set out to the club and Dons Trust, a development approach across our stadium footprint.   With existing and new work, this will support a credible, compelling, and deliverable vision, strategy, and business plan for our “stadium district”.
  • Ensure our stadium district is a great destination experience.
    • Capturing the best of old football grounds with the contemporary stadium experience: Fun, noisy, boisterous, good quality food and drink options served quickly.
    • Ensure our heritage and stories are captured throughout.
    • Maximise our fanbase and stadium users within a 25-minute walk and ensure they feel engaged through various events, activities, social media, phone calls, letters, and meetings.  
  • Ensure our club and stadium is a hub for the Foundation, incorporating the DLAG, at the heart of a thriving community that generates benefits for all.
    • Mentoring and outreach projects for local children, families, and senior citizens
    • Be a good neighbour and engage with local people and businesses
    • Support the evolution of the wider Plough Lane area
    • Pick up work I undertook in the mid 2000’s to deliver a state-of-the-art training ground for our club – a “sports campus” for Merton.

Offering you a skill set that we need

I have 25 years’ experience in advising on successful property, urban regeneration, development, economic development, tourism, museum, business planning and place branding projects in Britain, Ireland and around the world  I have worked for leading global property advisory companies Cushman & Wakefield, Jones Lang LaSalle and Colliers International.   I am now self-employed with my “The Destination Developers” business and a retained consultant to Colliers International.  I have a flexible work style to devote time to our club.

Adding value 

Plough Lane is our football ground and a huge asset but there is much more to be done.  With my professional expertise I will help guide the next phases of stadium and club development. 

In summary, if elected:

  • Support the AFC Wimbledon business in delivery and provide oversight on progress against key performance indicators
  • Focus on compelling vision, strategy, and delivery not politics.

My manifesto will help us put down strong Merton roots.  My aim is that our club and community flourishes into the future and benefits those who follow us as supporters of Wimbledon’s Football Club.

Please do connect through my details below. If you would like a “socially distanced” meet in and around Wimbledon please get in touch. 

Thank you for reading.  I would love to get your vote.

Roger

Phone: 0735 661 107 | Email:  roger@thedestination-developers.com | Social Media: Facebook: Roger Hobkinson | Twitter: @roghobC | Web: CommunityClubBuilding.com   

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