The Dons Trust AFC Wimbledon Club OwnersStrategy review update and next steps

An update from the Dons Trust Board (DTB) on the strategy review and next steps.

There has been lots going on behind the scenes on the strategy review since it was announced as one of the DTB priorities back in early January. As members will know it’s been a while since the Club and Trust looked at the strategy of our club covering who we are, our aims and vision. It’s a testament to all the volunteers and employees who have gone before that we are fan-owned, in League One, and have our own ground in Merton (the key strategy that was set previously).

It’s vital that through this process the owners of the club (our Trust members) help set the strategy which will then allow our CEO (Joe Palmer) and boards to create, refine and meet objectives in line with the strategic outcomes to continue the growth of our football club and its related entities.

Members may recall the request for volunteers at the end of January to help out and it isn’t too late to get involved as there are lots of pieces of consultation. The strategy has adopted six strands, and has appointed volunteer team leaders to oversee those areas:

Strategic team leads

Football – Trevor Williams

Commercial – Matt Lowndes

Community – Rosie Caley

One Club – Lou Carton-Kelly

Ambassadorial – Niall Couper

Ethos – Marc Jones

The team leads have created and agreed on a methodology for the strategy review. The methodology has been challenged and refined by experienced volunteers who have provided both quantitative and qualitative research skills. Matt Breach, who has extensive project experience, is providing a critical volunteer role in ensuring consistency and minimal duplication across the strands.

It was agreed that there would be working groups set up underneath the strategy leads to support the work across these six strands. The working groups have been set up from volunteers and Dons Trust members and they are brainstorming priorities and creating questions for the stakeholder groups.

The stakeholder groups are currently being set up (some are naturally defined by their role) and will include all our key stakeholders including e.g. football club board and staff, football club management and coaches, club sponsors, foundation colleagues, Dons Local Action Group (DLAG) leadership group, Dons Trust Board, local community partners, academy parents, ladies and girls section and current volunteers. The stakeholder groups will discuss the key areas set out by the working groups and help inform the areas of importance across different parts of our club in relation to their specific area, which will then be fed into the wider membership engagement.

The working groups and stakeholder groups already include members of the Dons Trust but ensuring wider membership engagement is vitally important. There will be focus groups including an invitation for all Dons Trust members and surveys coming your way so please do ensure you engage with them, and if you haven’t already volunteered, do get in touch with Xavier to help develop the strategy review – it’s not too late! It’s really important everybody gets to have their say and be heard on the future of our club.

The timelines are quite tight on this as we set this as a quarter one priority and it needs to help the club set their objectives and targets and feed into the refinancing work that the Finance Committee is undertaking. So please do get involved when you see the requests for focus groups and survey responses (where the aim is to start to get these out to members by end of March).

All of this work will be brought together into an update report in April and there will be follow-up reports as the work develops further. This piece of work will set the strategic direction of our club for a number of years so please do ensure you have your say and get involved.