Dons Trust Board Co-Chairs
Prior to the SGM, the Dons Trust and AFC Wimbledon would like to share additional information following questions from the fanbase.
Please be aware that there will also be a Meet the DTB session taking place at 19:00 BST on Tuesday 30 March, prior to the SGM on Wednesday 31 March, so there will be further opportunities to ask questions before the member’s vote. You can register for the Meet the DTB here, and for the SGM here. Note that there may be a slight delay if receiving attendance confirmation as we first have to check you’re a current Dons Trust member.
Planning permission has been sought and we expect a decision by mid-May if not earlier. Any costs associated with seeking planning permission were minimal and, regardless of the potential Broncos arrangement, the club would like the ability to host one-off rugby games so the intention was to pursue permission in any case. We are hopeful of a positive outcome.
We have had a number of questions regarding the financial deal. The range given was between £200k and £500k per full London Broncos season. The primary reason for such a wide range is that the higher end will only occur if the London Broncos are in the Super League. The lower end is the minimum net amount based on the Broncos playing in the Championship and for a full season at Plough Lane with attendances slightly higher than they have currently. There are a number of factors making up these amounts, but this is a guaranteed minimum which will cover the hiring of Plough Lane, a contribution to the upkeep of the pitch and commission on several other income lines from sales such as ticketing, food and drink. We are still negotiating bar and catering deals with external suppliers from Plough Lane, so it is currently hard to share specific figures per pint sold, etc, but in essence, the more people attend Broncos games, the more revenue we are likely to generate. And the more successful the Broncos are, the more rewarding the deal is for us.
Within the arrangement with the London Broncos, we will supply a small number of essential staff who will be familiar with Plough Lane to work on matchdays. This will include our groundsman, head of security and stadium maintenance staff.
Following the end of last season, AFC Wimbledon embarked on a journey to find a potential, temporary ground share for the beginning of the 2020-21 season and went on to play at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium. Before deciding upon QPR, the club approached many different clubs and stadium locations. We therefore built up a robust knowledge of the market rate for a ground-sharing agreement and are therefore comfortable with any potential Broncos deal.
The London Broncos will not be permanently based at Plough Lane during the week, though it is likely there will be a couple of their staff on site for a few days per week when required. Essentially they will continue with their existing arrangements for staff and players.
We have also received follow-up questions regarding concerns for the pitch. Our head groundsman Anthony Quinn recently visited Brentford to look at how their pitch handles London Irish games. He described the pitch as fantastic and discussed any possible challenges with the club. He doesn’t foresee any additional problems at Plough Lane.