Niall CouperManifesto Niall Couper

Proposers: Kevin Rye and Lou Carton-Kelly

Niall CouperI am a current member of the Dons Trust Board, and I am asking you to re-elect me.

My mantra is simple: I want every Wimbledon fan to be able to put on our club shirt proud in everything it stands for, safe in the knowledge that the club will always be there for you and owned by you.

I am unequivocally in favour of the club remaining fan owned. We only have to let go once and it is lost forever.

Over the last 12 months, I have worked hard to deliver for our members and the club.

I have been heavily involved in the strategy review as we attempt to develop a long-term plan that chimes with the values of our members.

I am proud to be a part of the Dons Trust diversity and inclusion working group. There is no place for racism, sexism or homophobia in our club – and I will always strive to make our club a safe and welcoming environment for all the communities we serve.

I am delighted to have helped create a one club ethos, one that has started to bring together all the various elements of the AFC Wimbledon umbrella – from the women’s section to the academy, and from Wimbledon In Sporting History to the men’s first team.

But this is only the start of our journey.

We can achieve so much when we work together. Our own re-birth, the promotions we have had, and recently the likes of the Plough Lane Bond are all evidence of that. 

There is nothing we can’t achieve. It is our USP. It is what makes us special. I want every supporter to reach out and tell our story. 

Every fan also represents a unique skillset. There is so much potential amongst us. And I want to help unleash that potential. I want our volunteering scheme, Donsmakers, to become the envy of every club. If we can do that then the world is our oyster.

Take our marketing. We need to bring in the best minds and push forward. No more silly errors. I also want us to be more ambitious and if elected I will push for that. 

We are unique. There is no other club like us. We should be the most attractive proposition to any business with an ounce of morality in their DNA. I want us to be the first club that businesses want to be associated with. And it is the skills amongst that that can help deliver that – I want to make it easy for fans to step forward and help.

I firmly believe that the more embedded in our community we become the more secure our future is. I want that investment to secure our future and create revenue streams that mean there is never a question around our own financial security.

And we can do it.

I have a strong record of delivering.

In the past I have written two books on the club, I was the editor of the first AFC Wimbledon programme Yellow and Blue, I helped set up the Dons Draw and I was in charge of the media campaign for the Plough Lane Bond.

I am also head of Fair Game, who are campaigning to change the governance of football. Fair Game is a direct result of the Dons Trust strategy review and the Trust’s long-term commitment to improving the game we love. 

From a zero starting basis, Fair Game now consists of 31 value-driven football clubs, supported by 40 world-renowned experts and backed by politicians of all colours, including the likes of Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron and senior Conservative Damian Collins.

Fair Game has now developed a wide range of realistic long-term solutions to the problems our national game faces. Among Fair Game’s solutions include the abolition of parachute payments (the Premier League gives around £400m to clubs relegated from the Premier League each year) with the money being reallocated to clubs that are run well. The solutions also include details of proper fan and community engagement,  a more robust owners and directors test and no moving a club without the permission of its supporters.

But primarily, I am and always will be a Wimbledon fan.

You may not agree with everything I stand for. But if you vote for me you will get an individual who will work hard to get the best for our club. 

Best wishes