The Dons Trust AFC Wimbledon Club OwnersDons Trust Programme notes – Charlton 5/4/22


Unless you’ve been living off-grid, you might have noticed the Dons Trust Board getting some pretty severe criticism over recent weeks. And that’s fine, mostly. We’re your representatives and if you aren’t happy with what we’re doing, you have every right to let us know. As the top board, the DTB is ultimately responsible for everything that happens
here. But that doesn’t mean that the DTB gets involved in everything. Nor should we – and nor could we!

Kris Stewart

Things can seem fairly complicated round here. To try to make things more straightforward, in June last year the DTB published a “governance update”. Personally, I am not a fan of the word “governance”, as it tends to make many people’s eyes glaze over. I prefer to talk about “how we do things”. So, in June last year, there was a change in how we do things.

We used to have three boards, now we have two. The way things are designed to work since June last year is:

– The senior staff at the club get together as the “Senior Leadership Team”, and they report to the Chief Executive.

– The Chief Executive reports on club operations to the PLC board.

– The PLC board oversees the operations at the club – what goes on, day-to-day and week-toweek.

– The chair of the Dons Trust board line-manage the Chief Executive.

– The Dons Trust board oversees the PLC board.

As with all changes, some parts have been more successful than others, and a review would have been appropriate in the near future, even if Joe Palmer hadn’t decided to move on. In announcing Mick Buckley’s appointment as Interim Chair, we said: “As well as helping to keep the club on course in the short term, Mick will be helping the boards shape our longer-term plans”.

The Dons Trust AFC Wimbledon Club Owners

At our last board meeting we agreed to restate the DTB’s priorities for this year. So here are the things the DTB is working on that are most important in respect of AFC Wimbledon:

– Refinancing of the MSP loan in April.

– Giving full support to Mick in leading the club in the transition phase.

Working with Mick to determine and agree:

– The permanent leadership requirement for the club.

– Any required changes to the football club organisation to maximise future success.

– Any required changes to the group structure to support that.

And our priority work areas for the DT itself are:

– Developing the “One Club” concept.

– Supporting our excellent club staff working together with our wonderful volunteers.

– Responding to and implementing the Elections Steering Group recommendations from the 2021 elections and planning for 2022.

– Planning members’ meetings for 2022, considering options on holding meetings in-person, remotely or both, to maximise participation and engagement.

– Considering whether the board needs to co-opt further members.

– Surveying the DT membership – on membership and funds, on elections, on cultural issues for the club, on any changes to structure etc.

Meanwhile, DTB members have agreed individual areas of responsibility, and these are up on the DT website.

To go back to where I started, there have been times where the DTB has taken the rap for stuff that isn’t in our remit. And I dare say we’ve had credit for the hard work of others, at times, as well. It’s an ongoing piece of work, to keep the board focused on what we should be doing, to hold others to account on their areas of responsibility, and to make it clear to members what we do and don’t do. We won’t always get that right, and it’s good for us to be told where we haven’t.

We need members to tell us your views, on the DT message board or by email to And there’s a members’ meeting (formally “SGM”) on 25 May here at the stadium and online. Check the Dons Trust website for details. I hope to see you there.

You can find the Dons Trust website at and the Dons Trust message board at