DTB MEMBER HANNAH KITCHER REFLECTS ON WHAT HAS BEEN A TESTING SEASON BOTH ON AND OFF THE PITCH
The Dons Trust Board is made up of different people, with different skills, experience and ideas. But one thing all board members have in common, from 2002 to today, is that we are fans. We love it when things are going well, and when they aren’t it hurts. We’re all gutted with where we are in the league table. We’ve made mistakes this season – I’m sure the Dons Trust Board has made mistakes every season. And both boards – the Dons Trust and PLC – are going into the summer recognising that we have lessons to learn.
Meanwhile, there’s a lot to be proud of as a club. Just this week we were pleased to deliver the very good news that the initial April 2022 refinancing target has been met. At the end of April, the MSP loan that was secured against the stadium will be repaid, which means the club will be free of any secured debt. This is down to the incredible efforts of Plough Lane Bond investors, a further sale of equity and a short-term loan from Cherry Red Records.
In December 2019 a lot of people didn’t think we’d get here.
We pay tribute again to the fantastic support of our fans, members and investors for continuing to support the Trust and club’s fund-raising and investment initiatives. Thanks go to all those at the club, on the finance committee, and on the boards, who have worked so hard to pass this latest hurdle. And a welcome to the club’s new International President, Ananth Nathan, who joins us at the game today.
Another great piece of news this week was AFC Wimbledon being awarded “Community Club of the Season”. It’s a testament to the hard work of the AFC Wimbledon Foundation – the award recognising the huge number of volunteers, and our impact in the community. One of our club’s greatest strengths has always been the fact that we have so many talented people in the fan base who are willing to put in a lot of hard work, often with little to no reward.
We’d not have been able to achieve what we have without all the staff who work so hard at our club, day in and day out. Our thanks, as always, to them. Change is always difficult, and we’ve asked people to cope with a lot over recent times. We’re confident in Mick Buckley, our Interim Chair, who is keeping things moving following the departure of Joe Palmer. He has the clear remit to make recommendations to the Board about the kind of structure and leadership we will need to keep pushing the club forward.
The next Dons Trust members’ meeting (formally an “SGM”) will take place at 19:30 on Wednesday 25 May 2022. It will be held here at the stadium and streamed online. These meetings are at the heart of the Dons Trust Board’s accountability to the membership. Please attend, ask questions, and hold us to account.
A programme piece is written a while in advance, and you don’t know what will have happened come matchday. We’re all spending this week hoping against hope, of course. Toiling over writing this page and asking my dad (a Southampton fan… sorry!) for advice. This is what he had to say:
“I would be realistic, that’s what they need to hear. I have suffered relegation. It’s not the end of the world although it may seem it at the time.”
We came from non-league. We had our club stolen and we remade it. We got back into the league, and we got back to Plough Lane. We’re made of strong stuff. Whatever the end of this season brings, we will rise again.
You can find names and photos of the current Dons Trust board on the website https://thedonstrust.org/board/
Dons Trust members can discuss all things DT online at https://donstrust.boards.net/