Strategy Review 2021

Dons Trust Strategy Review 2021


Following extensive member consultation, the Dons Trust produced an updated strategy review – containing its 5-Year Strategic Objectives – which was ratified by members at the December 2021 AGM.

The results of that review are published here:

Strategy Review 


To successfully continue the greatest story in English football as a proudly fan[1]owned and ambitious club at the heart of its community

Five-Year Strategic Objectives

 Championship Football

 Be widely recognised as pioneers in player development.

 Financially sustainable. Reinvesting profits.

 Become the UK’s number one community club.

 Expand Plough Lane and transform our training facility.

Further Consultation

 London Living Wage

 B Corp status

How will we achieve these objectives?

 The boards and staff will work for the members and owners, in a clear,

transparent and consultative way.

 Throughout the Club, we will recruit people whose values align with ours.

 We will strive to create business units that are unusually strong for a club of our size by supporting the senior leadership team with volunteer experts.

 We will put data and judgment at the heart of our decision making.


 Collaboration – One Club

 Ownership

 Resilience

 Trust

 Constant Improvement


The main aim, strategic objectives, how and the values were overseen by market research experts and arrived at using a combination of elements which included:

Working Groups under the headings of:

 Football

 Commercial

 Community

 One Club

 Ethos

 Ambassadorial

The working groups looked at the main questions that the stakeholder groups and surveys would need to consider.

Stakeholder Group Interviews split by groups, as follows:

 Dons Local Action Group (Leadership Group)

 AFC Wimbledon Foundation Trustees and Staff

 AFC Wimbledon Academy Management

 Community Leaders

 Dons Trust Board

 AFC Wimbledon Staff Team

 Football Club Management and Coaching

 Academy Parents

 Women’s First Team

The stakeholder group interviews were all recorded in writing and a summary was subsequently created. The summary is in appendix one. Full interview contents are on Sharepoint.


 Two major surveys were sent to the DT members asking various fundamental questions to support the stakeholder group findings. (Papers 4 and 4a show those findings)


 Notice has also been taken of other department strategies such as the football group strategy and the finance committee’s plan. As well as the existing strategy.

The five strategic objectives were arrived at via a combination of the above and some key rationale points are listed below. Each strategic objective is supported by a large number of findings in the consultation period. Two or three of those findings are below for each.

Championship Football

 S1 Q10 – 70% thought we should be aiming for Championship in five years

 Constant Improvement as a value identified by Club Staff/DTb volunteer working group sessions

Be widely recognised as pioneers in player development

 S1 Q14 asks for priorities. 3rd most important is “developing our own players”

 55% putting 10 on a scale of 0 to 10 investing in academies and infrastructure S2 Q18

 Constant Improvement as a value identified by Club Staff/DTb volunteer working group sessions

 The academy stakeholder group stressed the need for no short termism and wanted a sustainable and long-term strategy

Financially Sustainable. Reinvesting profits.

 Survey 1, Question 14 highlights financial sustainability as the 2nd most important consideration.

 DTb stakeholder group specifically mentions financial sustainability as a goal.

Become the UK’s number one community club

 Community leader stakeholder group identifies many things that the club can do to use its position as community focal point to help local people

 Football club management and staff feel we need to be “embedded in the local community.”

Expand Plough Lane and transform our training facility

 Academy stakeholder group identified the training ground improvement as important

 55% putting 10 on a scale of 0 to 10 investing in academies and infrastructure S2 Q18

 Football club management and coaching staff stakeholder group specifically mentioned the need for an improved training facility. Below are the key measurables for each strategic objective. One or two measurables are to be finalised.

Championship Football

 Promotion (success or not)

 Annual Progress up League 1 (e.g., from lower quartile into promotion spot)

Be widely recognised as pioneers in player development

 Measured by 92 League Clubs: do they say “Wimbledon are pioneers…”

 Measured by Players (PFA)

 Measured by Academy players’ parents

Financially sustainable. Reinvesting profits

 We are profitable each year.

 Our revenues grow by 15% per annum

 We have appropriate levels of debt (as determined by the PLC Board)

Become the UK’s number one community club

 Voted for by (award schemes to be agreed and finalised)

 Regain No 1 spot on fan engagement index by 2023

 Working with Kick It Out and Fair Game to fully meet their equality standards by 2023

 Strive towards DT membership representing the demographics of the local community by 2030

Expand Plough Lane and transform our training facility

 3rd Floor transformed into a revenue-generating machine

 Next Phase of PL underway (new stand; retail; hotel)

 Training Facility: quality is aligned with PL; attracts and develops players towards the Championship

Further consultation

 Working group in place by June 2022 on how to ensure LLW is fully implemented by end of 2023

 B Corp status presentation to focus groups to allow decision to be made by June 2022





One Club will bring together the club’s various strands, from first team to ladies section, through understanding and collaboration creates a powerful force that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Working collaboratively to ensure that we consistently win together


Values and behaviours

Encouraging the open expression of diverse ideas and opinions

Be honest, facing into difficult conversations together

Willing to ask for help and be accepting of that help


Being held accountable for the results of our actions


Values and Behaviours

Take responsibility for individual and group goals and objective and outcomes

Take initiative without fear of repercussion

Heighten self-awareness and build trust


Bouncebackability, the ability to recover quickly from difficulties and spring back into shape, learning along the way


Values and Behaviours

Spring back into shape through learning along the way

Be aware, sensitive, and patient through learning, helping, and encouraging others

Be aware of how you might react and how others may feel


We should feel trusted through collective responsibility to deliver and provide the best outcomes. We, as individuals and collectively, are responsible for creating an environment of trust.


Values and Behaviours

Being able to communicate freely without fear of critique, using the right communication channels

Trusting that people have the right skills and experience to perform their job to the best of their ability and do what is expected of them to achieve the best outcomes Trusting that support is available when required.


Accepting that we are all open to improvement.

Values and Behaviours

Strive for perfection

Everyone is open to improvement and accepting the need to improve supporting

others in the process

Drive a culture of constant improvement through measurable KPI’s