The Anonymous Don is feeling guilty on two fronts this morning – firstly because I let the club down by being unable to attend one of the cleanup days in order to care for my sick wife, and secondly because I have abandoned by sick wife in order to care for today’s edition of the General Specific. At least I have my priorities in order.
Yesterday we received an update from the club in the form of the second instalment of ‘What’s Happening At Kingsmeadow?’ As you may remember I mocked the name, however I now realise its acronym is ‘WHAK!’ I’m going to retract that statement. Not only is it easier for blog writers to remember, it has an onomatopoeic beauty to it (it literally hits you with the news).
However – as the Official mouthpiece of the club it has to tread a careful line between giving us the news, and protecting the confidentiality of ongoing negotiations. I’m wondering whether this week’s edition might have overstepped that mark. After admitting the press are a better (although less reliable) source of information in terms of getting the news out first, the article went on to discuss a number of deals in greater detail than perhaps it should, allowing Dons fans to add the small numbers together.
The article talks of three deals in particular. The first stated ‘We are in detailed negotiations with a defender and expect to hear his response to our offer over the weekend’. Now from this information alone we could be talking about anyone, but as anyone who has followed the gossip trail for the last couple of weeks will know this is highly likely to be Paul Lorraine.
The second may as well have named the player for the level of detail it went into. ‘We have had an offer for a midfielder from a lower division rejected and have just sent a revised final offer for the player. He is on a contract, so if his club rejects this offer then the deal is dead.’ We all know summer target Ricky Wellard signed a contract extension before the end of the season, and we also know, thanks to the Informer, that Ashford rejected our first bid as ‘derisory’.
The final player is more of a mystery. ‘Terry has decided that he wants to sign a particular midfielder. That player is subject to the Bosman rules…’. So if Bosman applies, then it can’t be Matt Pattisson as he’s 25. Hmmmm, WHAK suggested we might sign him next week if all goes well, so keep your eyes on the South London Press, Informer and Surrey Comet for the next few days.
Pre-season friendlies are another mystery, although I’m sure all at the club are concentrating on new players as a priority. FCUM are still the only confirmed opponents as far as our website are concerned, however Farnborough have announced Saturday 1st August as the date we travel to Cherrywood Road, presumably the last Saturday before the league season begins?
As far as rumours go, we still have that 11th July home game as unconfirmed, however the most likely rumour so far has involved Brighton. This has extensively been debated on one of their forums (well, someone mentioned it and that led to a three page argument over the rights and wrongs of franchising…), and although some Dons fans are hoping it may take place at the Withdean, that seems unlikely.
As far as other unconfirmed ‘confirmed’ games, I’m under the impression we still owe Tonbridge a game from the Jon Main deal. I’m also now completely unsure about whether we will be playing K’s this year, I know there was an agreement to play them for ten years, but I thought that would be renegotiated at some stage?
Roaming into pure speculation now, we have a commitment to play a game in Merton Borough, so I would imagine that would be Tooting and Mitcham this season. If that’s not possible I think we should open it up to the Royal Borough, I’m quite keen on us retaining links with Corinthian Casuals after the Wembley experience. Presumably any Wellard deal will involve friendlies, but everything else is up for grabs, although after my first Dons Icons article I would hope we send at least a reserve side to Ash United, a ground I have yet to visit…
Season ticket sales are through the roof. To the point our Commercial Manager has stuck his neck on the line and predicted we will shift over 2,500. I’m not only inclined to agree with him, I think he may be underestimating a bit. The direct debit scheme has opened up season tickets to those who previously would have either waited for the Half Year Christmas version, or not been able to afford it altogether. Plus the likes of myself who previously couldn’t be bothered are scrambling for them, as we know a limited capacity at Kingsmeadow could cause us to miss out on games, and not just away fixtures either.
Anyway, until next time…