Scudamore Namechecks Dons, Misses Point Entirely

pluefaFor those of you still wondering what the £1 million gift from The Premier League to The Conference was all about earlier in the week, Premier League Chief Executive seemed to give a huge hint yesterday. It seems as though it was merely a publicity stunt to highlight awareness of what seems to be a Premier League campaign against UEFA’s plans to introduce tighter controls on club budgets. And somehow he has managed to crowbar AFC Wimbledon into all this…

Scudamore had unveiled plans the Premier League have introduced to pre-empt a similar scheme that UEFA are anticipated to introduce shortly. But in typical Premier League-style they have cherry picked the parts that suit them. Scudamore announced that every March, clubs will be audited to ensure they will be able to meet the demands of their budget over the year ahead. Those deemed to be in danger of exceeding their budget will face sanctions including transfer embargoes, and a ban on financially improving players contracts.

However, Mr Platini has other ideas. Platini, who it seems would love to be remembered as the peoples champion, is championing a scheme whereby clubs will not be able to exceed spending what they have earned. In other words, a rich benefactor can’t come along and pump billions into a club, or a club cannot borrow vast amounts and gamble its future on overspending. In other words, Platini wants to see an end to the boom-and-bust culture we have seen at all levels over the past decade or so.

Naturally, the Premier League with its billionaire Russian and Saudi owners, doesn’t like the sound of this. Thats when Scudamore decided to use a popular lower division side as an example…

The biggest clubs are the biggest clubs because 121 years of history has made them that big. But we do not buy into the idea that you chop away the ladder from those who have got a legitimate benefactor who can afford to break into the top group.

If AFC Wimbledon make it all the way back through the ranks and somebody wanted to attach their money to that club, then why shouldn’t they be able to reach the top and get into the Champions League? You have to keep the dream alive.

I’m not sure if Scudamore knows anything about AFC Wimbledon’s ownership model, but its safe to say he was probably unaware of what happened when Darragh MacAnthony approached the club with a willingness to invest in exchange for control of the club. Despite the debate it caused at the time, I think most of us agree it was in the clubs best interests at the time not to allow an outsider to take control.

As a club we will continue to progress through the advantage we have of being much larger than many of the other teams in our division, and when our size advantage has been exhausted we will attempt to move on via good management and natural growth. It will take generations, but any introduction of a budget cap can only help us, as much smaller teams riding on the money of a short term investment will be forced to spend within their means.

We may never again reach the Premier League, or The Champions League as Scudamore laughably suggests, but with pride we will take our little club as far as we can, to the point we are once more a small fish in a big pond. Scudamore also points out that the big clubs will only continue to dominate, but isn’t it the case that the big clubs have always dominated. I can’t conceive how that won’t be the case in future.

Yes, there will be a chance that another Blackburn or Chelsea will gatecrash the party, but as Chelsea have shown as long as they are given the opportunity to effectively operate while insolvent and are boosted by external cash, they will be a big club too. In Blackburn’s case there was something a little romantic about their success, even if they effectively bought the title, as they were the first to do so. Who can’t fail to be repulsed a little by Notts County’s behaviour at the moment, bringing in a glamour name as manager, a semi-retired England defender and of course a convicted killer to push them on their way  eventually to the Premier League. As soon as vast sums of cash start pouring in, morality goes out the window.

Plus a win against Liverpool, or Manchester United, has always been a little special because of who they are. I can’t see in years to come when the Saudi money has dried up, a Championship side coming away from Eastlands with a victory wallowing in the glory of defeating a giant. By that stage City will probably be back in League One anyway…

Wimbledon will always be Wimbledon, and we will struggle on as best we can. Lets face it, neither Platini or Scudamore is advocating a plan that will conceivably allow us a return to the PL. Yet I feel more moved towards Platini’s plan. It seems a bit more natural to me. Plus anything preventing clubs spending money they don’t have only to find themselves in administration and relying on their supporters and the local community to bail them out after living the dream proves not all it’s cracked up to be is fine by me…

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2 thoughts on “Scudamore Namechecks Dons, Misses Point Entirely

  1. wimblepool says:

    Totally agree with your opposition to unsustainable external investment. However, in Scudamore’s quote I was struck by his use of the word “back” as in “If AFC Wimbledon make it all the way back through the ranks…” . That seems to imply that he sees us as the same club as Wimbledon FC. So he’s not all bad!

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