Tuesday, July 7, 2020

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    The Lounge

    I’ve decided to spruce up the web-site a wee bit (even with our new logo – any comments?). Another new feature is the single thread forum, so you can jump on and have your say, ask a question or just read what is being said. As I always say the forum is only as strong as what you make of it, so I would urge you to contribute and regularly to keep it all worthwhile. BTW, if you want to check something in the old forum it is now archived and the link is below… Okay let’s hear from you …

    Looking for the old forum? You can view the read-only archived version here.

    • This topic was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by Adam Dodds.
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    • This topic was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by Adam Dodds.
    • This topic was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by Adam Dodds.
    • This topic was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by Adam Dodds.
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    So the pre season excitement goes up another notch with the release of details about next season’s season tickets. Some big decisions to be made soon, and do I want a debenture? We’ll have to await on details on those, but the fact we’re having to think about these questions shows how far this club has come.

    Decision one is whether I sit or stand. When I first went to Plough Lane, I sat in the South Stand, before switching to the West Bank in the last few years there. I love the raw energy and passion of the fans behind the goal, so it is obvious where I stood at Kingsmeadow.

    However as time marches on, I have to say that on some cold winter afternoons my knees complain after almost three hours standing in the same spot. I was talking to a friend of mine about this dilemma, and he said he’d disown me if I bought a seat. So I guess I’ll be returning to where it all began – The South Bank.

    Windlesham Don

    To while away a few minutes here are my thoughts on the club’s release list.

    The three ‘high earners’ on the list were liable to be Appiah, Wordsworth and Wagstaff.

    Appiah was a ‘dead man walking’ since he never fully recovered from the hamstring injury he picked up against the Franchise. After that he lost pace and looked fearful of getting involved.

    Similarly for Wordsworth, however good he was on the pitch, he was never on it long enough to deserve another contract. We will never know whether he was offered a ‘pay as you play’ deal, but if so then he turned it down.

    Wagstaff was possibly borderline, but he always seemed a bit of a maverick, both on and off the pitch. I admired his energy on the pitch, but he did sometimes seem like a ‘headless chicken’, wasting valuable energy chasing lost causes. Off the pitch, ‘beardgate’ obviously pissed off Downes and I suspect that he may have been difficult to manage. He was probably one who in normal times may have been retained, but in these dire financial times he didn’t offer guaranteed value for money.

    McDonald, Pinnock and Connolly were probably in the next category of earners. Of these, only McDonald had a realistic claim to retention. But with Thomas, Nightingale, Kalambayi and possibly O’Neill ahead of him in the pecking order, we probably couldn’t justify his wages, especially with youngsters Jack Madelin and Archie Proctor available as cover.

    I can’t help feeling sorry for most of the youngsters on the list. Reuben Collins, Finlay McNab and Tommy Wood all seemed promising, but were victims of our situation. Hopefully we will be keeping in touch with them during their development.

    Of the loanees, I doubt we will see Julien Lamy (who?, I hear you ask), Sorensen or Folivi again.

    I’d love to see Marcus Forss back for another stint, but if 100% recovered he will probably have bigger clubs circling.

    Similarly, with our loanee keepers, who both have time on their contracts at their parent clubs but who are unlikely to feature in their first team squads. Joe Day looked like a decent keeper at our level and seemed to be vocal in organising his defence. Trott wasn’t vocal, nor domineering in coming for crosses, but IMO he was improving under Bayzo and was an excellent shot stopper before the organisational cock-up with West Ham forced us to get in Day as a replacement. It wouldn’t surprise me to see either of the them return.

    Finally, we have Max Sanders. To me, Max could develop into the type of Jake Reeves replacement we have been looking for since, well, Jake Reeves. His contract was due to end at Brighton around now and it is not obvious whether it has been renewed. If not, then I hope we are talking to his agent as he was a talent.

    Windlesham Don

    Hi Liam and Dave,

    IMO the debenture is ideal for those who can only make it to a few games a season (funds permitting in these tough times, of course).

    Other than the £500-600 outlay, the seat can be given back with no cost for all the games that you can’t make.

    The ability to join together in groups is also great for keeping family and friends in adjacent seats – what about all the WDSA members who are getting debentures grouping together?

    Myself and two friends are going to form a group (fortunately we have all been ST holders for over 8 years), and we are going to purchase an extra debenture for family members. If no guests wish to join us then we allow the club to sell the seat.

    Knowing that the group of seats are reserved for us for 10/11 years is a huge bonus – let’s hope the allocation process goes smoothly.


    Hi Dave, hi John.
    Yes, I am fully up to speed about the debenture scheme and have done the survey giving it a positive vote. I reckon it will be perfect for me for the coming season and also for other Dons fans based outside the UK. Most people I have talked to are in favour and I think SD and her gang are definitely going to go for it. It might be difficult logistically to find the perfect seat, but I would hopefully get somewhere in the West Stand at least 8 rows up from pitch level and as near as possible the half way line as possible.
    I realise it is yet another strain on each person’s ability to fund the club after Seedrs and the Bond, but one that I think I can afford personally especially as it actually has an end product namely a guaranteed seat. I know one person in Sydney for whom it is a no-brainer.
    And if helps discover the South London version of Lionel Messi, so much the better😊.

    Cape Cod Womble

    Interesting thoughts from Windlesham Don on the debenture offer. I’m totally in support of the reasoning behind the proposal. Yes it does give you a chance of a guaranteed seat which is attractive to some and absolutely it goes some ways towards bridging what will be a massive cash flow predicament for AFCW until the easing of restrictions allows spectators into stadia, whenever that will be.
    I really don’t think any club has an answer for that unless oil is discovered next to the Wandle River. Or maybe the club can erect a wind turbine on Plough Lane in yellow and blue to earn some cash selling back into the national grid. It just so happens, I know a bloke who knows a bloke … one owner, one project just out off Skegness, runs like a little beauty. I’ll bring it around on Tuesday for Dave Beasant to give it a test drive with one of his long goal kicks.
    Seriously though, our already stretched financial situation is going to be the main issue in the formation of our squad whenever the season looks like getting underway. I can see more fund raisers, raffles, Ray Armfield pulling rabbits out of hats with his silent auctions etc, in fact anything possible to get us across the line. There is more searching down the back of the couch to be done. It’s funny though I’d much rather do that than be say an Arsenal fan who pays top money hand over fist each season to watch overpaid dross.
    Those revenue generating facilities in hospitality and the Fanzone will have to pay their way quickly when the fans can go back to the ground. For me personally, I’d prefer to wait to get a seat next to Liam or Super Dawnie etc, so unless we work something out then maybe the debenture isn’t totally for me.
    I also look like missing a chunk of next season being away in Scotland for work (Dundee actually) which will make it difficult to get to many home games. I can however see myself checking out the locals Dundee and Dundee United. Living in the only rugby league city with two teams, derby day in Hull still generates a lot of expectation and match-day tension. A further spreading of my wings hopefully will get to see me getting to Greenock Morton and hopefully Queen of the South, Coming back on the Sunday after the Sunderland game in August I met a bunch of Greenock Morton fans on Newcastle station. They liked my Elonex Dons shirt, we had a photo together and I’d like to go see them one day. Dumbarton looks like a beautiful ground whereas Queens I just want to see because they are my favorited named team in football. And that’s not even mentioning the big two in Glasgow.
    Despite being optimistic of AFCW’s situation throughout the PPG saga, I did cast a glance downwards to Division Two. If for some reason say the courts had have settled it and that became our lot for next season, I would definitely have been in for a trip to my second team Grimsby Town where you could guarantee that James Hanson (in the second year of his contract) would have scored against us. Carlisle United would have been a decent trip down from bonny Scotland whilst the ultimate test of endurance for Dons fans would have been on the cards to attend an Arctic Tuesday night in February away to Barrow, now that the Bluebirds are back in the Football League after a 48 year absence (and good luck to them!) I will now be keeping a close eye on how Hull City fare for the remainder of the Championship now that they have fallen into the drop zone during a disastrous run. That would be a one and half mile trip through the city for me and endless banter with my mates!

    Windlesham Don

    On Friday the club published details of a debenture scheme for the allocation of seats at Plough Lane. Whilst sure to annoy some who may see it as the club cashing in on their wealthier fans to the disadvantage of those who are in financial difficulty, the scheme has been broadly welcomed.

    It is designed to provide enough funds up front to enable the club to put together a minimum competitive budget for next season. The prospects of starting the season behind closed doors is a grim one for most clubs, with little or no income, but the need to sign players and incur match day expenses.

    Details of the scheme are available on the club’s OS. The club are hoping to generate £1m from the scheme to cover the possibility of at least half of next season being played behind closed doors.

    Interestingly, if the scheme proves popular then we could find ourselves in the situation of being able to compete for a few key signings for our first season at the new ground.

    A note to Liam and Dave K – if you haven’t looked at the details of the scheme please do. For £500-600 you could secure a the rights to a decent seat for 11 years, even if you have to hand the use of it back to the club until your property is ready.

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