House of Payne: Dons cup clash will be much needed money spinner
3:44pm Friday 16th November 2012 in Sport
Apparently AFC Wimbledon supporters are now faced with a dilemma as to whether to follow their side when they visit Milton Keynes for the second round of the FA Cup, writes John Payne.
Last week I spelt out the reasons why the enmity Wimbledon fans feel towards the Buckinghamshire side will never go away.
But now is the time for those to be brushed aside and for the match at Stadium mk to be treated as exactly what it is – a football match to look forward to with a place in the third round of the FA Cup at stake.
In the same way as AFC Wimbledon’s thrilling 4-3 victory over York City on Monday was a football match. It may not have been a big crowd, but I bet ESPN were rubbing their hands with glee at being able to cover such a classic.
Afterwards, man-of-the-match Charlie Strutton brushed aside the TV interviewers’ questions trying to provoke a reaction about the possibility of facing MK in the same impressive style that he showed in scoring the two goals that set Dons on their way to victory.
And, as former manager Terry Brown pointed out, the fact Wimbledon are in the second-round of the FA Cup – and the fact that it will be a high-profile tie – will be a much-needed money-spinner for his successor Neal Ardley.
Which is why AFC Wimbledon fans should brush aside thoughts of boycotting a trip to Buckinghamshire.
Yes, a stayaway might deny MK Dons a few quid. But, with gate receipts shared in the FA Cup, it would also deny the original Dons (as Wimbledon were described by the excellent and well-informed commentator Peter Drury) some very useful revenue at a time when fresh blood could be the difference between the club staying in the Football League or not.
Being in the second round of the FA Cup is something to celebrate.
Milton Keynes took away your club, don’t let them take away your enjoyment of AFC Wimbledon’s remarkable renaissance.