Kenny Jackett pays a tribute to Pete Winkelman’s MK Dons vision

Wolves head coach Kenny Jackett believes the birth of Milton Keynes Dons was a case of supply meeting demand.

Wolves' Kenny Jackett
Wolves' Kenny Jackett

The Molineux men meet MK Dons – owned by Wolverhampton-born pop music multi-millionaire Pete Winkelman – for the first time tomorrow.

Like the televised visit of Crawley Town in August and Stevenage last month, it’s another ‘new’ opposition for Wolves.

But none have quite caused controversy like the ‘franchise club’ that spawned the MK Dons from Wimbledon, exporting them 60 miles north from their former home in south London.

Wimbledon relocated in September 2003, and by the following June had become MK Dons after the old club fell into administration They initially claimed Wimbledon’s history as their own but stopped doing so in 2007, partly to ensure the recognition of supporters’ groups such as the Football Supporters’ Federation, which had previously boycotted them.

Uprooting a football club was hugely controversial, even if Wimbledon’s poor crowds made it so difficult financially to maintain their status in the top two divisions.

Moving it to an area with a population now of 230,000 made economical sense.

And Jackett, whose home for many years in St Albans is only 32 miles from the designated New Town, believes the move made sense because Milton Keyes was desperate for a football club to support.

“Pete Winkelman picked it up and created a club where a big club was needed in that area,” said Jackett. “He’s done very well to establish the club in Milton Keynes and they’ve been unlucky on many occasions not to make it into the Championship.

“There are two issues – one is the badge and identity of Wimbledon and the second is forming and picking a team which can go into an area that needs it and has the right catchment area for the upper echelons of the football pyramid. They’ve also built a first-class ground in Milton Keynes.”

Wolves reporter Tim Nash gives his thoughts on the MK Dons game:

Jackett believes everyone is a winner with the formation of AFC Wimbledon.

“Wimbledon have recovered now and got back their Football League status,” he said.

And he believes MK Dons – currently 12th and nine points off the play-off zone – are well-placed for a promotion push in the second half of the season.

“They’ve consistently been a League One play-off team without it quite falling for them to get into the Championship which is a big frustration for them,” said Jackett.

“They’re well-placed for a second-half push to get into the top six. They’ve done well over the last few years without quite being able to make it up,” he said.

MK Dons are known as one of best passing sides in League One and Wolves haven’t always coped well against the purer footballing teams in the division.

After struggling to overcome Crawley and Swindon and losing to Walsall, Jackett is also convinced Wolves can cope better with the purists. “I’d say along with Swindon and Crawley they’re one of the most pure football teams at this level,” he said.

“We did very well against Colchester who are in that bracket of half a dozen teams.

“We’ve beaten both Crawley and Swindon, albeit from tough games and very good games. As the season has gone on I think we’ve improved ourselves in terms of the control of our game.”

“You have to always find a way of winning and a combination of players who can get those results on a regular basis.”

Comments for: "Kenny Jackett pays a tribute to Pete Winkelman’s MK Dons vision"

Bedford Wolf

Oh Kenny! Just when I was starting to fall in love with you (in a manly, proper sort of way you understand) you come out with a complete and total load of old hogwash like this. Milton Keynes STOLE a football club called Wimbledon. It wasn't clever, it wasn't smart, it wasn't astute - it was pure and simple theft. Partly due to the incompetence of the FA - their now infamous "not in the wider interests of football" statement in response to the outcry from the football world trying to keep the Club in Wimbledon will forever be one of the most shameful acts in their history and thats saying something. Winkleman masterminded the theft of a football club in order to set up his own franchise. MK Dons? Don't make me laugh. They are MK Franchise and always will be. Long live AFC Wimbledon!

Timmiswolf

So everyone's a winner, right? Wrong. Wimbledon shouldn't have needed to recover, Kenny. If Milton Keynes wanted a football club it should have started one and worked its way up through the divisions as, ironically, AFC Wimbledon has subsequently had to do.

It was shocking that this was ever sanctioned by the footballing authorities - it simply sent out a message that fans don't matter, that heritage doesn't matter, that a local community doesn't matter. And now owners like those at Cardiff and Hull believe that they can do what they want.

People criticise Morgan and Moxey - and sure, they've made some shocking decisions in recent years - but, honestly, look what we could have won...

Nat WFC

Completely agree with the comments from Bedford Wolf,

Saw this had to give it a read,

Jackett said to quote 'Wimbledon have recovered now and got back their Football League status'

MILTON KEYNES FC oh wait is it MK Dons... I forget the stolen part... took Wimbledon's place in the football table where as AFC Wimbledon who stayed in the same location had to begin from the bottom.

To think that okay is truly a pathetic statement indeed from any person within football.

All true football supporters are behind AFC Wimbledon in support and for you to endorse the franchise Kenny... disgusting.

LONG LIVE AFC WIMBLEDON!

Crouch End Wolf

Completely agree with these critical comments. My first disappointment with KJ, who is normally thoughtful. AFC are the spirit of football. MKD are the spirit of commerce.

Cricket Bat

Thierry Henry has joined the BBC World Cup team, traveling to Rio in 2014. Also in the lineup are Gary Lineker, Rio Ferdinand, Clarence Seedorf, Alan Shearer, Phil Neville and Alan Hansen.

Although they will only be reporting and analysing the games, FIFA have already ranked them 4th in the world and bookies expect them to progress further than Australia.

crywolf_once2often

Yes and those Rio jolleys are all at licence payers' expense. Why Thierry "handball" Henry? The little cheat. Maradona next signing?

Golden Nugget

I suppose I will be slated by all the happy clappers - criticism of the manager is not allowed is it? Why is the support of a " franchise" and " the brand" by KJ a surprise? This is a man riddled by nonsensical management speak. ie Going forward - focus - embrace the challenge and all the other meaningless gobbledegook phrases. They must all read the same silly American motivational books and all talk this gibberish to each other when they meet.

Stick to coaching Kenny. You obviously don't know how ridiculous you sound.

Ernest

Stop praising other sides and get our team I gear quick