The Dons, formed in 2002 by supporters of Wimbledon FC enraged by the decision to move to Milton Keynes, have enjoyed a rapid rise through football’s lower echelons and are currently preparing for a second season in League Two. They are based at Kingsmeadow Stadium in Kingston, but a return to the club’s roots would mark the conclusion of a 20-year peripatetic journey for fans. After the club’s Plough Lane home was deemed unfit to be converted into an all-seater ground in line with the Taylor report’s safety requirements, supporters had to endure a decade as tenants at Crystal Palace before the Milton Keynes saga saw Wimbledon abandon the capital. The old stadium itself has since been turned into housing.
The proposal is for a 12,000-seater venue on the site of Wimbledon Greyhound Track, expandable (should the fanbase require it) to 22,000, although they are likely to face significant competition for the land, not to mention opposition from those who want to preserve one of the capital’s few remaining (and Britain’s oldest) dog tracks.
AFC join the growing number of London clubs who could be moving over the next few years, including Chelsea, Tottenham, QPR, Crystal Palace, West Ham and Leyton Orient.