|Full name||AFC Wimbledon|
|Nickname(s)||The Dons, The Wombles|
Kingston upon Thames, London
(capacity: 4,850 (2,025 seated))
|2012–13||League Two, 20th|
|Website||Club home page|
AFC Wimbledon are a professional English association football club based in Kingston upon Thames, London. The club currently play in League Two of the Football League, which is the fourth tier of English football. They play at Kingsmeadow, in Kingston upon Thames, London, a ground which is shared with Kingstonian.
The club were founded in 2002 as a result of the decision for Wimbledon F.C.'s relocation to Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire by the Football Association; Wimbledon F.C. was subsequently renamed Milton Keynes Dons in 2004. The Wimbledon supporters who strongly opposed the idea of moving reacted by founding their own club, AFC Wimbledon. In view of its transplanting to Milton Keynes, the majority of Wimbledon fans felt that the original club no longer represented Wimbledon's legacy and traditions, and thus withdrew their support, choosing instead to start a new so-called "phoenix club" from scratch.
When AFC Wimbledon were formed, they affiliated to both the London and Surrey Football Associations, and entered the Premier Division of the Combined Counties League, which is the ninth tier in English football. In their short history, the club have been extremely successful, being promoted five times in nine seasons, and going up from the ninth tier (Combined Counties Premier) to the fourth (League Two). The only other club considered to have completed this feat is the now dissolved Rushden & Diamonds.
AFC Wimbledon currently hold the record of the longest unbeaten run of league matches in English senior football, having played 78 consecutive league games without a defeat between February 2003 and December 2004. AFC Wimbledon hold the distinction of being the first club to be formed in the 21st century to make it into the Football League.
On 28 May 2002, the Football Association backed a three-man independent commission decision to allow Wimbledon F.C. to relocate 56 miles north to the new town of Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire after claims from Wimbledon chairman Charles Koppel that such a move was necessary in order to prevent the club from going bankrupt as Norwegian owners Kjell Inge Røkke and Bjørn Rune Gjelsten had been subsidising the club at a rate of £6 million per year. The motivations behind the move were that property development consortium 'Inter MK' led by businessman Pete Winkelman sought to bring an established Football League club to Milton Keynes as well as a large retail park in order to accelerate the town's expansion. The Commission's deliberations had begun on 14 May 2002 at which time Wimbledon fans began a vigil outside the Football Association headquarters in Soho Square, London. The commission members chosen by the FA were media solicitor Raj Parker; Steve Stride, who was then the Operations Director at Aston Villa and Alan Turvey, a member of the FA Council and then Chairman of the Isthmian League. On 28 May 2002, the commission reached the decision to allow Wimbledon F.C. to relocate to Milton Keynes with Parker and Stride voting in favour of the move whilst Turvey dissented. The principle involved in this relocation was unprecedented in English football; by moving in such a way, Wimbledon F.C. were cutting all ties with the area of Wimbledon. Although Wimbledon F.C. were unable to physically move to Milton Keynes for over a year, their traditional local support dried up almost immediately in protest.
The commission went on to recommended in their report that "resurrecting the club from its ashes as, say, 'Wimbledon Town' is, with respect to those supporters who would rather that happened so that they could go back to the position the club started in 113 years ago, not in the wider interests of football." This statement did nothing to deter loyal supporters of the club led by Kris Stewart and fellow founding members Marc Jones and Trevor Williams, and on 30 May 2002 plans to create a new club dubbed "AFC Wimbledon" were made public at a Wimbledon Independent Supporters' Association (WISA) meeting in the Wimbledon Community Centre, attended by over 1,000 fans. The letters AFC stand for 'A Fans' Club', reflecting the club's core values. On 13 June 2002, a new manager, kit, crest and stadium were unveiled to fans and the media at the packed out Wimbledon Community Centre. It was also announced on that day that AFCW PLC was to be placed under the ownership of The Dons Trust, a democratically elected supporters' group which pledged to retain at least 75% control of that ownership in order to ensure that the aims and ethos of the fanbase would always be represented and that the best interests of the club would always be the paramount concern. On 10 July 2002, AFC Wimbledon Commercial Director Ivor Heller announced that a £100,000 sponsorship deal had been secured with computer game developer Sports Interactive. In order to assemble a competitive team at such short notice, AFC Wimbledon held player trials on 29 June 2002 on Wimbledon Common, open to any unattached player who felt he was good enough to try out for the team. The event attracted 230 players, from whom the club's squad for their inaugural season was chosen.
Non-League football (2002–2011) 
The Combined Counties League years (2002–2004) 
The 2002–03 season represented the first for the newly formed club and former Wimbledon F.C. player Terry Eames was appointed as AFC Wimbledon's first manager on 13 June 2002. The club competed in the Combined Counties League Premier Division. The new team attracted a crowd of 4,657 supporters for their first ever game, a pre-season friendly against Sutton United on 10 July 2002 in which they were beaten 4–0. Such was the elation of some fans in still having a team to support in their local community that they invaded the pitch in celebration at the end of the match in spite of the defeat. Glenn Mulcaire, known as "Trigger" by fans, scored AFC Wimbledon's first ever goal in a pre-season friendly against Bromley on 17 July 2002, which ultimately ended as a 2–1 defeat. Kevin Cooper scored the team's first ever league goal in the first game of the season in a 2–1 away victory at Sandhurst Town, with an attendance of 2,449 on 17 August 2002. The first home game of the season against Chipstead, ending in a 2–1 defeat on 21 August 2002, had an attendance of 4,142. The team started slowly but won their last eleven league games of the season, finishing third in the league, and only narrowly missing out on promotion to the Isthmian League First Division. Their average home attendance at league fixtures exceeded 3,000 – higher than the average attendance in the same season of Wimbledon F.C., who were still playing in the First Division (now the Football League Championship).
In 2003–04, the Dons won their first 21 league games before a 2–2 draw against Sandhurst Town on 10 January 2004, giving them 32 consecutive wins in league games over two seasons. AFC Wimbledon became the only club in England at any level to maintain a perfect league record for the 2003–04 season. Despite the suspension of Eames on 13 February 2004, AFC Wimbledon's success continued under caretaker manager Nicky English, whose first game in charge resulted in a club away record of a 9–0 victory over Chessington United on 14 February 2004. English holds the record to date of being the only AFC Wimbledon manager never to lose a match. Terry Eames was subsequently officially sacked on 18 February 2004 for gross misconduct following a disciplinary hearing. The team went on to finish as champions of the Combined Counties League, with an unbeaten record for the season, consisting of 42 wins and 4 draws. Promotion to the Isthmian League First Division was therefore assured, and the club even completed a double by winning the league's Premier Challenge Cup after beating North Greenford United 4-1 in the Final on 30 April 2004. The Dons took part in the FA Vase for the first and only time, reaching the Fourth Round before succumbing to Colne, losing 2–1 on 17 January 2004 in front of a crowd of 3,215, the highest recorded attendance in the competition that year other than at the final.
The Isthmian League years (2004–2008) 
Dave Anderson was appointed as new manager on 11 May 2004. Under his leadership AFC Wimbledon took their good form into the 2004–05 season during which they competed in the Isthmian League First Division — they led the division all season, and ran away with the title to seal promotion to the League's Premier Division. The Dons took part in the FA Cup for the first time, reaching the Second Qualifying Round but ultimately losing 2–0 to Conference South side Thurrock on 16 October 2004. The club also competed in the FA Trophy for the first time, reaching the First Round before being beaten by Isthmian League Premier Division side Hendon 3–0 on 6 November 2004. On 5 March 2005, the Dons recorded their 100th league win following a 1–0 victory over Molesey. The Dons secured another double by defeating Walton & Hersham 2-1 in the Final of the Surrey Senior Cup on 3 May 2005. Over the course of the season, AFC Wimbledon set a new record for the longest run of unbeaten league games at any level of senior football in the United Kingdom. The team remained unbeaten for 78 league matches between 22 February 2003 (a 2–0 defeat at home to Withdean 2000) and 4 December 2004 (a 2–0 defeat at Cray Wanderers).
The 2005–06 season proved far more competitive than previous seasons – as after winning their first few games, AFC Wimbledon found themselves struggling to remain in the play-off places. After fluctuating form they eventually reached the play-offs after a 1–0 win against Anderson's former club, Hendon, on 22 April 2006. However, a 2–1 defeat at Fisher Athletic on 2 May 2006 prevented the club from achieving three back-to-back promotions. The Dons once again reached the final of the Surrey Senior Cup, however, this time they were narrowly defeated 1–0 by Kingstonian in a fiercely contested derby.
Much of the 2006–07 season was overshadowed by the threat of a proposed 18-point deduction by the FA for the club's fielding of Jermaine Darlington who, it transpired, had not been registered correctly by the club and had therefore played in three games whilst still ineligible. However, this punishment was eventually reduced to a 3-point deduction and a £400 fine on appeal after the FA finally acknowledged that the club had made a simple administrative error. The 'Darlington affair' also resulted in expulsion from the Surrey Senior Cup and the FA Trophy that year. Had they not been disqualified, the Dons would have reached the Third Round of the FA Trophy having beaten Gravesend & Northfleet 1–0 on 13 January 2007 and the Final of the Surrey Senior Cup having beaten Metropolitan Police 2-1 on 23 January 2007. The Dons did improve on their previous record in the FA Cup however, reaching the Fourth Qualifying Round before ultimately losing to then Conference National side Exeter City 2–1 on 28 October 2006. Although AFC Wimbledon did enough to qualify for the play-offs, they once again missed out on promotion, this time as a result of losing 1–0 to Bromley in the play-off semi-final on 1 May 2007. Manager Dave Anderson subsequently left the club by mutual consent on 2 May 2007.
Terry Brown was appointed as the new AFC Wimbledon manager on 15 May 2007. During 2007–08, he led the club to promotion to the Conference South in his first season in charge, a feat which predecessor Dave Anderson had proved unable to achieve, having lost two consecutive play-off final opportunites in the previous two seasons. The Dons made steady progress throughout the season, qualifying for the play-offs after finishing third in the League. AFC Wimbledon beat AFC Hornchurch 3-1 in the play-off semi-final on 29 April 2008 and went on to triumph 2-1 over Staines Town in the play-off final on 3 May 2008, scoring both goals in the last ten minutes of the match through a headed effort by Luis Cumbers and a curling strike by Mark DeBolla.
The Conference years (2008–2011) 
AFC Wimbledon spent most of the 2008–09 season near the top of the league table, eventually finishing as champions and earning promotion to the Conference National after defeating St Albans City 3–0 on 25 April 2009. The match set an attendance record of 4,722 for Kingsmeadow, which at that time was full capacity. The same season AFC Wimbledon reached the First Round of the FA Cup for the first time on 10 November 2008, in which they were defeated 4–1 by then Football League Two side Wycombe Wanderers. Striker Jon Main ended the season as league top scorer with 33 league goals and was named as Conference South Player of the Year. Terry Brown was awarded the honour of being named Conference South Manager of the Year, having achieved back-to-back promotions.
The 2009–10 season was the club's first in the Conference National, in which they finished 8th, 14 points short of the play-off zone. In December 2009, Terry Brown was awarded the honour of being named Conference National Manager of the Month and Seb Brown completed a clean sweep for AFC Wimbledon when he was named as the Conference National Player of the Month. Lewis Taylor scored the fastest league goal of the season after just 36 seconds of play in a 5–2 win over Forest Green Rovers on 10 October 2009. The club also had their first taste of competing in an FA Cup South London derby when they were drawn to play Football League Championship side Millwall in the First Round on 9 November 2009. Millwall proved to be too strong to handle however, and the Dons were soundly beaten 4–1.
In 2010–11 AFC Wimbledon finished as runners-up of the Conference National and qualified for the play-offs. Sammy Moore scored the division's fastest league goal of the season after just 11 seconds of play, in a 5–2 win over Mansfield Town on 5 October 2010. The Dons faced Fleetwood Town in the play-off semi-finals, whom they thrashed 8–1 on aggregate. The Dons won 2–0 in the first leg and thrashed Fleetwood Town 6–1 in the second on account of a hat-trick by Kaid Mohamed, who scored the first of the trio after just 27 seconds of play. This aggregate scoreline set a record as the largest winning margin recorded since the Conference National first introduced the play-off system at the beginning of the 2002–03 season. In the play-off final at the City of Manchester Stadium on 21 May 2011, in front of a crowd of 18,195, AFC Wimbledon beat Luton Town 4–3 in a penalty shoot-out after the match had ended 0–0 in extra time. Former club captain Danny Kedwell scored the winning penalty. The victory resulted in promotion to the Football League for the first time and represented the club's fifth promotion in nine years. To mark the end of a successful season goalkeeper Seb Brown, defender Sam Hatton and striker Danny Kedwell were awarded the honour of being named in the Conference National 'Team of the Year'.
The club's achievement of attaining League status after just nine seasons of existence is considered to be the fastest such ascent for a new club since automatic promotion to the Football League first commenced in the 1980s. AFC Wimbledon also hold the record of being the first club to be formed in the 21st century to make it into the Football League.
Football League (2011–present) 
League Two (2011–present) 
The club currently competes in Football League Two.
In the first game of the 2011–12 season, on 6 August 2011, former club captain Jamie Stuart scored AFC Wimbledon's first ever Football League goal in a 3–2 defeat against Bristol Rovers. The team started the season well, winning seven out of their first twelve matches, but failed to keep the momentum going and had a poor run in which they were unable to win a game in twelve matches before eventually finishing the season ranking 16th, ten points clear of the relegation zone. The Dons managed to keep just six clean sheets in the entire season, only Peterborough United and Wycombe Wanderers kept fewer in all of the Football League. The club took part in the Football League Cup and the Football League Trophy for the first time. In the former competition the Dons were knocked out in the Preliminary Round, losing 3–2 to Crawley Town. In the latter competition, however, the club fared significantly better, reaching the area quarter finals before ultimately losing 3–1 on penalties to Swindon Town after the match finished 1–1 in normal time. The club's average attendance for its first season in the Football League was 4,295, considerably exceeding the 3,135 of the original Wimbledon F.C.'s own first season in the League. Striker Jack Midson ended the season as joint-top scorer in League Two with 18 league goals in total.
The 2012–13 campaign marked the 10th anniversary of AFC Wimbledon's inaugural season. The club got their campaign off to a poor start when they lost their first away game 6–2 at Burton Albion on 21 August 2012, setting a record as the biggest losing margin suffered by AFC Wimbledon in the Football League to date. The four goal deficit continued the very next game in a 5–1 drubbing away at Bradford City, totalling 11 goals conceded in just 2 games, the highest goal tally ever conceded by the Dons in consecutive matches. After an abysmal start to the season, consisting of just 1 win in 7 league matches, manager Terry Brown was sacked on 19 September 2012 along with assistant manager Stuart Cash, with AFC Wimbledon sitting just above the relegation zone. Having spent 5 years, 4 months and 4 days in charge of the club, Brown currently holds the record of being the longest serving AFC Wimbledon manager to date. It was announced that first team coach Simon Bassey would take over as caretaker manager with immediate effect. Bassey was in charge just four matches before former Wimbledon player Neal Ardley was appointed as Terry Brown's permanent replacement on 10 October 2012, naming former Watford and Cardiff City teammate Neil Cox as his assistant manager. On 2 December 2012, AFC Wimbledon faced Milton Keynes Dons in the second round of the FA Cup, in the first ever meeting between the two sides following the controversial uprooting and relocation of Wimbledon F.C. to Milton Keynes. The game, played at Stadium mk, ended with a decisive injury time goal for the home side, with a final score of 2–1 to the MK Dons. A crowd of 16,459 attended the match, 3,200 of whom were AFC Wimbledon supporters. The squad fared badly during the first half of the season, winning just five games between August and December. The club improved considerably in the new year however, remaining unbeaten in January and losing just 7 of their fixtures between then and the end of the season in April. On 13 April 2013, AFC Wimbledon broke their previous highest crowd attendance record at Kingsmeadow when 4,749 turned out to see a 2–2 draw with Exeter City. The Dons secured their Football League status on the final day of the 2012–13 season, despite having started the day in the relegation zone, by beating Fleetwood Town 2–1 at Kingsmeadow on 27 April 2013. At the final whistle, such was the elation of the 4,581 AFC Wimbledon fans present that they descended on to the pitch to celebrate with the squad.
Colours and crest 
|The away kit worn from 2010–2012.|
|The home kit worn from 2010–2012.|
The colours that were chosen for the AFC Wimbledon kit were the royal blue and yellow associated with the rise of the original Wimbledon F.C. to the top of the Football League. The first kit ever used, during the pre-season friendlies of 2002, consisted of a blue shirt, white shorts and white socks. Since then the home kit has always been predominantly blue with yellow detailing. The away kit used between 2002–2004 was white, however since then it has usually been predominantly yellow with blue detailing. The 2012–2014 away kit consists of a yellow shirt with a white and blue diagonal stripe, white shorts and blue socks.
For the first three-third kits the strip chosen was predominantly white with various coloured detailing. The first ever third kit, used between 2003–2005 consisted of a white shirt and white shorts, with a blue vertical line running down the side of both, with white socks which had blue turnovers. The 2005–2007 kit was white with a yellow and blue stripe that ran vertically down the right side of both the front of the shirt and the shorts with plain white socks. The 2007–2009 kit consisted of a white shirt, white shorts and white socks with yellow detailing on the shoulders and blue detailing spanning the underarms and sides of the shirt. Between 2009–2011 a white kit was chosen again however this time purple detailing was added to the sleeves, collar, sides of the shirt and the shorts and white socks with purple lines running down both sides in a zigzag pattern. The 2011–2013 third kit broke the trend when it introduced a maroon shirt, black shorts with maroon detailing and maroon socks. The 2013–15 third kit would see a return to predominantly white, however, this time with a black, blue and white stripe running vertically up the right hand side with the club's crest on the left hand side, with white shorts.
To mark their first game in the Football League on 6 August 2011 against Bristol Rovers, the team wore a special one-off white and blue commemorative kit based on that worn by the original Wimbledon F.C. during 1977–78 in order to commemorate their own first season as a member of the Football League, in the old Fourth Division (now League Two). For copyright reasons, a single blue stripe replaced the three trade mark stripes of the Adidas original and the shirts were emblazoned with a modified crest for the occasion.
The crest is based on the coat of arms of the Municipal Borough of Wimbledon, which features a black double headed eagle in reference to a legend that Julius Caesar once made camp on Wimbledon Common, this symbol being his own attributed coat of arms. It is designed to replicate, as far as possible, the crest of the original Wimbledon F.C. to reflect the fact that AFC Wimbledon see themselves as a continuation of the club that existed before relocation and rebranding as MK Dons. The club wished to preserve Wimbledon's legacy and traditions for loyal fans who felt that the move had isolated the club from its roots and its community to such an extent that it no longer bore the hallmark of the club that they had once supported and that AFC Wimbledon was its spiritual, if not legal, successor.
Sponsorship and kit manufacturer 
AFC Wimbledon have been sponsored by computer games developers Sports Interactive, creators of the Championship Manager and Football Manager series, since the club's inception in 2002; the Football Manager logo currently features on the home kit whilst the SI logo appears on the team's away strip. SI managing director Miles Jacobson said of the sponsorship deal: "We are huge supporters of grass roots football. Most of us play grass roots football at some level (or in my case, below grass roots!), and we know that that is where the stars from tomorrow are going to come from."
The idea for Sports Interactive sponsorship came from Nick Robinson, who was an employee at Eidos, Sports Interactive's then-publishers. However, Eidos were not willing to fund the deal, and so Sports Interactive found the cash themselves. The sponsorship of AFC Wimbledon is not Sports Interactive's first support of lower-league football; they sponsored a "Save York City" charity football tournament in 2001.
Paul Strank Roofing Ltd. first became a sponsor of AFC Wimbledon in 2006, Mr Strank being a lifelong Wimbledon F.C. supporter. In the Summer of 2008, in one of the club's biggest ever sponsorship agreements, the main stand at Kingsmeadow Stadium was renamed the Paul Strank Stand in honour of one of AFC Wimbledon's biggest benefactors.
The original pre-season 2002 kit was manufactured by Umbro. However, from the 2002–03 season onwards the kit has been manufactured exclusively by the Wimbledon based company Tempest Sports, hence the naming of the "Tempest End" at Kingsmeadow during the 2005–06 season.
On 12 June 2012, it was announced that AFC Wimbledon fans had won £20,000 for the club by taking part in the Fanpower Stadium Competition which was run by Football League title sponsors Npower. Hosted on Facebook, the competition awarded the set of fans that "made the most noise" with £20,000 for their club. This was determined by the number of mentions supporters had generated for their football club on Facebook and Twitter. AFC Wimbledon fans ran away with the prize money for the Football League Two division by generating over 100,000 "noise counts".
From 2000 to June 2003, the original Wimbledon F.C. had used a Womble named "Wandle", named after the local River Wandle, as a club mascot. However, in light of the controversy over the moving of the club to Milton Keynes, the licence to use the character was not renewed.
In 2006, AFC Wimbledon agreed a licensing deal for a new mascot to represent the club, once again choosing the character of a Womble due to their famed association with Wimbledon Common. After a naming competition in which the final name was chosen by The Wombles creator Elisabeth Beresford herself, the club announced that the new Womble would be known as "Haydon" after Haydons Road, the nearest railway station to Wimbledon F.C.'s original home ground, Plough Lane.
Haydon's first ever appearance at a home game was on 26 August 2006 at a 1–1 draw with Boreham Wood in the Isthmian League Premier Division. He made his on-field debut as a substitute in the Wimbledon Heroes v Chelsea Legends game on 7 May 2007. He wears the team's current home strip at Kingsmeadow fixtures, where he can be found every Saturday wandering around the terraces entertaining and encouraging fans. He has taken part in numerous events in order to raise money for charity including running the London Marathon in 2010 and taking part in the Mascot Grand National in which he finished 19th in 2009. On 9 September 2012 Haydon helped raise funds for the Children's Liver Disease Foundation by taking part in the AFC Wimbledon Mascot Triathlon on Wimbledon Common. The event raised over £600 for the charity thanks to donations and sponsorship from local businesses.
As of April 2009, the stadium had a capacity of 4,720. However, in late 2011 AFC Wimbledon unveiled plans to rebuild the Kingston Road End of the ground, renamed as the 'North Stand' as a 900 capacity all-seater stand. Work commenced on this site at the close of the 2011–2012 season to be ready in time for the 2012–13 campaign. The work increased the stadium capacity to approximately 4,850 with 2,025 seats.
It is AFC Wimbledon's long term ambition to relocate to a stadium, with a capacity around 10,000 (with potential for expansion), in the London Borough of Merton where the original Wimbledon F.C. played at Plough Lane between 1912–1991.
On 7 August 2012, AFC Wimbledon released a statement in which they announced their intent to return to their spiritual home of Plough Lane, 21 years after the original Wimbledon F.C. last played there on 4 May 1991. However, since the original Plough Lane was demolished in 2002 and later converted into a housing development, the club chose the site of Wimbledon Stadium, which is currently in use as a greyhound track.
The proposals include building a stadium with an initial capacity of 12,000 with potential expansion for up to 22,000. It is estimated that the Plough Lane project, which the club believes could take "around 10 years" to complete, will cost somewhere in the region of £100m to build on the five hectare site.
Erik Samuelson announced "We have entered a competition with other bidders [to buy the Stadium from current owners the Greyhound Racing Association] and now we hope to win it. This would be a fantastic next step in our journey. It's not the only site in Wimbledon but it is our preferred site by some distance." However, Stephen Alambritis, leader of Merton Council, said that although he welcomed the football club's plans for Plough Lane he warned they would face competition from other parties. It therefore remains to be seen whether AFC Wimbledon's bid will succeed.
The Kingsmeadow stadium comprises the following four stands:
- The North Stand – (also known as "The Kingston Road End") is a covered all-seater stand with 900 seats.
- The Paul Strank Stand – the all-seater main stand with 1,125 seats, which also includes the stadium's changing rooms, offices, three bars and other facilities. Paul Strank is a supporter and major benefactor of AFC Wimbledon, hence it was named in his honour.
- The East Stand – (formerly "The John Smiths' Stand") is a partially covered shallow terrace along the length of the pitch, opposite the main Paul Strank Stand. AFC Wimbledon are about to commence a feasibility study regarding the best way to upgrade this area of the ground, which must meet football league standards by May 2014.
- The Tempest End – (formerly "The Athletics End") – a covered behind-the-goal deep terrace. The terrace was covered during the 2005–2006 season and renamed the "Tempest End" in recognition of the sponsorship of Tempest Sports, Wimbledon's exclusive kit manufacturer since the club's inception, who had partially paid for the development.The Tempest End is known for having tremendous atmosphere, thought to be generated by the close- quarters standing terrace.
Ground purchase and debt 
Kingsmeadow had been the home of Kingstonian since the club moved there in 1989 from its traditional Richmond Road ground. However the club had hit major financial difficulties following relegation from the Conference. Administrators sold the club, including the lease to the stadium, to businessman Rajesh Khosla and his son, Anup. The Khoslas subsequently transferred ownership of the stadium away from the club and into separate subsidiary companies privately owned by the Khosla family, in a move widely seen as asset stripping.
After an SGM, it was felt by the AFC Wimbledon board of directors that securing ownership of Kingsmeadow would safeguard the ground for the future of both clubs. In March 2003 the Dons Trust members voted to purchase part of the lease for Kingsmeadow and in June 2003 the contract for buying the lease to the stadium was agreed with Rajesh Khosla; £3 million needed to be raised. This purchase took place a few weeks before the proposed formation of the Kingstonian Supporters Trust which AFC Wimbledon's Supporters Trust had been advising. That trust itself would have considered purchasing the lease to the ground had it been able to raise the funds.
Various innovative methods of fundraising (primarily a share issue offer to supporters which quickly realised £1.2m, and the Dons Trust Bond) meant that the debt to Mr Khosla was steadily reduced. On 30 March 2006, a Dons Trust meeting was held at which a majority voted to accept a commercial loan from Barclays Bank in order to clear the outstanding debt to Mr Khosla, which was at a much higher rate of interest. On 24 November 2006 a statement on the website finally confirmed that the club had taken the Barclays loan, and had repaid Mr Khosla in full. Although the club has now settled its debt to Mr Khosla, around £300,000 is still owed in the form of the commercial loan, with a further £300,000 to Dons Trust bond–holders.
The club continues to work on new ways of fundraising to clear the debt once and for all. Meanwhile, the future of the ground is secured as a home venue both for AFC Wimbledon and equally importantly for Kingstonian F.C. Kingstonian lease the ground at a nominal rate, paid for in part by the proceeds of an annual pre-season friendly between the two clubs, the Trevor Jones Memorial Trophy. However, AFC Wimbledon ceased to take part after 2008, from then on the competition was to take place between Kingstonian, Woking and a squad from Fulham.
Ownership and legal status 
AFCW PLC was placed under the ownership of The Dons Trust, a supporters' group which is pledged to retain at least 75% control of that ownership. In 2003 a minority interest was sold in a share issue in order to finance the purchase of Kingsmeadow, the ground that AFCW part owned with Kingstonian; given the circumstances of the club's formation, this decision raised concerns among some members but was quickly accepted.
The Dons Trust is an Industrial and Provident Society registered with the Financial Services Authority as "Wimbledon Football Club Supporters' Society Limited". This is not to be confused with Wimbledon Independent Supporters Association (WISA) although WISA has as one of its stated constitutional aims "to purchase shares in AFC Wimbledon's holding company".
The chief executive is lifelong fan Erik Samuelson, a retired accountant, who carries out his full-time duties in return for the nominal sum of one guinea a year, because "it sounded posher than a pound".
Community work 
The club places very great emphasis on its role as a social focus for the entire local community, and part of this role is to offer the chance to play football to all. For this reason AFC Wimbledon established the Community Football Scheme (CFS) in 2004. On 1 May 2010, AFC Wimbledon's Community Football Scheme was awarded the FA Charter Standard Community Club Award, the highest graded award attainable in the FA Charter Standard Club Programme, in recognition of the club's outstanding coaching facilities in the local community. The club offer a number of different football courses open to children of any ability aged 4–14, where they can learn new skills and develop their confidence and talent in a fun and enjoyable coaching environment, receiving quality coaching from FA qualified coaches. The club aim to reach as many children as possible through their football and multi-sports programme by having vital links with their surrounding boroughs, most notably Merton and Kingston, which has allowed them to become one of the main providers of sports coaching in their local community.
AFC Wimbledon also offers a Schools Coaching Programme in Merton, Kingston and neighbouring boroughs. The club look to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle for both Primary and Secondary school children through football and a range of other sports. The sessions are run with an emphasis on learning, development and health awareness in a fun coaching environment. On 15 March 2012, coaches from the CFS, in partnership with the Football League's main sponsor nPower, engaged in a community outreach scheme promoting the FA's 'Respect' campaign to school pupils. Nearly 2,000 children aged 10 and 11 were taught how abusive verbal and physical behaviour on the pitch to both players and referees should never be tolerated under any circumstances. The aim of the nationwide 'Respect' scheme in schools is to eradicate racism, homophobia, violence and dissent from the next generation of footballers and supporters.
On 27 March 2012, AFC Wimbledon became the first football club to be presented with the Prime Minister's Big Society Award by Minister for Sport and the Olympics Hugh Robertson for outstanding contributions to the local community. The club was recognised for the honour because it offers a wide range of community development schemes including 19 youth and women's teams, school health and sport projects (hundreds of children a week participate in the outreach schemes provided) and a range of innovative activities, including a stadium school to help children get to grips with maths by using football as a teaching aid.
Congratulating AFC Wimbledon on receiving the award, Prime Minister David Cameron was quoted as saying:
|“||The team behind AFC Wimbledon have not just given fans a local club to support, but much more than this, they have united a community, given them the chance to have a real stake in their club's future and made a huge difference to the lives of many people in the area at the same time. Football is a team game, and AFC Wimbledon have shown just what can happen when people don’t just sit on the sidelines, but choose to get involved and really pull together – a great example of the Big Society. Congratulations to AFC Wimbledon and all their fans and supporters whose determination and devotion has created a community-owned club that has gone from strength to strength.||”|
—David Cameron, statement on the Number 10 official website
Accepting the award, Erik Samuelson, chief executive of AFC Wimbledon stated:
|“||This club's achievements show that a co-operatively owned football club can be faithful to its high ethical standards, keep a keen focus on community involvement, be financially sustainable – and still be successful on the pitch. Everyone who has contributed to the club's success and this award should be very proud.||”|
—Erik Samuelson, statement on the Number 10 official website
Current squad 
- As of 14 May 2013
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Development squad 
- As of 14 May 2013
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Player of the Year 
The Wimbledon Independent Supporters Association (WISA) Player of the Year is voted for by fans in time for the final home game of the season. Below is a list of all previous winners to date:
Club captains 
Below is a list of all players who have been selected to captain the squad to date:
Top scorers 
*only includes goals scored in league matches.
Most league appearances 
- As of 14 May 2013.
Players who have made 100 league appearances or more for the club (including substitutions) in descending order:
Players who have made 50 league appearances or more for the club (including substitutions) in descending order:
*includes appearances made whilst on loan.
International appearances 
Players who have received full senior international caps whilst playing for the club (including substitutions) arranged alphabetically by nation in descending order:
|2013||Kelly Youga||Central African Republic||1|
|2005–2006||Shane Smeltz||New Zealand||5|
Notable former players 
As part of WISA's campaign to reclaim the history of Wimbledon Football Club for the community of Wimbledon, the Wimbledon Old Players Association (WOPA) was formed in 2005. Membership of WOPA is open to all former Wimbledon F.C. and AFC Wimbledon players and managers. Among the sixty founding members were Glenn Mulcaire, who scored AFC Wimbledon's first ever goal in 2002 and Kevin Cooper, who remains the club's all-time highest goal scorer with 107 goals between August 2002 and May 2004, as well as retaining the title for the most goals scored in a season with 66 during 2003–04. Others that joined included some of the legends of the old Wimbledon F.C. such as John Fashanu, Dave Beasant, Efan Ekoku, Neil Sullivan, Dave Bassett, Wally Downes, Marcus Gayle, Neal Ardley, Alan Kimble, Andy Thorn, Roger Joseph, Dickie Guy, Allen Batsford, Roger Connell, Ian Cooke, Roy Law and Steve Galliers. On 16 July 2006, WOPA fielded a team in the Masters Football Tournament at Wembley Arena, with AFC Wimbledon's backing. The team included Carlton Fairweather, Scott Fitzgerald, Marcus Gayle, and Dean Holdsworth.
In June 2010, Vinnie Jones, another former player of Wimbledon F.C., donated his 1988 FA Cup winners medal to the fans of AFC Wimbledon wishing them all the best for the future. The medal is on display at the Kingsmeadow Stadium.
Current management and coaching staff 
Managerial history 
*incorporates all league games and all fixtures in competitive competitions, including those pre-season for silverware.
† suspended as manager on 13 February but was not officially sacked until 18 February 2004.
Tony Milstead is the current manager and the team currently competes in the London and South East Regional Women's Football League.
Wimbledon Ladies’ former player Sophie Hosking won an Olympic gold medal for Team GB in the women's lightweight double sculls at the London 2012 games. Hosking continues to be an avid supporter of AFC Wimbledon and demonstrated as such when she painted her fingernails in the club's royal blue and yellow colours for the final at Eton Dorney on 4 August 2012.
Under-18 squad 
Mark Robinson is the manager of AFC Wimbledon's Under-18 youth team.
The club currently competes in the Football League Youth Alliance South East Conference.
Under the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) system for youth development, AFC Wimbledon has been granted Category Three Academy status.
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Club honours 
Following the move of Wimbledon F.C. to Milton Keynes and its rebranding as Milton Keynes Dons, there was much debate over the rightful home of all the honours won by Wimbledon F.C.. Former supporters argued that the trophies won by Wimbledon F.C. rightfully belong to the community of Wimbledon and should be returned to the local area. AFC Wimbledon believe that the honours of Wimbledon F.C. belong to the fans, as illustrated by the following statement on the club's official website:
In October 2006, an agreement was reached between Milton Keynes Dons F.C., the MK Dons Supporters Association, the Wimbledon Independent Supporters Association and the Football Supporters Federation. The replica of the FA Cup plus all club patrimony gathered under the name of Wimbledon F.C. would be returned to the London Borough of Merton. Ownership of trademarks and website domain names related to Wimbledon F.C. would also be transferred to the Borough. It was also agreed that any reference made to Milton Keynes Dons F.C. should refer only to events after 7 August 2004, the date of the first league match played as Milton Keynes Dons. As a result of this deal, the Football Supporters Federation announced that the supporters of Milton Keynes Dons would be permitted to become members of the federation, and that it would no longer appeal to the supporters of other clubs to boycott MK Dons matches. The replica trophies and Wimbledon F.C. memorabilia were returned to Merton on 2 August 2007.
Only honours won by AFC Wimbledon are listed here. For a list of honours won by Wimbledon F.C., see Wimbledon F.C. Honours
League honours 
Cups and Trophies 
Minor honours 
Undoubtedly the club's greatest record to date is securing 5 promotions in 9 seasons, believed to be the fastest ascent for any English football club. Chief executive Erik Samuelson said that the club has always planned a return to the top flights of English football: "I was clearing out some old files the other day and found a five-year plan from the first season and we assumed promotion every other year. It never occurred to us that we wouldn't succeed. We didn't expect it but always believed we would do what the old Wimbledon did and we have."
Club records 
Player records 
Attendance records 
Average attendance 
Only includes attendances at league home fixtures, rounded to one decimal place: