Milton Keynes Betting

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Among the youngest of all professional football clubs in the U.K. playing the Football Leagues are Milton Keynes Dons F.C., also referred to as MK Dons or simply the Dons. Located in Buckinghamshire, they got their start in 2004 under considerable controversy following the Football Association’s sanctioning of Wimbledon Football Club’s relocation to “new town” Milton Keynes, 90 kilometres (56 miles) to the north.

Wimbledon F.C., of course, were well-established—formed in 1899 as Wimbledon Old Central Football Club. They were winners of numerous honours during more than a century of play, including the 1987-88 FA Cup.

Wimbledon fans opposed management’s 2001 decision to relocate the Club to Milton Keynes, but official permission for the move was granted by an independent commission in 2002. In protest, a new club called AFC Wimbledon was founded by supporters against the move, to which most local fans switched their allegiance.

The former Wimbledon club entered administration in 2003 and played their first match at the National Hockey Stadium in Milton Keynes that September. Despite an improvement in attendance at the Club’s new home, the administrator sold any player who could command a transfer fee. As a result, the emaciated team finished at the bottom of the First Division (tier two) in 2003-04, prior to being brought out of administration.

For the next season, Wimbledon F.C. was officially dissolved and the Club was rebranded as Milton Keynes Dons Football Club, starting out in League One (tier three). Initially, the team continued to claim the history of Wimbledon F.C. as their own, which only caused more ill will among AFC Wimbledon supporters, whose team had joined the Isthmian League and still traced its origins to Wimbledon F.C.

The disagreement escalated throughout 2004-05. The Football Supporters Federation sided with the Dons opponents and organised a boycott of their games. Under such stress, the Milton Keynes side finished 20th on the table, narrowly escaping relegation. The following season, they were not so fortunate and a 22nd place finish landed them in League Two (fourth tier).

In 2006-07, the Dons played well enough to end up in fourth position, but the boycotts continued. To make matters worse, the Club suffered a defeat to Shrewsbury Town in the play-off semi-finals and were unable to gain promotion.

For their 2007-08 campaign, the Dons wanted to ensure recognition of its supporters groups by the Football Supporters Federation. So despite remaining a legal continuation of the original Wimbledon club, Milton Keynes dropped all claims to Wimbledon’s history and went on record as having been established as a new team, founded in 2004.

This must have been just the impetus needed for a turnaround—this plus the hiring of former England captain Paul Ince as manager and the move to a new home ground, the 22,000-seater “stadium mk,” officially opened on 29 November 2007 by Queen Elizabeth II. MK Dons went on to capture the 2007-08 League Two championship, assuring the team of promotion back to League One. They also won the Football League Trophy that season, defeating Grimsby Town in the final by a score of 2-0 before a crowd of 56,618 at Wembley Stadium. Technically, it was their first major trophy.

After leading the Club to success, Ince moved on, but since 2008-09 Milton Keynes Dons have retained their status in League One, finishing third, twelfth and fifth, respectively, over the past three seasons. Going into 2011-12 with youthful manager Karl Robinson at the helm, the Dons are poised for another run at promotion and a history of triumphs yet to be written.