[dropcap]As[/dropcap] you know, the Dons are the most popular club in the country, and Peter ‘Pete Winkie’ Winkelman is not only the most popular chairman in the lower leagues, he’s possibly the most popular man in football. But just how widespread is Winkie’s fame, and who loves Winkie?
We’ve carried out some more research this week, and we can now say that:
Stoke Burns Unit
Dalton ‘s Weekly
Preston North End
Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown
And everybody else who was indulging in drugs at the time
All really, really love Winkie.
Unfortunately there were two people we didn’t manage to get a response from this week. Anthony Kay was too busy stood in front of a mirror, looking at his face trying to say sorry, to respond, and Joe Aylett was still laying land mines in the Rotherham half to bother.
Derek Dougan. He’s what springs to mind when I think of Wolves. Derek Dougan. I also think of Winkie (as a supporter), one-time Dons Season Ticket Holder and one-time MooCamp radio Show guest Wolfie Oz (because he hates being reminded of it) and Steve Bull (as a former player). But it’s really Derek Dougan that epitomises everything to do with Wolves as far as I’m concerned. He wrote a book you see.
I can remember the cover – it had a picture of Derek Dougan on the front of it, in a Wolves top oddly enough, and I was probably nine or ten when I bought it from a school jumble sale. It was an autobiography, and told all about his life and his time as a footballer, and I remember being really inspired by it. I wanted to be a footballer. I didn’t want to be Derek Dougan (that would have been ridiculous – he played for Wolves ffs) I wanted to be Liam Brady – but I can remember reading about just how glamorous the life of a footballer in 70s England really was. Which I’m sure by modern standards it can’t have been. He had a great tache though, though oddly I’ve never wanted one of those. Even though I’ve got one now, but that came with a beard, so it doesn’t count. I have no idea what I’m talking about.
The other thing that I think of when I think of Wolves is my mum, and her desperate attempts to do good when I was younger. Having asked for an Arsenal top repeatedly, my poor mum used to buy whatever football related clothing she could find, and I don’t think she ever understood the difference. One of the most legendary purchases was a ‘Wolves Gold’ football top. Not an actual Wolves top, but clearly Wolves colours, which as a young Arsenal fan, was difficult to say the least. Though not as bad as the claret and blue tracksuit, but that’s for another day.
Anyway, the thing about Wolves for me is that I’m torn – I like them as a club, I loved Derek Dougan’s book, but I had to wear that damn top, so I despise them too.
As far as the game goes, we’ve confirmed that Dave Martin is out till the end of the season, and it’s now been announced that Rob Hall is our for 6-9 months – poor lad – get well soon. Will either of those make a significant difference to the remainder of our season? No idea, but they add to the excuse bank.
There’s a feeling of resignation around the support at the moment. Not so much to do with recent results, but more to do with what seem like the impossible odds against us putting the sort of run together that would keep us up. Stranger things have happened of course, and if we manage to get a win tonight, and results elsewhere go our way, then the great escape is back on. Particularly with Rotherham coming to stay on Saturday. Very doubtful though – the teams around us seem to have found a second wind, while we just look out of breath.
Part of me wants it over, because the hope is painful, but in reality, I’m going to keep being positive (I have a feeling I don’t sound very positive right now 😉 ) until the enlarged woman has serenaded us all.
If ever there was a great day out ruined by the football, then this was it.
It started well – a beautiful sunny day in Milton Keynes, lots of coaches lined up outside the Arena (AKA the Semi-Colon) and lots of Dons fans milling about. The wonderful people at Piglets’ Pantry had laid on free brunch for all (not sure whether that was a marketing exercise from them or if it was funded by the club – probably a bit of both) so having grabbed a sausage roll and a Coke, we climbed the stairway to Coach 10.
Coach trips are never the most entertaining thing, but twitter wars can raise the boredom threshold a little – #CoachWars and #CoachWarsSoundtracks kept us going a little, spread to Facebook and at one point had representatives from about half of the coaches, all talking bollocks about how great their coach was, and the rubbish/cool/odd music they were listening to. Coach 10 won. I love being a grown up 😉
For those of you who aren’t up to speed with the charitable element of the day – we had nine people who had walked the entire way from Milton Keynes to Fulham, and two who had Kayaked, all raising money for Willen Hospice. The original plan was to raise £1,000, which then became £3,000, and then £5,000 as donations flooded in. All along the journey, we were getting updates through Facebook and Twitter of the progress that the Walkers and Kayakers were making, with each group making the final stages of their three day journeys as we relaxed into our air-conditioned seats. Everyone was due to meet at the statue of Johnny Haynes at 2:00pm, where the participants could receive our applause, meet Winkie, and the rest of us could bask in the reflected glory of those who’d done simply amazing things to get there.
Winkie was late (as usual ;-)) but not that late – much applause was applauded, great photos were taken, and many hugs were hugged. It’s quite incredible what some people are prepared to do to raise money for others, and I applaud each and every one of you.
So into the ground then – nice and busy, and there was an atmosphere building, both in the bars and up in the stand. The stewards were insistent that everyone went up the right stairway for their ticket, which in my experience never bodes well for a nice relaxed afternoon. If you’ll allow me to rant for a while, this sort of stewarding ‘control’ always seems to be more than a little futile in a football environment. The aim presumably is to ensure that everyone sits in their designated seat, but unless you’re in an environment where every seat has been sold (and I think we can safely say that’s not likely to happy very often for us) I honestly can’t see a single point in it. It’s not the theatre, where you’re able to choose a specific seat – you’re given the next one off the top of the pile and you have no choice in where that seat is. If everyone did sit in the seat randomly allocated by the order in which they bought them, you end up with friends separated, people wanting to sit in with those wanting to stand and vice versa, people wanting to sing in with those preferring not to and vice versa. There are no security implications either, because no club has the faintest idea which tickets are allocated to any individual. Frankly it’s all a bit daft.
Anyway, the atmosphere rocked – we were on good form in the stands, though almost nothing could be heard from the Fulham crowd except for the sound of 10,000 cardboard ‘clackers’. I should point out that while a lot of people were loudly proclaiming how plastic the clackers were and how we’d never do anything like that, we would and we have. The Morecambe game at the end of the JPT/Promotion season was awash with them, and plastic as they are, they were rather good on the day, and when accompanied by pretty continuous chanting they sounded great. On their own though? A bit crap really.
Football-wise, we weren’t good. We looked like a side that was low on confidence and low on ideas, and we were lucky to go in at half-time on equal terms. Fulham hit the post, and while they didn’t force any/many saves from Cody in the first half, they had enough opportunities that they should have. It was good to have JFK back in midfield, but he looked a little sluggish, which wasn’t too surprising for his first game back.
Halftime entertainment was provided by the daft racist behind me who, when asked by another fan to rein in his ‘Abdul’ related shouts at the steward got all hot and bothered. His insistence that the rest of us who were taking an interest should ‘turned round and watch the game’ seemed to be unmoved by the fact that as it was halftime, there was nothing else to watch. To be fair, his mates seemed a little embarrassed by him, but weren’t able to or interested in calming him down (which is always a sign that perhaps you’re hanging round with the wrong people 😉 #justsaying). One of their group suggested that it was none of our business, and that we were ‘grasses’ which was the first time I’ve found myself in the middle of an Eastenders episode at a game ;-). Another of their group very politely suggested that I shouldn’t do anything to ‘wind him up’, but to be honest, if being asked politely to calm it down and stop being racist towards the stewards winds someone up, then fuck him. A storm in a teacup of course, doesn’t mean anything in the wider scheme of things, but an indication of something that we’ll have to deal with as a fanbase. I’ve got a lovely photo of the guy in question if the club are interested.
Second half – we conceded, then woke up a little bit and looked more likely to score for a while. Then we did. Then we looked more likely to concede again. Then we did. We did look more threatening in the second half, but the same old defensive frailties that have haunted us all season were on hand to make Fulham look like world-beaters. The lack of goal threat that has haunted us all season was again on hand to make Fulham look like defensive masterminds. No idea how that bloke who scythed George down stayed on the pitch – a straight red in any other game I’ve seen this season. Wouldn’t have had a bearing on the game in any way though.
Robbo suggested in his post match interview that we deserved a point from it. We didn’t. They could have had three or four more in the second half, were it not for a great performance from Cody, and we very rarely came close to threatening their goal. We’re not psychologically strong enough to win games against the teams that we have to be taking points from. We look lost.
It’s not all over of course – the teams around us are down there for a reason, and while some (well almost all) of them are having some form of resurgence, it might not last. We’d still have to produce the sort of consistency over the remaining matches that we’ve been unable to muster up at all this season, and I can’t see us doing that, but I’ll remain positive until it’s mathematically impossible for us to stay up.
If we do go down, we’ll brush ourselves off, whinge for a bit, then get back into it and enjoy league 1 again.
The one really sour point (other than the football) was hearing that some of the walkers had been denied entry into the game, having walked 54 miles to attend it. I can’t quite imagine what that must feel like for them, and I really can’t understand what Fulham FC are doing to let something like this happen. Complimentary tickets that were provided to the Walkers by Winkie and Andrew Cullen were said to be fakes by the stewards on the gates. Personal intervention by Andrew Cullen helped out with some of them, but others ended up back in the pub, missing the match that they’d put so much into attending. Poor show Fulham – very poor show. Something significant needs to be done to make it up to the fans in question, AND something significant needs to be done to support the charity in question.
All in all, a great day out, marred slightly by an angry racist and the Fulham stewards attitudes to the walkers.
Since our inception, Milton Keynes Dons chairman and owner, Pete ‘Winkie’ Winkleman, has had one mantra. Actually he has had many, but one always stood out head and shoulders, pun intended, above the others. ‘Planning for The Championship, dreaming of The Premiership’. And finally on a spring Sunday afternoon, eleven years after our controversial birth, we made it to the second tier of English league football for the first time.
It was a remarkable season by anyone’s standards. The football league’s top scorers with 101 goals. A comprehensive thrashing of Man United in the League Cup. The dramatic final day when we went on to pip Preston, courtesy of a goal from an ex-player from our hated, estranged cousins. We played expansive, attacking football, led by the mercurial talent that is Deli Alli. Ably supported by Will Grigg, and for half a season, Benik Afobe. As I walked out of the stadium that day, things were looking good.
Summer was around the corner, and when it came, so did the first major coup of our life in The Championship. We signed two players from Real Madrid. Real Fucking Madrid! And one of them was captain of Real Madrid. Okay, it may have been Real Madrid Castilla, their reserve team, but still! Pretty impressive. There were pictures almost as soon as it was announced, of the duo posing with head butting champion, Zidane. Once again, things were looking good.
When the first one signed, I hoped that he would turn out to be more Lloyd Dyer than Florian Sturm. After witnessing them play in a League Cup match, most fans were baying for the return on the Sturminator. They were woeful. Truly dreadful. Still, it was early days, and things could only get better. Things were still looking good. Let’s not forget the wonderful opening match of our Championship campaign here.
Things started to look less than good, pretty quickly. Krobbo found it difficult to attract players that wanted to sign for us. We missed out on Grigg, who actually did want to sign, due to the price, and wage demands, being deemed excessive. He signed for newly regulated Wigan instead. So we took on Simon Church, and Sam Gallacher as our strike force. They were both pish. The Maynard debacle, where he dithered over signing due to ‘Not being able to feed his family’ on the money we were offering, should have been a massive warning shot right there. We suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands and feet of Southampton in the aforementioned League Cup. And well, you know the rest.
When we were promoted, I for one didn’t expect us to be pulling up trees, once again pun intended. I thought we might settle somewhere in the lower mid-table region. I was wrong. The most disappointing aspect of this season so far for me isn’t the battering Burnley gave us that Tuesday night. Or Baker’s fantastic injury time penalty against Brighton. No, it’s the revelation that the board and management team are ‘surprised’ at the spending power, and strength, of teams in The Championship. Andrew’ Call Me Andy’ Cullen has admitted that they’re finding life in this league ‘difficult’.
I’ve followed this club since 2005, and since then Pete Peter ‘Winkie’ Winkleman has constantly told me, yes me personally, that the club simply must be in The Championship. Quite simply must! It therefore seems a tad remiss of him to somehow, after banging on about it for the last eleven years, to fail in his research where The Championship is concerned.
I’ve always been of the opinion that the club should spend more on the playing staff than on the infrastructure. I know that view isn’t exactly popular on certain fan message boards. The general consensus being that Pete has to be prudent, with a whole raft of Bolton and Wigan themed warnings put forward in defence of the tight-arsed argument.
I’m not asking for the club to go Tonto, and bet the farm on signing Agbonlahor or better still Benteke, but surely a blind man could have foreseen that going up a league with a significantly weaker squad might be problematic. But apparently not.
We have a truly wonderful stadium. State of the art. You’ve only got to have followed the club for a couple of seasons to know the standard of the average football stadium in the lower leagues in this country. But seriously! Ask the person sat behind you at the next game if the Nandos, or the Primark store around the stadium enhance their football experience, or would some better players do the job instead!
As you know, the Dons are the most popular club in the country, and Peter ‘Pete Winkie’ Winkelman is not only the most popular chairman in the lower leagues, he’s possibly the most popular man in football altogether.
But just how widespread is Winkie’s fame, and who loves Winkie? We’ve carried out some more research this week, and we can now say that:
And all the cast from the film version of ‘Les Miserables’
All really, really love Winkie.
Unfortunately there were two people we didn’t manage to get a response from this week. Ima Moron, from the accounts department at Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce, was too busy number crunching to justify where exactly the reported 10-15 million pounds of extra revenue to the city will be coming from with the arrival of Chelsea FC to answer the phone, and Pete was still rubbing his hands together in glee.
The MooCamp Radio Show manages to put on a show when there hadn’t been any football to talk about. Exciting or what? We discuss the upcoming Barnsley match, we forget to discuss the Bradford match, we discuss what we did at the weekend and we mention the JPT draw once or twice. Or maybe a few more.
The Armitage Shanks Memorial Clock gets a few mentions in light of the aforementioned draw, we improve David Martin’s song, we hear from Lieutenant Dan and we do lots of the usual features. We’ve got texts and tweets aplenty, most of which were genuine, and we have a rather good time.
Music came from Morrissey, The Alarm and something call Swedish House Mafia. Cheers for that Modders.
The MooCamp Radio Show – probably the most fun you can have without threatening the ozone layer.