Milton Keynes Dons F.C.
|Full name||Milton Keynes Dons Football Club|
|Short name||MK Dons|
|2017–18||League One, 23rd of 24 (relegated)|
Milton Keynes Dons Football Club (/
Initially based at the National Hockey Stadium, the club competed as Milton Keynes Dons from the start of the 2004–05 season. After two seasons in League One, it was relegated to League Two in 2006. The club moved to its current ground, Stadium MK, for the 2007–08 season, in which it won the League Two title and the Football League Trophy under the management of Paul Ince. After seven further seasons in League One, the club won promotion to the Championship in 2015 under the management of Karl Robinson; however, it was relegated back to League One after one season.
Milton Keynes Dons have built a reputation for youth development , run 16 disability teams and their football trust engages around 60,000 people; between 2012 and 2013 the club produced 11 young players who have been called into age group national teams and between 2004 and 2014 the club gave first-team debuts to 14 local academy graduates, including the England international midfielder Dele Alli.
Milton Keynes, about 45 miles (72 km) north-west of London in Buckinghamshire, was established as a new town in 1967. In the absence of a professional football club representing the town—none of the local non-league teams progressed significantly through the English football league system or "pyramid" over the following decades—it was occasionally suggested that a Football League club might relocate there. There was no precedent in English league football for such a move between conurbations and the football authorities and most fans expressed strong opposition to the idea. Charlton Athletic briefly mooted moving to "a progressive Midlands borough" during a planning dispute with their local council in 1973, and the relocation of nearby Luton Town to Milton Keynes was repeatedly suggested from the 1980s onwards. Another team linked with the new town was Wimbledon Football Club.
Wimbledon, established in south London in 1889 and nicknamed "the Dons", were elected to the Football League in 1977. They thereafter went through a "fairytale" rise from obscurity and by the end of the 1980s were established in the top division of English football. Despite Wimbledon's new prominence, the club's modest home stadium at Plough Lane remained largely unchanged from its non-league days. The club's then-owner Ron Noades identified this as a problem as early as 1979, extending his dissatisfaction to the ground's very location. Interested in the stadium site designated by the Milton Keynes Development Corporation, Noades briefly planned to move Wimbledon there by merging with a non-league club in Milton Keynes, purchasing debt-ridden Milton Keynes City. However Noades then decided that the club would not gain sufficient support in Milton Keynes as the population was still low still being under construction, abandoning the idea.
In 1991, after the Taylor Report was published recommending the redevelopment of English football grounds, Wimbledon left Plough Lane to groundshare at Crystal Palace's ground, Selhurst Park, about 6 miles (9.7 km) away. Sam Hammam, who then owned Wimbledon, said the club could not afford to redevelop Plough Lane and that the groundshare was a temporary arrangement while a new ground was sourced in south-west London. A new stadium for Wimbledon proved difficult to achieve. Frustrated by what he perceived as a lack of support from Merton Council, Hammam began to look further afield and by 1996 was pursuing a move to Dublin, an idea that most Wimbledon fans strongly opposed. Hammam sold the club to two Norwegian businessmen, Kjell Inge Røkke and Bjørn Rune Gjelsten, in 1997, and a year later sold Plough Lane to Safeway supermarkets. Wimbledon were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 1999–2000 season.
Starting in 2000, a consortium led by music promoter Pete Winkelman and supported by Asda (a Walmart subsidiary) and IKEA proposed a large retail development in Milton Keynes including a Football League-standard stadium. The consortium proposed that an established league club move to use this site; it approached Luton, Wimbledon, Crystal Palace, Barnet and Queens Park Rangers. In 2001 Røkke and Gjelsten appointed a new chairman, Charles Koppel, who was in favour of this idea, saying it was necessary to stop the club going out of business. To the fury of most Wimbledon fans, Koppel announced on 2 August 2001 that the club intended to relocate to Milton Keynes. After the Football League refused permission, Wimbledon launched an appeal, leading to a Football Association arbitration hearing and subsequently the appointment of a three-man independent commission to make a final and binding verdict. The league and FA stated opposition but the commissioners ruled in favour, two to one, on 28 May 2002.
Having campaigned against the move, a group of disaffected Wimbledon fans reacted to this in June 2002 by forming their own non-league club, AFC Wimbledon, to which most of the original team's support defected. AFC Wimbledon entered a groundshare agreement with Kingstonian in the borough of Kingston upon Thames, adjacent to Merton. The original Wimbledon intended to move to Milton Keynes immediately but were unable to do so until a temporary home in the town meeting Football League criteria could be found. The club remained at Selhurst Park in the meantime and in June 2003 went into administration. With the move threatened and the club facing liquidation, Winkelman decided to buy it himself. He secured funding for the administrators to keep the team operating with the goal of getting it to Milton Keynes as soon as possible. The club arranged the temporary use of the National Hockey Stadium in Milton Keynes and played its first match there in September 2003. Nine months later Winkelman's Inter MK Group bought the club out of administration and announced changes to its name, badge and colours—the team was renamed Milton Keynes Dons Football Club.
2004–2006: Struggles and relegation
The first season for the club as Milton Keynes Dons was 2004–05, in Football League One, under Stuart Murdoch, who had managed Wimbledon F.C. since 2002. The team's first game was on 7 August 2004, a 1–1 home draw against Barnsley, with Izale McLeod equalising with their first competitive goal. Murdoch was sacked in November and replaced by Danny Wilson, who kept Milton Keynes Dons in the division on the final day of the season — but only because of Wrexham's 10-point deduction for going into administration. The following season, Milton Keynes Dons struggled all year, and were relegated to League Two; Wilson, as a result, was sacked.
2006–2010: Promotion and first trophy
Wilson's successor for 2006–07 was Martin Allen, who had just taken Brentford to the brink of a place in the Football League Championship. Milton Keynes Dons were in contention for automatic promotion right up to the last game, but eventually finished fourth and had to settle for a play-off place. They then suffered a defeat to Shrewsbury Town in the play-off semi-finals. During the 2007 summer break, Allen left to take over at Leicester City.
For the 2007–08 season, former England captain Paul Ince took over as manager. Milton Keynes Dons reached the final of the Football League Trophy, while topping the table for most of the season. The final was played on 30 March against Grimsby Town — Milton Keynes Dons won 2–0 at Wembley to bring the first professional trophy to Milton Keynes. The club capped the trophy win with the League Two championship, and the subsequent promotion to League One for the 2008–09 season. Following his successes, Ince left at the end of the season to manage Blackburn Rovers.
Ince's replacement was Roberto Di Matteo. In the 2008–09 season, they missed out on an automatic promotion spot by two points, finishing third behind Peterborough United and Leicester City. They were knocked out of the play-offs by Scunthorpe United, who defeated MK Dons by penalty shootout at Stadium MK. Di Matteo left at the season's end for West Bromwich Albion.
2010–2016: Karl Robinson era
On 10 May 2010, Karl Robinson was appointed as the club's new manager, with former England coach John Gorman as his assistant. At 29 years of age, Robinson was at the time of his appointment the youngest manager in the Football League. In his first season in the club Milton Keynes Dons finished fifth in 2010–11 League One. They faced Peterborough United in the play-off semifinals. Although they won the first leg 3–2, a 2–0 defeat at London Road meant they missed out on the play-off final.
The 2011–12 season brought similar results to the previous season with the Dons finishing fifth in 2011–12 League One facing Huddersfield in the play-offs. Losing the first leg 2–0 followed by winning 2–1 at The Galpharm saw Milton Keynes Dons lose 3–2 on aggregate against the eventual play-off winners. The away leg was John Gorman's last match in football after announcing his retirement a few weeks beforehand. Gorman's replacement was announced on 18 May 2012 as being ex-Luton manager Mick Harford along with new part-time coach Ian Wright.
Milton Keynes Dons experienced their best ever FA Cup campaign in the 2012–13 season by beating a spirited Cambridge City (0–0 and 6–1), League Two fierce rivals AFC Wimbledon (2–1), Championship Sheffield Wednesday (0–0 and 2–0) and Premier League Queens Park Rangers (4–2) to reach the fifth round of the competition for the first time ever in their history. Their record-breaking run ended in the fifth round at stadium:mk on 16 February 2013, losing 3–1 to Championship side Barnsley. After being in the top five for most of the season, the club finished the 2013–14 League One season in tenth place.
The 2014–15 season began well. The highlight event of the season's first month was being drawn against Manchester United in the League Cup second round, having dispatched AFC Wimbledon in the first. The Dons recorded a shock 4–0 victory over Manchester United in front of a sell out crowd at stadium:mk. A few weeks later, the Dons recorded their record win, a 6–0 thrashing of Colchester United at home. That record did not last long as it was broken once again with a 7–0 demolition of Oldham Athletic on 20 December 2014. Just over a month later, on 31 January 2015, the Dons recorded a joint record 5–0 away win against Crewe Alexandra, earning a short-lived top spot. On 3 May the club secured promotion to the Football League Championship for the first time, beating Yeovil Town 5–1 and leapfrogging Preston North End (who lost 1–0 at Colchester United) on the final day of the season.
The Dons started life in the Championship by beating Rotherham away 4–1 on the opening day of the season and gaining seven points from a possible 12 in their first four games. They were not able to sustain this form throughout the season - the Dons did not win any of their final 11 games and they returned to League One after finishing 23rd in the Championship.
On 23 October 2016, Karl Robinson left the club by mutual consent, following a 3–0 home to defeat to Southend United the previous day, which had extended the Dons' winless run to four games and left them 19th in the League One table.
2016–present : Neilson, Micciche
Robbie Neilson joined MK Dons as manager from Hearts F.C. in his native Scotland with the first game in charge coincidentally an FA Cup game against Karl Robinson's new club Charlton Athletic and would meet twice more the following weeks. The new era started off well, with the second game in charge a win against AFC Wimbledon and in late January a local derby win against Northampton Town. The following season started badly, and Neilson left by mutual consent on 20 January 2018 after a run of one win in 11 league games with the club 21st in the table. Under Neilson's successor Dan Micciche, the club continued to struggle in the relegation places. Following a run of poor results with only three wins in sixteen matches in charge, Micciche left the club on 22 April 2018, with assistant manager Keith Millen taking over as a caretaker. On the penultimate weekend of the season another defeat mathematically relegated them (leaving them seven points from safety with one game to play).
The club's first stadium was the National Hockey Stadium, which was temporarily converted for football for the duration of the club's stay. Their lease on this ground ended in May 2007.
On 18 July 2007, the club's new 22,000 seater, Stadium MK in Denbigh hosted its first game, a restricted-entrance event against a young Chelsea XI. The stadium was officially opened on 29 November 2007 by the Queen. The stadium features an open concourse at the top of the lower tier, an integrated hotel with rooms looking over the pitch and conference facilities. The complex was to include a 3,000 seat indoor arena, where the MK Lions basketball team would be based, but completion of this arena was delayed due to deferral of proposed commercial developments around the site, and the Lions left to find a new home away from Milton Keynes.
In May 2009, the stadium was named as one of 15 stadia put forward as potential hosts for the England 2018 FIFA World Cup bid, which would include increasing capacity to 44,000. England's bid was unsuccessful, but Stadium MK went on to be one of stadia for the Rugby World Cup 2015.
The Dons' most famous non-football related supporter was local resident Jim Marshall, the founder of Marshall Amplification, who were one of the earliest shirt-sponsors. Racing driver Dan Wheldon was also reported to be a fan; after his death, a minute's silence was held in his memory before the next game's kickoff, against Scunthorpe. Former cricketer and talkSport radio presenter Darren Gough, despite being a Barnsley F.C. fan, attends Dons games from time to time as he lives nearby, and also frequently speaks of the Dons when presenting on the radio.
Other notable fans who are either Dons fans or regularly attend games are: Gabi Downs, Paralympic fencer; Andrew Baggaley, table tennis Commonwealth Games double gold medallist; Gail Emms, badminton world champion; James Hildreth and James Foster both England cricketers; Mark Lancaster, local member of parliament and government minister in 2012; Craig Pickering, 100m sprinter – bronze medal at the World Championship in 2007; Craig Gibbons, London 2012 Olympic 100 metre swimmer; Mikey Burrows, Sky Sports Radio presenter; and the late musician and radio broadcaster George Webley.
Supporters' club recognition
On 4 June 2005, at the 2005 Football Supporters' Federation "Fans' Parliament" (AGM), the FSF refused the Milton Keynes Dons Supporters Association membership of the FSF in a debate that, among other arguments, questioned why the Football League had yet to introduce any new rules to prevent the "franchising" of other football clubs in the future. In addition, the FSF membership agreed with the Wimbledon Independent Supporters' Association that the Milton Keynes Dons Supporters Association should not be entitled to join the FSF until they give up all claim to the history and honours of Wimbledon FC. With this in mind, the FSF began discussions aimed at returning Wimbledon FC's honours to the London Borough of Merton.
At its AGM on 5 June 2006, the FSF again considered a motion proposed by the FSF Council to allow Milton Keynes Dons Supporters Association membership if the honours and trophies of Wimbledon FC were given to the London Borough of Merton. In October 2006, agreement was reached between the club, the Milton Keynes Dons Supporters Association, the Wimbledon Independent Supporters' Association and the Football Supporters Federation. The FA Cup trophy 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. As part of the same deal it was agreed that any reference made to Milton Keynes Dons FC should refer only to events subsequent to 7 August 2004 (the date of the first League game of Milton Keynes Dons FC). As a result of this deal, the FSF announced that the supporters of Milton Keynes Dons FC would be permitted to become members of the federation, and that it would no longer appeal to the supporters of other clubs to boycott Milton Keynes Dons' matches. On 2 August 2007, Milton Keynes Dons transferred ownership of all Wimbledon FC trophies and memorabilia to the London Borough of Merton.
Versus Peterborough United
Peterborough United have a rivalry with MK Dons, since the two clubs have vied head-to-head for promotion to the Championship, There also exists between MK Lightning and Peterborough Phantoms in ice hockey a rivalry that pre-dates the one in football. The relegation of the Dons means they will not face each other in league play in 2018-19.
Head to head
|27 August 2016 League One||Milton Keynes Dons||0–2||Peterborough United||Milton Keynes|
|Stadium: Stadium mk
Attendance: 10,621 (2,171 Peterborough fans)
Referee: Mark Heywood
|6 October 2016 EFL Trophy||Peterborough United||0–1||Milton Keynes Dons||Peterborough|
|19:30 GMT (UTC)||Oduwa
|Stadium: ABAX Stadium
Attendance: 1,793 (138 Dons fans)
Referee: Trevor Kettle
|28 January 2017 League One||Peterborough United||0–4||Milton Keynes Dons||Peterborough|
|Stadium: London Road Stadium
Attendance: 6,617 (685 Dons fans)
Referee: John Busby
|12 September 2017 League One||Peterborough United||2–0||Milton Keynes Dons||Peterborough|
|Report||Stadium: London Road Stadium
Referee: Carl Boyeson
|30 December 2017 League One||Milton Keynes Dons||1–0||Peterborough United||Milton Keynes|
||Stadium: Stadium mk
Referee: Charles Breakspear
Versus Northampton Town
Northampton is geographically the closest urban area to Milton Keynes with a professional football team, Northampton Town, the two places separated by a little over 20 miles (32 km). MK Dons supporters' association chairman John Brockwell has stated that the fans were looking forward to hosting Northampton, the club that, geographically at least, are their nearest rivals. Although Peterborough have been traditionally Northampton's main rivals, the "Cobblers" spokesman has stated, in 2008, that, "with MK Dons now on the fixture list, it gives [Northampton] supporters the chance to develop another rivalry."
In 2018, before the 30 January 3pm kick-off in the League One game between the two clubs, Northamptonshire Police arrested seven travelling supporters of the Dons, with one Northampton fan also arrested. Four arrests were for public order offences, one for criminal damage, one for pitch encroachment, one for obstructing the police, and one for affray.
Head to head
|19 January 2016 FA Cup||Milton Keynes Dons||3–0||Northampton Town||Milton Keynes|
Referee: Tony Harrington
|4 September 2016 League One||Northampton Town||3–2||Milton Keynes Dons||Northampton|
|Stadium: Sixfields Stadium
Referee: David Webb
|21 January 2017 League One||Milton Keynes Dons||5–3||Northampton Town||Milton Keynes|
Attendance: 12,300 (3,039 away fans)
Referee: Roger East
|26 September 2017 League One||Milton Keynes Dons||0–0||Northampton Town||Milton Keynes|
Referee: Chris Sarginson
|20th January 2018 League One||Northampton Town||2–1||Milton Keynes Dons||Northampton|
|Stadium: Sixfields Stadium
Attendance: 7,231 (1,210 away)
Referee: Brett Huxtable
Versus AFC Wimbledon
Due to their shared ancestry in Wimbledon F.C., there is an unavoidably acrimonious rivalry with AFC Wimbledon since the relocation of Wimbledon F.C. to Milton Keynes; AFC Wimbledon was the club created in 2002 by disaffected supporters. Dons chairman Pete Winkelman initially stated that MK Dons were the rightful inheritors, writing in November 2004 that "MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon share the same heritage, but we're the real child of Wimbledon"
The first fixture between MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon took place in the second round of the 2012–13 FA Cup, where they were drawn to play each other at Stadium MK. Milton Keynes Dons won the match, held on 2 December 2012, by two goals to one, with a winner scored in injury time, scored by Jon Otsemobor and dubbed by MK Dons fans as "The Heel of God" (a reference to Maradona's "Hand of God"). Kyle McFadzean's opening goal for MK Dons in the second match between the two clubs, a 3–1 MK win in the first round of the League Cup in August 2014, was also scored with his heel, and was consequently labelled "Heel of God II". Two months later, in the Football League Trophy Southern section second round, AFC Wimbledon defeated MK Dons 3–2 with a winning goal by Adebayo Akinfenwa.
On 10 December 2016, the sides met for the first time in a competitive league fixture following MK Dons' relegation from the Championship and AFC Wimbledon's promotion from League Two the previous season. Milton Keynes Dons won 1–0, with Dean Bowditch scoring the only goal of the game with a 63rd minute penalty. The first visit of MK Dons to AFC Wimbledon's home ground for a League One match on 14 March 2017 resulted in a 2–0 victory for AFC Wimbledon.
In 2017, AFC Wimbledon, in the club's programme for their home game against the Dons, held on 22 September, failed to recognise their opponents by their full name for the second successive season. AFC's official Twitter feed also referred to their opponents as "Milton Keynes" throughout their match coverage. AFC Wimbledon were subsequently threatened by the EFL with disciplinary action, and eventually charged for breaching EFL regulations. The charges were dropped. The relegation of MK Dons means they will not face each other in league play in 2018-19.
Head to head
|Opponent||Matches||Won||Drawn||Lost||Goals For:Against||Win %|
|2 December 2012 FA Cup R2||Milton Keynes Dons||2–1||AFC Wimbledon||Milton Keynes|
|12:30 GMT (UTC)||Report||Midson
||Stadium: Stadium mk
Referee: Scott Mathieson
|12 August 2014 League Cup R1||Milton Keynes Dons||3–1||AFC Wimbledon||Milton Keynes|
|19:45 BST (UTC+1)||Report||Tubbs
||Stadium: Stadium mk
Referee: Dean Whitestone
|7 October 2014 League Trophy R2 South||Milton Keynes Dons||2–3||AFC Wimbledon||Milton Keynes|
|19:45 BST (UTC+1)||Report||Stadium: Stadium mk
Referee: Tim Robinson
|10 December 2016 League One||Milton Keynes Dons||1–0||AFC Wimbledon||Milton Keynes|
||Report||Stadium: Stadium mk
Attendance: 11,185 (1,967 AFC fans)
Referee: Geoff Eltringham
|14 March 2017 League One||AFC Wimbledon||2–0||Milton Keynes Dons||Kingston upon Thames|
|19:45 GMT (UTC)||Report||Stadium: Kingsmeadow
Attendance: 4,112 (650 MK fans)
Referee: Roger East
|22 September 2017 League One||AFC Wimbledon||0–2||Milton Keynes Dons||Kingston upon Thames|
|19:45 BST (UTC+1)||Taylor
Attendance: 3,973 (c.300 MK fans)
Referee: Mike Jones
Versus Wycombe Wanderers
Wycombe Wanderers are the only other professional team in Buckinghamshire, therefore games between the two teams are labelled "the Bucks derby."They have not played in the same division since 2012 and will not be doing so in 2018-19.
Through the work of Milton Keynes Dons SET (Sport and Educational Trust), the club works locally (Milton Keynes and the neighbouring towns) in the fields of education, social inclusion, participation and football development. It works with schools, has 14 disability teams playing in regional or national competitions, works with BME (black and minority ethnic) community groups and runs many activities for women and girls. MK Dons also supports the "Football v Homophobia" initiative (one of only 25 premiership and football league clubs supporting the programme in 2012 and only 30 in 2013).
Milton Keynes Dons' work in the community was recognised by the award of Football League Awards Community Club of the Year for London and the South East for 2012, and in the award of an honorary doctorate to chairman Pete Winkelman by the Open University in June 2013.
Striker Sam Baldock was the first notable academy graduate who, after making 102 appearances, moved on to West Ham for a seven-figure sum. Since then he became captain of Bristol City and now plays for Brighton. As of February 2015, Daniel Powell, Tom Flanagan and George Baldock, brother of Sam, all played regularly for the MK Dons first team.
On 2 February 2015, Milton Keynes Dons academy graduate and first team midfielder Dele Alli was sold to Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur for a fee in the region of £5 million. Alli became the first Milton Keynes Dons academy product to make a full England senior team debut, on 9 October 2015.
On 9 August 2016 in a first round EFL Cup match versus Newport County, manager Karl Robinson selected a first-team squad composed of 13 academy graduates and players, giving eight of those players their full debuts for the club including Brandon Thomas-Asante. The game ended with a 2–3 away win for the club.
First team squad
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Player of the year, club captains and top scorers
The following table shows players who have previously been selected to be club captain, have been voted the club's Player of the Year and have been the player who scored the most league goals in a season (including penalties) in chronological order:
- This list contains players who have made 100 or more league appearances (with the exception of Dele Alli). Appearances and goals apply to league matches only; substitute appearances are included. Names in bold denote current Milton Keynes Dons players.
|Name||Nationality||Position||Milton Keynes Dons|
Other notable players
Mark Wright finished the 2007/08 season as the club's top goalscorer, helping the Dons win both the League Two title and the Football League Trophy. Jon Otsemobor made 44 appearances for the club and scored the winning goal in the first match against AFC Wimbledon with a back-heel that was later dubbed the "Heel of God".
Milton Keynes Dons were former Premier League player Jimmy Bullard's last club before his retirement from football, making only three appearances for the club. Similarly Dietmar Hamman made 12 appearances as a player-coach before retiring.
Notable players loaned from other clubs were strikers Patrick Bamford, who scored 18 goals in 37 games, Benik Afobe, who became the league's top scorer in just six months, and Ángelo Balanta, whose loan spell lasted three years. Former Ireland international Clinton Morrison and former Premiership players Paul Rachubka and James Tavernier also had short loan spells with the club.
Alan Smith, most known for his time at Leeds United and Manchester United, joined the club on loan, signing from Newcastle United before making the move permanent totalling 67 appearances for the club. Other international players who have worn the Dons shirt include Tore André Flo, Ali Gerba, Michel Pensée, Cristian Benavente and Richard Pacquette.
|Matt Oakley||Assistant Manager|
|Danny Butterfield||First-Team Coach|
|Mel Gwinnett||First-Team Coach|
|Simon Crampton||Head of Sports Science and Medicine|
|Adam Ross||Senior Sports Therapist|
|Matt Wilmott||Head Fitness and Conditioning Coach|
|Tom Bromley||Lead Strength and Power Coach|
|Liam Sweeting||Head of Recruitment and Performance Analysis|
|Jonathan Kaye||First-Team Performance Analyst|
|Ian Lanning||Kit Manager|
|Simon Dwight||Interim Academy Manager|
|Edu Rubio||Senior Professional Development Phase Coach|
|Steve Brown||Head of Academy Coaching|
|John Bitting||Lead Foundation Phase Coach|
|Callum Tychowski||Academy Head of Performance Analysis|
|Tom Gittoes||Academy Head of Medicine|
|Ben Couzens||Academy Head of Recruitment|
Senior management and club staff
|Pete Winkelman||Club Chairman|
|John Cove||Club Director|
|Sue Dawson||Club Director / Stadium Operations Director|
|Mark Turner||Club Director|
|Berni Winkelman||Club Director|
|Bobby Winkelman||Club Director|
|Andrew Cullen||Executive Director|
|Andy Gibb||Group Sales & Marketing Director|
|Anthony Richens||Group Finance Director|
|Peter Cork||Associate Director|
|Reg Davis||Associate Director|
|Steve Perryman MBE||Associate Director|
|Kirstine Nicholson||Head of Football Operations|
|Andy Wooldridge||Head of Business Sales|
|Antoni Fruncillo||Media Manager|
|Oona Carmichael||Customer Services Manager / Support Liaison Officer|
|Andy Standen||Disability Liaison Officer|
The first Milton Keynes Dons manager was Stuart Murdoch, who had previously been manager of Wimbledon. Murdoch only lasted three months into the 2004–05 season before being sacked — his assistant, Jimmy Gilligan, managed the club for a month before Murdoch's replacement was revealed to be Danny Wilson. Wilson managed to keep the team up during the 2004–05 season, but failed to repeat this feat during 2005–06. Following relegation, Wilson was shown the door and replaced with Martin Allen. After Allen's team fell at the play-offs, he left to manage Leicester City. Paul Ince was appointed manager for the 2007–08 season, and proved to be a shrewd appointment as MK Dons won the League Two championship as well as the Football League Trophy. Ince too left after only a season, to become manager of Blackburn Rovers.
Former Chelsea player Roberto di Matteo was then appointed in July 2008, his personal first ever managerial position and left after a season to manage West Bromwich Albion. Ince was reappointed in his stead on 3 July 2009. Paul Ince resigned as manager on 16 April 2010, stating "a reduction in funds for next season was the reason behind his decision to leave", although he remained with the club until the end of the 2009–10 season.
Karl Robinson was appointed manager on 10 May 2010, having previously been the club's assistant manager under previous boss Paul Ince. At 30 years of age, he was the youngest manager in the Football League and former England coach John Gorman was named his number two. He was also the youngest person to ever acquire a UEFA Pro Licence at the age of 29. At the end of the 2011–12 season Gorman retired and was replaced by former Luton player/manager Mick Harford. At the same time, ex-Arsenal and former England international Ian Wright was also enlisted in a part-time role to provide assistance with coaching duties.
In January 2013, Robinson turned down an offer to manage Blackpool FC, a well established Championship and former Premier League team, in favour of his continuing commitment and loyalty towards Milton Keynes Dons, something which endeared him to the fans of the club. Robinson was linked to other former Premier League clubs including Birmingham City, Sheffield United and Leeds United,and eventually managed Charlton Athletic in 2016-18 after leaving Milton Keynes before moving on to Oxford United.
|Stuart Murdoch||7 August 2004||8 November 2004||21||5||5||11||23.81|
|Jimmy Gilligan||8 November 2004||7 December 2004||4||2||0||2||50.00||Caretaker|
|Danny Wilson||7 December 2004||21 June 2006||81||25||32||24||30.86|
|Martin Allen||21 June 2006||25 May 2007||46||25||9||12||54.35|
|Paul Ince||25 June 2007||21 June 2008||55||35||11||9||63.64|
|Roberto di Matteo||3 July 2008||30 June 2009||41||22||7||12||53.66|
|Paul Ince||3 July 2009||10 May 2010||44||22||4||18||50.00|
|Karl Robinson||10 May 2010||23 October 2016||346||147||81||118||42.49|
|Richie Barker||23 October 2016||3 December 2016||8||2||3||3||25.00||Caretaker|
|Robbie Neilson||3 December 2016||20 January 2018||66||26||16||24||39.39|
|Dan Micciche||23 January 2018||22 April 2018||16||3||3||10||18.75|
|Keith Millen||22 April 2018||6 June 2018||3||1||0||2||33.33||Caretaker|
|Paul Tisdale||6 June 2018||Present||3||3||0||0||100.00|
Former Manchester United and England international Alan Smith was signed as a player, however was often assisting manager Karl Robinson during matches and would manager the reserve side on occasion, and went to take on a player-coach role at Notts County in May 2014. Similarly Alex Rae, former top-flight player, joined the Dons in July 2009 on a temporary basis with a view to a permanent deal, as first team coach working under his former Wolves team-mate Paul Ince, however he did make three appearances as a player for the Dons. Rae left 29 October 2010, following Paul Ince to Notts County, as an assistant manager, a role which he fulfilled until 3 April 2011 when he left the club following the departure of manager Ince.
- Runners-up (1): 2014–15
- Winners (1): 2007–08
- Winners (1): 2007–08
- Winners (1): 2006–07
- Runners-up (2): 2005–06, 2017–18
Club records and achievements
Record Home Attendance: 28,127 vs. Chelsea, FA Cup fourth round, 31 January 2016 (Stadium MK)
Record Home League Attendance: 21,545 vs. Bolton Wanderers, 2016–17 EFL League One, 4 February 2017 (Stadium MK)
Record Away Attendance: 3,155 vs. Queen's Park Rangers, FA Cup 4th Round, 26 January 2013 (Loftus Road)
Record Away League Attendance: 2,005 vs. Peterborough United, League One (play-off semi-final), 19 May 2011 (London Road)
Record Neutral Venue Attendance: 33,000 (out of a total of 56 618) vs Grimsby Town, Football League Trophy Final, 30 March 2008 (Wembley Stadium)
Youngest League Manager at the time of hiring: Karl Robinson (b. 13 September 1980) May 2010 – October 2016
Highest finishing position: 23rd Championship, 2015–16
Records points: 97, League Two, 2007–08
Most wins in season: 29, League Two, 2007–08
Longest unbeaten run: 18 games – 29 January to 3 May 2008
Longest winning run: 8 games – 7 September to 27 October 2007
Highest scoring season: 101, League One, 2014–15
Lowest scoring season: 39, Championship, 2015–16
Record home win: 7–0 Oldham Athletic, 20 December 2014 (stadium:mk)
Record away win: Hartlepool United 0–5, 16 January 2010 (Victoria Park); Crewe Alexandra 0–5, 31 January 2015 (Gresty Road)
Record home defeat: 0–5 Burnley, 12 January 2016 (Stadium MK)
Record away defeat: 5–0 Carlisle United, 13 February 2010 (Brunton Park); 5–0 Rochdale, 27 January 2007 (Spotland); 5–0 Huddersfield Town, 18 February 2006 (Kirklees Stadium); 5–0 Hartlepool United, 3 January 2005 (Victoria Park)
Most goals scored in one game: 7–0 Oldham Athletic, 20 December 2014 (Stadium MK)
Best FA Cup progression: Fifth Round, 2013 (lost 3–1 to Barnsley on 16 February 2013 at Stadium MK)
Best League Cup progression: Fourth round, 2014 (lost 2–1 to Sheffield United on 28 October 2014 at Stadium MK)
Best Football League Trophy progression: Winners, 2008 (won 2–0 against Grimsby Town on 30 March 2008 at Wembley Stadium)
Record FA Cup win: 6–0 Nantwich Town, 12 November 2011 (Stadium MK)
Record FA Cup defeat: 1–5 Chelsea, 31 January 2016 (Stadium MK)
Record League Cup win: 4–0 Manchester United, 26 August 2014 (stadium:mk)
Record League Cup defeat 0–6 Southampton, 23 September 2015 (Stadium MK)
Record Football League Trophy win: Hereford United 1–4 MK Dons, 15 December 2009 (Edgar Street)
Record Football League Trophy defeat: Yeovil Town 4–1 MK Dons, 6 December 2016 (Huish Park), Norwich City U21 4–1 MK Dons, 8 November 2016 (Carrow Road), Brighton 4–1 MK Dons, 1 November 2006 (Withdean Stadium)
Most goals scored in game: 6–0 Nantwich Town, 12 November 2011 (Stadium MK); 6–1 Cambridge City 13 November 2012 (Stadium MK)
Most goals conceded in a game: 0–6 Southampton, 23 September 2015 (Stadium MK)
Most appearances: Dean Lewington – 551 (up to 1 July 2017, still playing, only including games when team known as MK Dons)
Most goals: Izale McLeod − 62
Youngest player: Giorgio Rasulo – 15 years and 10 months
Youngest Goal Scorer: George Williams – 16 years and 2 months (12 November 2011 at stadium:mk vs. Nantwich Town)
Oldest player: Alex Rae – 40 years and 10 months
Oldest Goal Scorer: Colin Cameron – 35 years and 1 month
- Only seasons played by Milton Keynes Dons under that name are given here. For a kit history of Wimbledon F.C., see Wimbledon F.C.#Kit history.
|2009–2010||DoubleTree by Hilton|
Source: Historical Football Kits
- In terms of its footballing assets and place in the English football league structure, Milton Keynes Dons F.C. is the continuation of Wimbledon F.C., which was formed in south London in 1889 and relocated to Milton Keynes in 2003. The club was brought out of administration in 2004 as a new company, Milton Keynes Dons Ltd, which purchased the assets of The Wimbledon Football Club Ltd and received the team's place in Football League One. The Wimbledon Football Club Ltd legally endured until 2009. Since 2006 Milton Keynes Dons has officially considered itself a new club, formed in 2004—it no longer claims any history before then, despite retaining Wimbledon F.C.'s "Dons" nickname.
- The club abandoned its claim to any history before 2004 in October 2006 as part of an agreement with the Football Supporters' Federation, which had previously boycotted the team and its supporters' groups. Under this deal Milton Keynes Dons transferred Wimbledon F.C.'s trophies and other patrimony to Merton Council in south London in 2007.
- For a full description of positions see Football positions.
- Dean Lewington played for Wimbledon before the club was renamed in 2004. The date of Milton Keynes Dons's first league match, 7 August 2004, was agreed in 2006 to be the date on which Lewington ceased to play for Wimbledon and began to play for Milton Keynes Dons.
- Stuart Murdoch was the manager of Wimbledon before the club was renamed in 2004. The date of Milton Keynes Dons's first league match, 7 August 2004, was agreed in 2006 to be the date on which Murdoch ceased to manage Wimbledon and began to manage Milton Keynes Dons.
- "Dons out of administration". ESPN. 1 July 2004. Archived from the original on 17 February 2015. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
A club statement read: 'InterMK are pleased to announce that the Football League have today issued their final approval of the voluntary arrangement (CVA) and confirmed the transfer of the Wimbledon FC League share to Milton Keynes Dons Ltd, bringing certainty to a future for the football club in Milton Keynes.'
- "WebCHeck". London: Companies House. Archived from the original on 29 December 2008. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "The Accord 2006" (PDF). Sunderland: Football Supporters' Federation. 2 October 2006. Retrieved 17 February 2015.; "MK Dons agree to return Wimbledon trophies to Merton—and sanction amendments to football statistics" (PDF). Sunderland: Football Supporters' Federation. 29 June 2007. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
And, on behalf of both clubs, the FSF respectfully requests that, with immediate effect, our media colleagues now refer to MK Dons in relation ONLY to matches played since their first Football League fixture was fulfilled against Barnsley on August 7, 2004.
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- Southgate, Robert (5 April 1973). "Interview with Rodney Stone". The Kentish Independent. London.; "Programme Notes". Charlton Athletic match programme. Charlton Athletic F.C.: 2. 14 April 1973.
- "Luton Town 1 MK Dons 0". When Saturday Comes. June 2005. Retrieved 2010-11-22.
Thus the spectre of Luton moving to Milton Keynes has been raised regularly over the years, but the opposition of either the fans (vehement) or the Football League (ironic, given that it was on the basis of a club moving out of its area) always came to the rescue.
- Noades, Ron (1 April 2001). "I looked at MK in the 70's". BBC. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
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- Parker, Raj; Stride, Steve; Turvey, Alan (28 May 2002). Report of the Independent Commission on Wimbledon F.C.'s wish to relocate to Milton Keynes (PDF). The Football Association. pp. 17–18, 61–67. Archived from the original (pdf) on 19 November 2004. Retrieved 5 June 2009.
The proposal has met with considerable opposition, and not just from the WFC fans. ... [M]ost of the hundreds (over 600) of communications we have received have argued against the proposal. They have generally been from individual WFC fans. 57. Supporters' associations and individual fans from many other clubs and people from as far afield as the United States, Australia (Wimbledon Supporters Downunder), Russia and Norway have also expressed similar views. ... The fans are not of the opinion that a club in Milton Keynes is better than no club at all.; "Dons get Milton Keynes green light". BBC. 28 May 2002. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
- Parker, Raj; Stride, Steve; Turvey, Alan (28 May 2002). Report of the Independent Commission on Wimbledon F.C.'s wish to relocate to Milton Keynes (PDF). The Football Association. pp. 1, 9–34. Archived from the original (pdf) on 19 November 2004. Retrieved 5 June 2009.
- White, Jim (11 January 2003). "Pitch battle". The Guardian. London: Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 5 June 2009.
Ten miles from Selhurst Park, in Kingston upon Thames, the following Saturday, the streets around the tidy little Kingsmeadow football ground are filling up an hour before kick-off. It is here that Wimbledon fans, fed up with the direction in which the owners were leading the object of their love, have set up a football club of their own. ... Early in 2001, Wimbledon's owners announced that they intended to move the club to the Buckinghamshire new town. The fans were adamant that it should remain in their community. 'They wanted to steal our club,' says Kevin Rye, of the Wimbledon Independent Supporters Association (Wisa). 'Nick it and move it 70 miles north. That's what it is: nothing short of theft.'
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- FSF Annual Report for 2006 minutes pages 44/45
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- FSF Annual Report for 2006 Motion 6 (pages 6)
- Accord on patrimony of Wimbledon FC MKDSA website.
- FSF press release "MK Dons agree to return Wimbledon trophies to Merton – and sanction amendments to football statistics"
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- "McCann: 'It's Gradually Built In To A Rivalry'", Peterborough official website, 11 September 2017
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- "Say it with flowers: Floral face-off for local ice hockey rivals", ITV News, 22 November 2014
- Milton Keynes Dons football club: record v Peterborough United, 11v11 website
- Google map
- "Northampton v Milton Keynes: 15 miles away but a world apart", Northampton Chronicle, 14 August 2008
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- "Milton Keynes Dons – Northampton Town 5–3: game report", BBC Sport, 21 January 2017
- Milton Keynes Dons football club: record v Northampton Town, 11v11 website
- MK Dons v AFC Wimbledon: What is the feeling among fans? – BBC Sport, 9 December 2016
- "AFC Wimbledon face Football League probe after refusing to recognise bitter rivals MK Dons", The Daily Mirror, 23 September 2017
- "Interview & Comment: Pete Winkelman". FourFourTwo. London: Haymarket Group. November 2004.
- "MK Dons 2–1 AFC Wimbledon". BBC Football. 2012-12-02. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
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