AFC Wimbledon given permission to move back to Plough Lane

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AFC Wimbledon have been given permission to move back to their old home and build a new stadium at the Plough Lane site.

As per The Sun, the decision was made after Merton Council, who held a three-hour meeting, returned a unanimous verdict for the plans of a 20,000 all-seater stadium to be constructed.

The plans, which would mean demolishing the existing greyhound stadium, included the construction of 602 homes, space for shops and cafes, as well as a squash court.


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Erik Samuelson, who is the Dons chief executive, hailed the decision by Merton Council and showed what it meant to the club to be able to return 'home' and hailing the decision as the biggest moment in the club's history.

“I am in danger of getting emotional and I am northern, I don’t do that....It is fantastic.

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“What was the result of the vote in the end? 7-3, 8-2? 10-0! Jesus," further adding: "We are all absolutely delighted. This has been a momentous day for our club and the most important event since we re-formed it 13 years ago."

Samuelson has worked endlessly for the club to be moved back to the borough after initially departing in 1991 and hasn't taken a single penny from the club since it was formed in 2002 by fans who opposed the move to Milton Keynes.

"We started with nothing, no team, no stadium, no manager, not even a strip to wear."

“But what was different this time was that the club was formed by and remains owned by the fans, in other words, we are firmly rooted in our community."

Knowing that they have been given the go-ahead for the move back to Plough Lane, the club will sell their current Kingsmeadow ground, which is based in Kensington, to Chelsea to help with the funding of their development.

AFC Wimbledon v Cheltenham Town - npower League Two

The League Two side will initially build an 11,000 capacity stadium on the old greyhound site, with 602 homes, shops and a health centre also being built, with the possibility of the stadium being ready to host football matches from the 2018/19 season.

Wimbledon had to leave Plough Lane and ground-share with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in 1991 because of the publication of the Taylor Report - which found all top-flight teams should play in all-seater stadiums.

The Dons stayed at Selhurst Park until 2003, when they were relocated to Milton Keynes. Many of the club's supporters protested the move and formed AFC Wimbledon in 2002, who have seen their own success - achieving five promotions in nine years and making their Football League debut in 2011.

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