Exactly 18 years after their club's relocation was approved, AFC Wimbledon have signed the deal which will secure their return. Great news for the club despite difficult times.
On May 28, 2002, Wimbledon was “ripped from its community”, as the club's official website puts it. Now, 18 years later, May 28 goes down in history once more, for a far more positive reason. Yesterday AFC Wimbledon have signed the final construction contract for their new Plough Lane stadium.
The deal was sealed after tremendous effort from supporters, who first participated in the club's crowdfunding effort and then in the Plough Lane bond scheme – all in order to fill the giant financial gap that arose during construction.
Final agreement with contractor Buckingham Group wouldn't be possible without a new minority shareholder at the club. Local businessman Nick Robertson, long time supporter of the club, stepped in to ensure all of the funding shortfall is covered. He shares the vision of a club ran by supporters, so the principle of fans having 75% of shares hasn't been compromised in the end.
As of today, the delivery date of first phase of Plough Lane is solid at October 25. It's unclear when supporters will actually be able to come to the stadium, but when they are it will be ready for them.