Plough Lane Bond raises more than £5m – with organisers hoping scheme can hit £7.5m

BY RICHARD CAWLEY
richard@slpmedia.co.uk

The Plough Lane Bond has raised more than £5million – and there is no deadline yet for when the scheme will close.

The more money raised will give AFC Wimbledon a rosier financial position to operate from.

The final construction contract for the League One club’s new home is set to be signed this month – in total £11m is required.

The Plough Lane Bond was the brainchild of Damian Woodward, Charlie Talbot and Xavier Wiggins.

Previously there had been talk of outside investment to fund the Dons’ new home but that would have seen fans lose control of how the club was run.

Woodward said: “We’ve said the scheme is into extra time. We’ve been a little bit vague and firstly that is down to the fact there is a lot of demand. It is making sure we take that longer view due to how successful it has been.

“It means the club has to take out much smaller commercial loans.

“There is a certain resonance in us reaching £7.5m, it won’t be lost on people that was how much we were being told our club was worth to sell it off for. So if we got to something like that it would be interesting.

“Anything we get over £5m fundamentally changes the operational situation for the club when you consider you are borrowing millions at two per cent interest rather than six or seven per cent. That is a big differential and not just to the playing budget but also other budgets at the club, for staff and other facilities.

“We conducted pretty good research after The Dons Trust SGM in December. From that initial shockwave of ‘what the hell is going on?’ it gave us confidence that enough people would mobilise to make it something of a success.

“We felt £5m was a really high number to go for and that £3m seemed reasonable. The more we’ve got, the more people have believed.

“There was a bit of a narrative that because people had said this was the only way forward [external investment] and they were people in authority, a lot believed that was the only way forward. We’ve changed the game on that.

“We believe there are more Wimbledon fans and football fans out there who understand what we stand for – not just football but also the community and a broader spectrum of things.

“If we’re self critical then I think we’ve been asleep at the wheel a little bit. We got so used to fan ownership and The Dons Trust running things that we didn’t realise what needed to change.

“It’s taken something like this to remobilise and understand the values we stand for – how we achieve those goals.”

Anyone wishing to buy a bond, or find our more, should visit www.ploughlanebond.com.

Those fans who are unable to pay £1,000 for a bond can contribute less  at www.wearewimbledon.com – with a minimum payment of £50 and maximum of £950. We Are

Wimbledon Fund will buy the bonds with the money raised.


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20 thoughts on “Plough Lane Bond raises more than £5m – with organisers hoping scheme can hit £7.5m

  • 18th February 2020 at 9:56 am
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    Congratulations to AFC Wimbledon for raising over £5 million from fans and other supporters in a very successful bond issue organised by fans. I believe Boris Johnson should put a substantial sum into this fund-raising effort because, when London mayor, he needlessly ‘called in’ the planning for this football ground. The delay he caused – simply because he had absolutely no idea about football – led to Building costs rising by several million pounds due to inflation. AFC Wimbledon is a community club, helping the disabled, youth teams, charities, food banks, etc., etc. The new ground will include modern conference facilities for, I believe, up to 700 people. This will be a a unique venue when it opens later this year. But for Boris Johnson, this facility would be operating in full swing now.

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  • 18th February 2020 at 2:29 pm
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    . So good to get involved and earn interest at the same time. Glad it’s open to everyone not just supporters of the football club.

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  • 18th February 2020 at 2:38 pm
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    Excellent initiative showing that the answer to football’s problems cam be supporters not oligarchs. The scheme also offers a far better interest rate option than most banks at the moment. I did mine urge anyone who can to do a bond to and banish nearly 30 years of exule

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    • 18th February 2020 at 5:59 pm
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      I love the idea that even those of us who have little knowledge of football are able to contribute to this amazing initiative! My son was a participant in the AFC Wimbledon community football scheme as a child, benefiting from great coaching and making friends, so the club will always be close to my heart.

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  • 18th February 2020 at 2:48 pm
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    Brilliant work by the fans themselves to raise this amount of money, but it’s not done yet and every additional £1 will help. Watching the ‘totaliser’ on ploughlanebond.com is pretty addictive. For those with less than £1k available there’s also a mini-bond at https://wearewimbledon.com/campaigns/plough-lane-bond/ Keep it going!

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  • 18th February 2020 at 3:19 pm
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    I’m not a football fan but this is the club that got taken away from its community many years ago and has always said they would return. Living locally I know how much AFC WIMBLEDON do for the local area in terms of helping disadvantaged people and causes. I’ve invested in a Bond for this reason alone a fans owned club that gives so much to the local community.

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    • 18th February 2020 at 5:27 pm
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      So many people, not just football fans, have bought into the scheme because of the incredible flexibility and high rates.
      This is such a great initiative and the army of volunteers should be proud of what they’ve achieved.

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    • 18th February 2020 at 7:08 pm
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      Congtatulations to all those fans at AFC Wimbledon who have worked so hard to get this far. I hope the Bond reaches the target of 7.5 million. Looking forward to seeing the Wombles back in Merton. Come on you Dons!

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  • 18th February 2020 at 3:58 pm
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    Excellent idea and well done to the organisers for proving that football fans can achieve so much. The interest rate that can be earned is so attractive that I urge you to sign up to the Plough Lane Bond. Well done again to the minnows of Wimbledon.

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    • 18th February 2020 at 5:37 pm
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      A very impressive initiative from the fanbase, a beacon of light in an industry not usually know for its self sufficiency.

      Plus a very competitive ROI for the bond scheme, makes sense whoever you are

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  • 18th February 2020 at 5:18 pm
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    Wow – can’t believe this! I remember going to Plough Lane in the 1980s, great little ground. Good luck to them.

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  • 18th February 2020 at 5:20 pm
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    This is such an awesome way for the local community to be involved in a local club. I wouldn’t be suprised if plenty of people who weren’t even fans of Wimbledon decided to take out a bond!

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  • 18th February 2020 at 5:26 pm
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    This is fantastic that Wimbledon are going to return to Plough Lane and its down to its fans getting together when they were once again told that it can’t be done. They should be proud of what has been achieved and the bond looks like a great deal. Apparently there is still time to invest so I’ll be looking to move some of my low interest savings to help both their community club… and myself!! A great example of what a community football club should be. Well done.

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  • 18th February 2020 at 5:35 pm
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    Once again the fans of Wimbledon football club have proved they won’t give up without s fight. The Bond was a great idea that’s been followed through with a mindset of equal greatness. Fantastic achievement and can’t wait to see the Dons back home in a few short months

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  • 18th February 2020 at 5:36 pm
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    It’s clearly a community thing!

    Well done to all those who pursued and have delivered this funding option.

    The broad reach of this clever investment obviously appeals.

    Bravo

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  • 18th February 2020 at 5:41 pm
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    If you’ve got savings why wouldn’t earning 4% interest not be attractive. Help get the club back into Merton and earn some extra cash !!!! #Winwin

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  • 18th February 2020 at 6:00 pm
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    So pleased to see AFC Wimbledon returning home and the bond offer is a fantastic initiative. I’ve taken advantage of the ‘better than the bank’ interest rates, and knowing it’s also helping a community focused football club definitely makes this feel like an ethical investment as well.

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  • 18th February 2020 at 6:08 pm
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    Had a leaflet through my door looked online to see such a lovely community club/stadium and with the great interest rates, could not resist putting some money in. Good luck AFC Wimbledon, hope to get to a game when the stadium opens

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  • 18th February 2020 at 6:33 pm
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    This is such a great example of a local community working together. The outcome will be some fabulous conference and event facilities bringing employment to people in the area. It will be a great event space and plans are to ensure it is maximised as a local community hub.
    This is all in addition to our primary goal of bringing the local football team back home!!
    By raising money through bonds the monthly costs of funding the venture will be reduced making the entire enterprise more sustainable in the long term.
    Helping bring the Dons home is only the start.

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  • 19th February 2020 at 8:11 am
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    Put hands together for AFC Wimbledon a beacon to show that fans and a community coming together can do it themselves .. brilliant that The fans have raised £5.2 million in their quest to be Fan owned and to complete build of the new stadium at plough Lane Sw19 ..#PloughLaneBond
    A truly remarkable achievement ….an inspiration to football fans everywhere .. A great story … and it continues .. £7.5m in sight ..

    Reply

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