Fixture release day breakfast
Thursday 21st June 2018
Event start: 08:00
Cherry Red Records Stadium
AFC Wimbledon Business Club members gained a unique insight into Dons manager Neal Ardley’s preparations for the 2018/19 season at a special breakfast event to coincide with EFL Fixture release day.
Former England international John Salako, who is a member of the business club himself, joined Neal on stage to talk about the World Cup and his experiences of taking on Wimbledon in the past.
Over 50 members, including quite a few Wimbledon supporters, were updated with the breaking news that the Dons will be visiting Joey Barton’s Fleetwood Town in the opening League One fixture of the new season on Saturday 4 August.
After giving his reaction to the fixtures and providing an exclusive update on his imminent plans to improve the squad, Neal talked about his ambitions for the new season.
The fundamental point for us is that we are a local brewery and most of the people who are in the club operate local businesses. I’ve talked today with potential new contacts and familiar faces.
David Bateman, Wimbledon Brewery
David Bateman, Managing Director at Wimbledon Brewery, was impressed by the event and he’s been helping to organise another big day coming up here soon – the AFC Wimbledon Beer Festival.
“It’s been fantastic to see the place full with all the seats taken up for the breakfast and it was great to hear from the Wimbledon manager and John, who is a member himself,” said David. “I enjoyed the fixtures announcement and these events have been important for us since the AFC Wimbledon Business Club was set-up. The fundamental point for us is that we are a local brewery and most of the people who are in the club operate local businesses. I’ve talked today with potential new contacts and familiar faces.
“We hosted the AFC Wimbledon Business Club a few months ago and we enjoyed doing that. Now, we are obviously helping to set-up the beer festival. There is a whole raft of guest ales from other breweries involved, but we are also going to have all of our headline beers available too. There will also be drinks that fans have not seen before, or ones that they’ve occasionally seen in pubs on occasions here and there. It should be a really good event.”
John Salako, who has worked as a Sky Sports pundit in the past, entertained members with stories from the past, including his memory of an occasion when he had to go in goal against Wimbledon! That came in a match at Selhurst Park when Crystal Palace goalkeeper Nigel Martyn suffered an injury and John was called up as an emergency goalkeeper.
Speaking about his own interest in business, John added: “Having been in football for 30 years, it’s a tough game. You go from contract to contract, but you are often thinking, ‘what if I’m not playing or of I get injured’. Steve Coppell used to say, ‘football is only a stepping stone for the rest of your life’. There is a massive life to lead after you finish playing. I think that on the continent they embrace going into business after playing, in a way they get fast-tracked towards senior management roles in business. It’s more of a conveyor belt and they start thinking about life after football earlier, it definitely happens more on the continent than here. Maybe footballers over here are earning so much money now that they don’t think that far ahead.”
Launched in October, the AFC Wimbledon Business Club’s ninth monthly meeting was a tremendous success. For the next event, members will be treated to hospitality tickets for the pre-season friendly against Premier League Brighton & Hove Albion. Roll on Saturday 21 July!
If you are interested in signing up to the AFC Wimbledon Business Club or for more information, contact Pietro Palladino at email@example.com