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Andrew Cullen's Bury notes

Executive Director Andrew Cullen discusses the changes at MK Dons over the summer...

12 August 2018

For those who didn't get the opportunity to read, here are Executive Director Andrew Cullen's programme notes ahead of Saturday's Sky Bet League One clash with Bury...

"Within the context of a busy summer, it does seem an age ago since 8th June when Paul was appointed First-Team Manager. As Pete has outlined earlier in this programme, the process that led to Paul’s appointment was one marked by patience, and concluded sometime after we had identified our outstanding first choice at the end of last season. With Exeter City’s season continuing long after our own campaign had finished at Shrewsbury Town, we were conscious of the need to respect their own priorities and Paul’s position and that discussions could not commence until after the League Two Play-off Final.

"Our selection criteria was simple - to select an experienced manager with excellent knowledge of both Leagues One and Two; one with a proven track record in developing players and helping them all realise their full potential; a leader with the ability to reset the Football Club and to turn us back in the right direction after three extremely difficult seasons and importantly someone who shared our values, ambition, with a shared sense of excitement about unlocking the undoubted potential that exists at our Football Club.

"Paul immediately hit the ground running and has brought in 10 new players, many with experience in League Two, including a mix of promotion winners and several with impressive leadership qualities.

"As well as welcoming new faces to the dressing room, we have, over the close season, said farewell to a number of colleagues familiar to supporters and who worked behind the scenes here at Stadium MK. Amongst them are Goalkeeper Coach Paul Heald, who has left the Club to pursue new interests outside the game, as has Gayle Zeolla, our Customer Services Manager. Both Paul and Gayle have been with the Club since its very first game in 2004 and are very much part of our fabric. Hugely respected by both colleagues and supporters, they will both be missed very much. We have also said farewell to other well-known individuals, including our club doctor Martin Cave and also to Darren Oldroyd, a key figure in the Sport and Education Trust - both have been a big part of the MK Dons family since the move to Stadium MK in 2007. They and all our colleagues who have moved on this summer will be made very welcome whenever they return here for matches.

"The last three months has seen a business-wide review of the entire Stadium MK group, leading to a reorganisation of all our ticketing, commercial marketing and supporter customer service operations in the Football Club, hotel, stadium and arena into one function, under the leadership of Group Sales and Marketing Director, Andy Gibb. The changes are designed to help us be a leaner, more competitive organisation. Some of the changes that have been implemented will be apparent today and there will be a chance for supporters to find out more when the MKDSA host our first Fans Forum of the season in Red Dot Bar on Thursday 23th August when Andy Gibb will join Paul Tisdale and myself on the panel.

"On Tuesday, we are back at Stadium MK for the First Round of the Carabao Cup, with another familiar opponent in the shape of Charlton Athletic. Tickets have been greatly reduced for the tie and are available online and from the Box Office.

"There will also be a new opportunity to watch midweek league games this season. The EFL will be offering a live stream of all Tuesday night League fixtures on our iFollow service - iFollow MK Dons. The stream can be accessed from our website for a match fee of £10 and it means that those unable to attend games through work or family commitments can continue to follow MK Dons both home and away. This will start with our next home Sky Bet League Two fixture with Grimsby Town, which takes place on Tuesday 21st August. Full details can be found at mkdons.com.

"Finally, I do wish to echo Pete’s sentiments and to thank you all for staying with us this season after such a difficult period. We are determined to do whatever we can to support Paul, his staff and the players and I know all of you will do the same. The objective for this season is simple – to once again make Stadium MK a great place to visit for all our supporters and, most importantly, to ensure that we do everything possible to put the smiles back on the faces of everyone."


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