A message from the Chairman...
At MK Dons, we pride ourselves on providing a family-friendly and welcoming atmosphere for all. Unfortunately, during last week’s fixture against Portsmouth, I did not meet the high standards and values that we demand and you should expect when visiting Stadium MK.
My regrettable behaviour towards the match officials at the end of the game was unacceptable and I have written to them personally to express my sincere apologies. I would also like to apologise to you, our supporters, for my actions, as I feel I let our Club down.
At the full-time whistle, I allowed my frustrations with the inconsistencies in the game to overwhelm me and cloud my judgement. However, if we demand professionalism from our players in all circumstances, then it is clear that I cannot behave in the way that I did last weekend.
What I have been overlooking is the pressures that our referees are under. While we have professional referees in Premier League and now the Sky Bet Championship, at Sky Bet League One level the referees are not professional – instead, they are juggling the demands of a full-time job while also attending seminars and workshops as well as, of course, officiating our matches.
In my opinion, the game should be doing more to support a true career path for referees. We should allow for the introduction of professional referees throughout the professional game and provide our officials with the same opportunities to grow and improve that we afford our players.
We have spoken often in the past few weeks about how strongly we believe in the MK way. That identity isn’t just limited to the pitch – it extends to what we do behind-the-scenes as well. We have always been a forward-thinking city and Football Club and I believe we can play a role in proactively supporting the campaign to introduce professional referees at all four levels of English football.
I understand that this has been a very difficult, frustrating and challenging season. I know that we all want our football to be an exciting event that can be enjoyed by all. Let’s continue to work together and make sure that this is always the case at Stadium MK.
Come on you MK Dons.