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Winkelman: Improvements off the pitch

Chairman Pete Winkelman discusses the improvements that can be made away from the field...

17 May 2023

As well as improving on the pitch, one of the Club’s biggest tasks this season will be repairing the relationship off the pitch with the supporters following a disappointing 2022/23 campaign.

Last season saw a strong connection between the fans and the Club become broken, and while improvements were made in the final few weeks of the campaign, Chairman Pete Winkelman knows more needs to be done to rebuild that bond heading into 2023/24.

“We know winning is the single biggest thing we can do, turning our stadium into a place where people can regularly see our team do well, but fan engagement will be at the top of our list too,” Winkelman said in his press conference last week.

“We have worked with the Supporters’ Board, while the MKDSA and Dons Action are having a big influence in terms of us making sure we do things that will be generally appreciated by our supporter base, such as our Fan Village.

“The hangover from the COVID-19 pandemic has had an effect on this. It’s stopped the players from visiting schools, and fans being able to participate in meet and greets - all the stuff we used to do, that kept us in contact with our supporters, went and never returned properly. These are thing we are addressing and will be continuously improved.”

Winkelman: “With all of this, I’ve let myself down, I’ve let the fans down and I’ve also let the city down, but what’s amazing about Milton Keynes and amazing about our sponsors is that I’m kind of forgiven, and I don’t be deserved to be forgiven.

“Season tickets haven’t been ripped up or returned in anywhere near the quantity you would’ve imagined, particularly with the cost-of-living crisis we have at the moment. I’m quite humbled by it really.

“I’m very grateful for all the support we get here. Fans are upset, and rightly so because none of you deserve this. If you take a team backwards on your watch, I’m afraid you have to take the stick that goes with it.

“The senior members and I are absolutely committed to doing something about it and determined to put it right. I know how hard people are already working to try and go forwards together and get the best out of the club.

“The pressure is now on us to deliver, not just in the fan engagement, which is extremely important, but on that pitch.”

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