In December 2017, AFC Wimbledon were charged by the EFL with a breach of Regulations 3.4 and 3.5 and conduct amounting to misconduct, in respect of its actions towards Milton Keynes Dons.
The charge arose from the League One meeting of the two Clubs at the Cherry Red Records Stadium on 22 September 2017, when the home Club was alleged to have not referred to Milton Keynes Dons in an appropriate manner.
The EFL had previously advised AFC Wimbledon of their expectations after a similar approach was adopted by the Club at the corresponding fixture in 2016/17. The EFL had sought to ensure that Milton Keynes Dons were treated in a manner consistent with all Clubs visiting AFC Wimbledon.
The matter was subsequently referred to a Disciplinary Commission, in accordance with Section 8 of EFL Regulations.
In advance of the formal proceedings commencing, the EFL has been in communication with both Clubs and, as a result of the positive dialogue, a decision has been taken to drop the charges against AFC Wimbledon on the proviso that all parties will now enter into discussions using their best endeavours to seek to reach an agreed position between the parties for the future. The decision has been supported by Milton Keynes Dons and The Dons Trust Board.
Those discussions will be in the form of mediation which will be facilitated by the EFL.
EFL Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey, said: “I would like to thank Milton Keynes Dons for their support in what we understand is a highly emotive matter for fans of both Clubs. The League understands the history and the strong feelings associated with the two Clubs and we will now look to work with them both in an attempt to secure a positive outcome."
Mark Davis, Chair of the Dons Trust Board, said: “The EFL’s proposal is a practical suggestion for reaching a resolution of an issue which arouses strong feelings. We will participate fully in the mediation process with the aim of arriving at an outcome that is acceptable to all parties, including the Dons Trust membership, who are the owners of AFC Wimbledon.”
Andrew Cullen, MK Dons Executive Director, said: “We recognise that the events that led to the EFL charges against AFC Wimbledon were and remain an emotive matter for supporters of both MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon. However, we feel the opportunity for a mediation process, facilitated by the EFL, to be much more preferable than formal disciplinary proceedings, with the possibility of sanctions, which may further entrench the strong feelings on this matter amongst supporters of the two clubs. We are grateful to the EFL for their leadership on this sensitive matter.”