MK Dons chairman Pete Winkelman has issued a rallying call to ‘MK Inc’ to help maintain the city’s growing momentum.
Speaking to a gathering of leading business owners and professionals at the accountancy firm Mazars, he said his role with MK Futures had made him realise the task of making a great city greater could not just be left to the council.
“We are all involved,” he said.
And he cited Milton Keynes’ bid to host Rugby World Cup group stage games as a classic example of all elements in the city pulling together.
“When the RFU came to Milton Keynes, they didn’t just meet the owners of the stadium, or just the council leaders.
“They met all the relevant council officers, not only enforcement officers, the safety advisory group and planners, but also the police, the fire, the ambulance people.
“In other words, they met MK Inc.
“And they did not get that anywhere else they went,” he said.
He also talked about the pressure and responsibility he felt on his shoulders in leading his first love, MK Dons.
“The pressure of being in the Championship is harder than I could ever have imagined. It is a massive challenge,” he said.
He still held firm to his long term dream of seeing Premiership football in Milton Keynes but said the first priority would be to avoid relegation from the Championship.
“I shouldn’t really be saying this with my bank manager in the room, but if we can find the players we need in January then we will do everything we can to support Karl and try and get them.
“If anyone knows of a billionaire with their own private oil field who might be interested in getting involved, that would be really helpful!” he joked.
Addressing over 100 guests at Mazars annual international drinks evening, he also spoke of his pride in the achievements of MK Set – MK Dons Sports & Education Trust – which now runs 20 teams for disabled players and regularly attracts over 1,000 to its annual awards evening.
A cheque for £500 was presented to MK Set thanks to funds raised at a Mazars office staff party.
Mazars’ MK managing partner, Stephen Eames, said: “At Mazars we recognise the invaluable work done by MK Set and we would also thank Pete for his inspirational words tonight.”