‘Introduce me to the friendly billionaire’ says Dons chairman Winkelman

“I’ve watched people come and go, buy others clubs and they’re nowhere now”
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If it was as simple as just selling MK Dons to someone with unlimited moneyPete Winkelman says he would have done it long ago.

The chairman, who brought the club to Milton Keynes, has build the club from the ground up, but there are still short-comings in his opinion, and those are born out of a lack of unlimited funding.

Things like the training ground, which is still yet to have planning permission granted at the National Bowl, and the ability to keep hold of the club’s best players have all been bug-bears of Winkelman in recent years.

But while he has not been short of offers for the club, he won’t sell to anyone who he believes will put the club in a worse position in the long term.

He said: “If someone were to introduce me to the friendly billionaire you can all Google and know who they were, not some company you’ve never heard of, then we know it would be a good route to go.

“But this is my baby, I don’t give it up for someone to mess it about.

“I’ve watched people come and go, buy others clubs and they’re nowhere now.”

The closest Winkelman came to selling, he admitted, was to Red Bull in 2016. With their F1 team just around the corner in Tilbrook, the chairman said the sport’s governing body put paid to the move, admitting: “I’ve only once had that opportunity, and it’s a deal everyone knows we wanted to get done - that local big team around the corner - and UEFA blocked that.

“That’s the only one that made me confident they could do a better job than me.”

Without the huge financial backing of a big investor, Winkelman said the club’s current model of buying and selling on players – the likes of Matt O’Riley, Scott Twine and Harry Darling recently – is the most logical way of progressing.

However, he feels had the club been promoted to the Championship last season, he would have been in a position to turn away bids for both Twine and Darling.

He said: “We’re a trading club and we’re doing it deliberately, it’s part of our business model. I don’t think we’d have lost the players we did if we’d have gone up, no matter what the offers were.

“Overall, the club is in a much better shape because we’re focussed on getting out of this division and that’s all that matters.”