Karl Robinson doesn’t know whether MK Dons will ever be in a position to keep hold of their prized assets.
On Saturday, Robinson comes up against the first of his young stars he was forced to sell in the form of Sam Baldock, now plying his trade for Brighton.
The striker left stadium:mk in 2011 destined for West Ham, but Robinson admits he’d have preferred Baldock stayed.
He was also forced in the sale of Aaron Wilbraham too as the club sought financial stability.
Since, Dons have been working towards becoming a sustainable entity. But with barely any money coming towards Robinson he missed out on the opportunity to sign last season’s top scorer Will Grigg, among others, in his bid keep the club in the Championship, while allowing players like Dele Alli go in multimillion pound deals.
And the manager doesn’t see an end in sight.
“I’m not too sure,” he said. “It’s something you’d have to ask the chairman.
“I don’t think we had a choice (in selling Sam Baldock) at the time.
“Looking back, that was probably my most difficult period. It was the second year, and we had to get rid of Sam and Aaron Wilbraham. It was all about making money at that stage. And in that sense it was the right time.
“If you asked fans to put together their all-time MK Dons 11, it would have a good chance of getting out of this league. When you look at it like that, we’ve had some wonderful players who have moved on too soon, in my mind. Sam was a tremendous servant for us.”
Baldock, a regular starter at the Amex this season, has helped Brighton to remain undefeated thus far. And he hasn’t been shy in scoring against his former club either, netting four in his time at Bristol City.
And with goals still very much a part of his game, Robinson is expecting the 26-year-old to be a handful again on Saturday.
“That’s why we sold him for millions of pounds,” he said. “He’s a top player. He scored goals. We know how hard it will be to keep track of Sam, but there are so many others in that team too.
“But we’ve got players who they’ll have to deal with too. We’ve got a number of players who are chomping at the bit to get going. It’ll be a difficult team for me to pick.”