THE BLOG
19/11/2013 12:44 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

MK Dons: Should I Be Over This Now?

Whilst chatting to an old friend and fellow Bradford City fan during half-time at Stevenage recently, we pondered other upcoming away matches and whether or not we'd see each other sooner rather than later - he lives in Bradford, I'm down in London - when one fixture stood out.

"There's MK Dons in November as well," he said.

"Are you going?" I replied with some surprise.

"Yeah, I've got over all that stuff," was his response.

'That stuff', as many football fans will know, refers to the relocation of Wimbledon FC to Milton Keynes 10 years ago and the subsequent splintering of the club into MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon. Many still regard MK Dons as charlatans, interlopers and a franchise that the English football authorities should not have allowed to take their place in the League. It's a view I've held as well for many years.

The long-running football fanzine, When Saturday Comes, runs a supplement at the start of each season previewing the forthcoming domestic campaign with contributions from fans of each club reflecting on how they did last year and their thoughts for the new one. Every year, a line next to MK Dons simply reads 'no questions asked', clearly reflecting where the publication's feelings lie.

However, this year as Bantams fans prepared for the bright new dawn of League One after six years of slog in the basement division, there was a line in the season preview from Jason McKeown, founder of the Bradford City blog, The Width Of A Post, which caught my eye.

Answering the question 'what is your club's greatest contribution to football history?', he wrote: "In a cynical act of commercialism by the Football League, back in 1903 we were elected to the League without ever playing a game in an attempt to challenge the region's fondness for rugby league. As such, we paved the way for the modern day franchising of MK Dons. Sorry about that."

Hmmmm.

Ok, the footballing landscape 110 years ago was somewhat different to today, and Jason's words reflect the self-deprecating commentary that runs through much of WSC's season preview, but could this be a case of 'he who is without sin, cast the first stone'?

Is it time for me to accept that what happened 10 years isn't going to be miraculously reversed and that I should also get over it and head to - hang on, I need to look this up (which actually makes me very happy) - stadiummk this Saturday? After all, this is a relatively close away match for me. Why cut off my nose to spite my face? For someone living at the other end of the country and unable to pitch up at Valley Parade half as much as I used to, the southern away matches provide welcome fixes of the claret and amber. And after already visiting Stevenage and Crawley this season, MK Dons would make a hat-trick of new grounds within the space of a couple of months. Such easy notches on the 92 Club bed posts are not to be taken lightly.

However, come 5 0'clock and Final Score on a Saturday I know where my sympathies lie and if MKD have lost, it feels like another small triumph, another dig in their ribs has been applied from all those 'real' fans who wish they weren't there. Childish maybe, but so is much of life as a football fan.

To help me through this deep moral dilemma I ran a quick - and highly unscientific - straw poll of the football fans in the office to see if their views could guide me or even better, make my decision for me. They didn't.

In fact they clearly showed me to be in a minority and quite possibly stuck in some time warp.

So not for the first time, I've relied on an incident many years ago when I went to see a recruiter who was sounding me out for a job at a newspaper that I did - and still do - detest. I felt rather grubby afterwards just for allowing myself to entertain the possibility of working there.

Perhaps gut instinct is still worth holding onto.