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Thursday, December 8, 2022

AFC Wimbledon fans raise over £8m to boost club finances

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The bond, which was organised to help fund Dons’ move to their new stadium, initially raised £5m back in 2020.

It has been relaunched in 2022 and bonds can be purchased with buyers able to choose their own interest rate of up to 6 per cent for new purchasers, or 7 per cent for existing bondholders.

That has led to £3m being raised and the Dons hope to raise another £300,000 before the end of March as part of their target of “3.3 by 30.03”.

The success of the Plough Lane Bond has helped Wimbledon remain a fan-owned club and reduced their reliance on loans from external sources.

“At a time when NFTs and Crypto schemes are dominating the headlines as they try to take advantage of football’s popularity, it’s been fantastic to see our fans and supportive investors support the club’s aims through such a traditional investment route,” said Dons Trust Co-Chair Xavier Wiggins.

“We launched our first bond in 2020 and that raised more than £5.6m, which is in itself the biggest bond issuance in British football. Purchasers could choose their own interest rate across a 5, 10 or 25 year term.

“That enabled us to complete the stadium construction. So when we had this round of refinancing in 2022 to replace a bridging loan, it was only natural we would go back to another bond scheme. After all, all clubs look their owners for financial support – and at our place our fans are the owners.

“We are offering interest rates of up to per cent to new bondholders and, as an additional thankyou to those who supported the initial scheme, existing bondholders can choose up to per cent.”

Wimbledon head coach Mark Robinson added: “Our fans never cease to amaze me. Yet again they have stepped up to back our incredible story and we are grateful for every single investment.”

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