Vinnie Jones has been recruited as the face of AFC Wimbledon’s crowdfunding campaign to help fund the League One club’s return to its former home of Plough Lane in south-west London.
The crowdfunding initiative was opened up to everyone at the start of this week, with individuals able to acquire shares in the club.
For a minimum investment of £10, fans will have their name inscribed on a dedicated wall at the new stadium. However, strikingly, they will also have the chance of becoming the naming rights partner of the stadium for one game, with Wimbledon having reserved 20 per cent of the home games in the first season for the initiative.
For £1,000 fans can have their names inscribed on the steps leading up to the stadium, as well as on individual plaques, on the players’ tunnel or even on a changing room seat. Names can also be etched onto beer taps, kiosks and even the urinals and toilet blocks for up to £5,000.
For investments of between £10,000 and £20,000, fans can see a training session and have lunch with the players afterwards, travel with the team to an away match and have dinner with the manager and play a round of golf with club legends.
Meanwhile, for between £50,000 and £100,000, investors can become a patron or vice-president for 10 years, benefiting from privileged entry into the President’s Lounge or the Boardroom, priority tickets and invitations to exclusive events.
The campaign being fronted by Jones, who played for the previous incarnation of Wimbledon FC in two spells, from 1986-89 and 1992-97, is called #LeadUsHome. The campaign video also features American author and AFC Wimbledon fan John Green.
Wimbledon FC left their long-term home of Plough Lane to groundshare with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in south-east London in the early 1990s before the club was ultimately moved to Milton Keynes just over a decade later and renamed MK Dons.
AFC Wimbledon was then established by fans, with a long-term dream of taking the club back to Plough Lane. An 11,000-capacity stadium is in the pipeline.
Club Chief Executive Joe Palmer said: “As a fan-owned club we are determined to ensure that those who participate in the crowdfunding programme and help take us home to Plough Lane will literally have their names marked on the new stadium.
“Not only will everybody who invests go into a draw for the chance to have the stadium named after them for one match, but everybody who invests will have their name recorded permanently within the new stadium.”