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MK Dons chairman Winkelman: Why the Dons name must stay

MK Dons chairman Pete Winkelman has urged English football not to turn on his club ahead of today's massive FA Cup tie with AFC Wimbledon.

The former music mogul uprooted ­Wimbledon to Milton Keynes after the old club went into administration in 2003.

Winkelman has since received death threats and admits he woke up in cold sweats over the abuse he received for moving the club.

"I have had all the things you could possibly imagine would have happened to somebody who is doing something controversial," Winkelman told the Sunday Mirror. "I don't want sympathy about having death threats because I've put up with it and I've had to put up with it.

"I used to tell my artists 'any publicity is good publicity'. But what you learn when you have personal, bad publicity is just how much it hurts.

"How you can wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat and you can't ­understand why people are ­having such a go at you. But I've learned to deal with it and all I can do is accept the responsibility for ­making the decision to move a club.

"That isn't my players' decision, it isn't my manager's decision and it's absolutely not my supporters' ­decision. It was my decision.

"Therefore, if there has to be flak, if there has to be animosity, I have to take it and I am prepared to do that. Hate me, don't hate the club. Put it on my shoulders because I made the decision and I have to live with it. I can't even fight it because I kind of understand it.

"That's why I can't change the name of the Dons. The supporters don't want it and I have learned to do what the supporters want. We won League Two as MK Dons, we won the Johnstone's Paint Trophy as MK Dons and we are making our own history now.

"I'm afraid we're the Dons, whether people like it or not - even whether I like it or not.

"The only way that would change is if the Milton Keynes supporters came to me and asked me to drop Dons from our name."

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Tribal Football Staff

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