House of Payne: AFC Wimbledon get a kicking when they're down

What could have been: That team which beat Dons in the Capital One Cup have a mouth-watering second round visit of Manchester United

What could have been: That team which beat Dons in the Capital One Cup have a mouth-watering second round visit of Manchester United

First published in Sport by

Football has a nasty habit of kicking you when you're down – as it did to AFC Wimbledon this week.

As if a 3-1 defeat at their nemesis Milton Keynes on Tuesday night, and a performance in which the real Dons didn’t do themselves justice, wasn’t enough, the footballing gods had one more twist in store.

The last match of the second round draw in the Capital One Cup: MK Dons v Manchester United.

Probably the game’s most romantic club visiting undoubtedly its least romantic.

The galling thing is that whatever happens it will be a money spinner for Pete Winkleman’s franchise.

However, wouldn’t it be great if Man Utd fans – who of course have seen their club loaded with debt by the Glazers – could be persuaded to show the kind of solidarity AFC Wimbledon fans afforded their Coventry counterparts at Stadium MK?

As well as holding up “Fix Football” placards in the 35th minute to mark the number of miles Sky Blues fans have to travel to see home games in Newcastle, they sang “They want to go home” to highlight Coventry’s plight.

It is far from being just Dons fans who resent what the FA allowed 12 years ago and who better for a protest to gain maximum effect than United?

There’s no point asking United fans to boycott the game.

For everyone who might be prepared to support a common cause there will be countless others happy to tick off a new ground.

Here’s one idea – try to persuade their fans to take a leaf out of Dons fans’ books by dining on Ikea hot dogs next door rather than replenishing the MK coffers.

It may only represent a small victory for all of those in yellow and blue in the big scheme of things. But there is a more serious point.

If football fans don’t get together on issues like this – as Dons supporters did on Tuesday night – there is no chance of our national game ever finding its fix.

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