Canberra bid to follow 'inspirational' blueprint of AFC Wimbledon

Canberra's A-League bid are set to follow the "inspirational" blueprint of AFC Wimbledon, having secured the services of the London club's chief operating officer Joe Palmer.

The story of AFC Wimbledon starts in 2002, when Wimbledon FC owners moved the club 90 kilometres north to Milton Keynes and fans revolted to start their own club.

AFC Wimbledon were promoted six times in 13 seasons and currently play in League One.

AFC Wimbledon were promoted six times in 13 seasons and currently play in League One.

AFC Wimbledon earned promotion six times in 13 seasons, rising from the ninth division to the third, and hold the record for the longest unbeaten run in English football at 78 games.

They are the most successful fan-owned club in the United Kingdom and the Canberra A-League bid have signed Palmer to their advisory board.

Canberra will submit its final proposal to Football Federation Australia on Friday and their bid has been built on a "community model", which will see members help run the club.

They've also committed to a"50 plus one" ownership model used in Germany, where clubs can only obtain a licence if its members retain overall control of operations.

The Canberra bid team believe Palmer is the man to put this model into practice and the Englishman is confident he can get the job done.

“With my international network and experience, I believe I am well placed to offer guidance and learnings from a number of football projects," Palmer said.

“Wimbledon is a great model to follow. We are entirely owned by our fans and are the most successful fan-owned club in the UK.

“I’m sure I can bring a lot of learnings from that process and most importantly how to strike the balance between being a professional, commercially-minded business and a community-orientated organisation.”

Canberra bid leader Michael Caggiano backed Palmer to deliver.

“It would be hard to overstate what Joe brings to the bid, his experience will be a major benefit not just to us but to the A-League as a whole,” Caggiano said.

“AFC Wimbledon have an inspirational story, and is a magnificent example of how a community-based club can thrive in the modern world of highly-commercial football.

“No one knows how to achieve that better than Joe.”

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