Striking a balance in regulatory frameworks in football – the Case of Non-League Football in England

Striking a balance in regulatory frameworks in football – the Case of Non-League Football in England

Wednesday 19th  January 2011 at 6pm

Room G01 – Lankaster Lecture Theatre (University College London)
Medawar Building,
Malet Place (off Torrington Place),
London WC1
(For directions click here)

Given by: Erik Samuelson, Chief Executive, AFC Wimbledon


In 2002 AFC Wimbledon became one of the first supporter-owned clubs in England under the ownership of the Dons Trust based on the Supporters Direct industrial & provident society (co-operative) model. The club was formed after the businessmen owners of Wimbledon FC (then in League 1 of the Football League) moved the club to Milton Keynes in the English midlands, far away from its South London roots, and re-named it Milton Keynes Dons. When the club’s supporters were unable to prevent the move they formed their own club vowing that only through supporter ownership could they control the destiny of their club in the future. Since then the club has prospered and AFC Wimbledon are currently occupying the top spot in the fifth level of English football – the Blue Square Bet Premier Conference league.

A particular challenge for supporter-owned clubs like AFC Wimbledon, that are committed to the principle of running a balanced budget, is to effectively compete with clubs owned by deep-pocketed businessmen for whom normal financial objectives of at least breaking event do not appear to apply. In this presentation Erik discusses the financial regulatory framework operating in non-league English football and assesses the extent to which it currently operates to incentivise financial sustainability amongst member clubs. He will conclude by making some suggestions for potential reform in the light of the House of Commons Culture, Media & Sport Committee enquiry into the governance of English football.



Erik Samuelson is the Chief Executive of AFC Wimbledon. He was formerly a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), where his responsibilities included leading their European risk management services. He was appointed as Wimbledon’s finance director when the club was formed in 2002. He carried out that role on a part time basis until he retired from PwC at the end of 2003.  He was appointed as Chief Executive in September 2006.

For further details on this seminar series contact:

Sean Hamil
Department of Management
Birkbeck College
Malet Street

Tel: 020-7631 6763

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