Wrexham’s EFL return is today: When are they playing? Why are MK Dons controversial?


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Wrexham are back in the English Football League (the top four tiers of English football) after their promotion from the National League last season.

It is their first season back in the fourth tier since their relegation to non-League in 2008, and the club has changed substantially since then, and been taken over by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.

The club’s huge increase in support, following the success of the Welcome to Wrexham documentary, has meant their opening match of the season has garnered huge interest from the U.S. as did their pre-season tour to the country this summer. Huge crowds greeted the team in matches against Premier League clubs Chelsea and Manchester United.

So with their league season finally here, we take a look at their opening match — and why their opponents are controversial.

Who are Wrexham playing today?

Wrexham kick off their League Two campaign at home to MK Dons. The match kicks off at 3pm BST (7am PT; 10am ET) at the SToK Racecourse.

As with all EFL clubs, the team’s matches are available to stream (when users are not in the UK) live via their iFollow service.

UK-based supporters can listen to the match on the iFollow service.

Have they played each other before?

Yes, six times, but not since April 2008. MK Dons have won four of the six meetings, including a 3-0 victory in League One in December 2004, the season in which Wrexham were relegated to League Two.

The Welsh club’s only victory in this fixture came in League Two in January 2008. The 1-0 win was one of only 10 league wins that season, resulting in relegation from the Football League.

Why are MK Dons controversial?

MK Dons were formed in 2004 after, Wimbledon, who won the FA Cup in 1988, found themselves in financial disarray. Wimbledon went into administration and were eventually bought by Pete Winkelman, MK Dons’ current chairman, and were relocated from south-west London to Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire.

The move was a controversial one. Wimbledon had been a proud non-League club for many years and their fierce sense of identity helped them to scale the leagues and emerge as formidable top-flight opponents.

Suddenly, the club were being taken away from their roots, with new seeds replanted more than 60 miles away in a place that did not have a football team. Milton Keynes, indeed, was only built in the 1960s.

The old Wimbledon FC won the 1988 FA Cup (Photo: Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

The move is reminiscent of what has happened multiple times in the NFL, such as the relocation of the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas.

This has led to some calling MK ‘Franchise FC’. Others refuse to acknowledge they exist at all after their controversial birth from the old Wimbledon FC 19 years ago.

Fans of the original Wimbledon FC went on to form a new football club, AFC Wimbledon. The club climbed from the Combined Counties Football League (the ninth tier, six divisions below League Two) to League One, but now play in League Two, the same division as both Wrexham and MK Dons.



The man from Wimbledon who goes to MK Dons games (and has to hide his identity because of it)

Yes. Wrexham will be without their talisman for today’s fixture after he suffered a punctured lung in a pre-season friendly with Manchester United. The forward will no doubt be cheering on his team-mates from the U.S., where he is recovering.

Who do they play next?

Wigan Athletic (H) – EFL Cup first round – Tuesday August 8 (8pm BST; noon PT; 3pm ET)
AFC Wimbledon (A) – League Two – Saturday August 12 (3pm BST; 7am PT; 10am ET)
Walsall (H) – League Two – Tuesday August 15 (7.45pm BST; 11.45am PT; 2.45pm ET)
Swindon Town (H) – League Two – Saturday August 19 (3pm BST; 7am PT; 10am ET)
Barrow (A) – League Two – Saturday August 26 (3pm BST; 7am PT; 10am ET)



Wrexham: Toughest fixture to start and opening games feature controversial rivals

(Top photo: Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)


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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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