MK Dons: Pete Winkelman deserves credit, says Karl Robinson
MK Dons manager Karl Robinson hopes chairman Pete Winkelman will one day be able to appreciate his achievements after the "stick" he has had.
Winkelman, who was heavily influential in the controversial move of Wimbledon FC to Milton Keynes in 2003, has been granted freedom of the borough.
MK Dons are playing second-tier football for the first time this term.
"I'd like to think he can have one day when he can sit down, relax and take in what he's achieved," said Robinson.
"It's been quite a remarkable journey, filled with criticism, obstacles, joyous occasions, three trophies.
"But more so the stick that he's taken, some say rightly, (but) some say he's proved a point now and everyone should move on."
|The road to MK Dons|
|January 2001: Wimbledon first announce that they are considering moving to Milton Keynes|
|May 2002: The move, which angers Wimbledon fans and is opposed by the Football Association, is approved by an independent panel|
|May - June 2003: Wimbledon finish 10th in Division One - now the Championship - and then go into administration|
|September 2003: 5,639 watch the first game at Milton Keynes|
|March - April 2003: Winkelman's takeover bid is accepted by creditors|
|June 2004: Football League approves name change to Milton Keynes Dons FC|
|August 2007: All trophies won by Wimbledon FC handed to the London Borough of Merton|
Winkelman also led the consortium to build the 30,000-capacity Stadium:MK, which will also host three Rugby World Cup games this October.
"What he's done for the city of Milton Keynes is quite remarkable and for him to be honoured is testament to all the hard work, all the sleepless nights and money he's spent," added Robinson.
"He's a great person and I owe most of what I have to him. We're proud of him from the management staff and the players, we're proud of his achievements."