AFC Wimbledon do not understand the reasoning behind Boris Johnson’s decision to call in the plans for the club’s stadium in Plough Lane.
The Mayor of London last week announced that he would begin a fresh consultation period despite Merton Borough Council having approved the plans in December.
This process is likely to be overseen by a new mayor with Johnson set to step down from the role in May and hand the decision over to his replacement.
Wimbledon are looking to build a 20,000-seater stadium, leisure centre and 602 flats in Plough Lane in a bid to return to their spiritual home having left in 1991.
Conservative Johnson has never called in plans that have been unanimously approved by a local authority before and his actions have left the Dons perplexed.
Writing in his programme notes for today’s postponed game with Portsmouth at Kingsmeadow, chief executive Erik Samuelson opened up on the issue.
He said: “I think you will not be surprised to hear that we are puzzled as to how this decision could come about.
“At the time of writing, we don’t fully understand the concerns that led to it, nor do we yet know the precise process and timing of the review by the GLA.
“The current Mayor could proceed with a review and complete it before the Mayoral election on 5 May.
“It seems more likely, however (although this is speculation on our part), that it will be a newly elected Mayor who will oversee the decision.
“If so, that is unlikely to be before July.
“In other words, as things stand it looks as though it will be another four months before we have a definitive decision.
“The reason I have described the process in some detail is to demonstrate just how thorough it has been and, in the light of that, why we are confident that our application will succeed when it is considered by the Mayor.
“Second, we’ve reviewed our timetable, and, provided we get a decision in July, we are satisfied that we can still achieve an opening date of season 2018/19 for a new stadium.
“To get where we are today we’ve overcome much bigger hurdles than this one, and I remain very optimistic that we will succeed.”
According to the Mayor’s office, the decision to call in the plans was made due to strategic planning matters regarding transport, housing, sports and cultural provision.