The Daily Mail's assertion that Papa Red Bull wants a team in England appears to have motivated a number of English clubs to let it be known that they will not be joining the RB soccer family - regardless of whether anyone thought they would or not.
Leeds United and Nottingham Forest had been ruled out as future Red Bull soccer outlets before the Mail made its claim about Papa's desire for an English team. The Mail then ruled Leeds out again. Swindon Town cannily surfed a Red Bull takeover rumor to some extra publicity, and then quashed the story once it had got the media coverage it was seeking.
Now MK Dons is eliminating itself from any association with Red Bull Global Soccer before any such association has really had a chance to be suggested.
In fairness, the Milton Keynes club has greater reason than most to distance itself from Red Bull: Papa already has his Formula 1 team based in the town.
Also, MK Dons was Wimbledon FC until its ownership moved it to Milton Keynes and gave the club a re-brand. Papa Red Bull's signature move is re-branding existing teams: he has done it with RB Leipzig (formerly SSV Markranstadt), Red Bull Salzburg (formerly SV Austria Salzburg), and the New York Red Bulls (formerly MetroStars).
What better fit for Red Bull Global Soccer than the most famous (and derided) re-branded football club in England?
Milton Keynes Dons Chairman Pete Winkelman turned down an approach from the Red Bull Group. Sources close to the club suggested that although the company have their Formula 1 team based in the town, there was no interest in the club falling under the RB umbrella.
MK Dons will remain a neighbor of Red Bull Racing, but it is not willing to become cousin to the F1 outfit. Football Whispers reports there is a clear strategy already in place for MK Dons, and the club would also prefer not to provide further ammunition to those who regard the transplanted team as "plastic" and lacking an authentic connection to its home town.
England's "Franchise FC" is, reportedly, not in the market for a Red Bull makeover.