John Ryan resigns as chairman of Doncaster Rovers

Former Doncaster Rovers chairman John Ryan
Former Doncaster Rovers chairman John Ryan

John Ryan has sensationally resigned as chairman of Doncaster Rovers - just moments before the start of the crunch South Yorkshire derby at Barnsley.

The 61-year-old will step down as chair and a director of the club with immediate effect following a fall-out over the future direction of the club.

Ryan’s shock resignation, and the timing of it, is likely to stun and sadden supporters who have seen their team rise from the ashes - literally and metaphorically speaking - during his colourful 15-year tenure.

Since taking the helm in 1998, with the club floundering in the Conference, Doncaster have achieved four promotions, won their first major trophy and returned to the second tier of English football for the first time in half a century.

But the last few seasons have taken their toll on the boyhood Rovers fan.

Ryan came close to quitting two years ago when he faced a fan backlash for sacking Sean O’Driscoll and employing Dean Saunders and agent Willie McKay as part of the now infamous ‘experiment’.

Over the last few months Ryan has once again cast a frustrated and downbeat figure while boardroom politics blocked a proposed takeover bid by Sequentia Capital - the Irish-led consortium that Ryan believes can take the club to the next level.

Ryan’s decision to step down follows a meeting held on Tuesday between representatives of Rovers and Sequentia