Doncaster Rovers: Dickov set to learn budget fate

Paul Dickov
Paul Dickov

Paul Dickov is due to find out his budget for next season this week.

The Scot has already held lengthy planning discussions with the board and is understandably looking forward to his first ‘takeover-free’ summer in charge of Doncaster Rovers.

Earlier this month Dickov stressed that the club will stick to their frugal principles.

But former chairman John Ryan’s decision to hand his 24 per cent stake back to Rovers and write off his £4 million loan with the club might enable co-owners Terry Bramall and Dick Watson to loosen the pursestrings that have been tightened since relegation from the Championship last year.

Slightly tongue-in-cheek, the Free Press put Dean Saunders’ memorable quote about ‘shopping at Lidl’ to Dickov last week and asked Rovers’ boss where he expects to be shopping this summer.

“I’ve got half an idea. It could be a Sainsbury or a Tesco,” he joked.

Since taking the Rovers hot seat, the majority of Dickov’s signings have been free transfers, short term deals and loans.

And this summer the Scot will again run the rule over what is likely to be a larger than ever list of out of contract players.

But with the core of a decent squad already in place, and Dickov very much in the market for players who have ‘been there and got the t-shirt’, he could well be given a little more lee-way in terms of his spending power as Rovers plot a more sustained assault on the League One promotion places.

“Once I get my budget I’ll have to manage that the way I see fit, whether that’s actually going out and being able to buy some players or getting the right players in at the right price,” said Dickov.

“It’s a difficult one at the minute. I think only one or two clubs have decided on contracts and what they’re going to do next year.

“I think things will settle down maybe a week or so after the season has finished. Everybody then has a clearer idea on what’s happening.

“One thing I will say is that the PFA list of out of contract players will be longer than ever before.

“I think lots of clubs favour that route. You won’t have agents asking for wages we can’t afford.”

Former boss Saunders memorably said “we’re not shopping in Marks & Spencer anymore - we’re shopping in Lidl” following Rovers’ relegation from the Championship in 2012.