Doncaster Rovers out to cash in

Two-year plan: Gavin Baldwin
Two-year plan: Gavin Baldwin

DONCASTER Rovers’ chief executive Gavin Baldwin has promised worried supporters that the club’s decision to take over the running of the loss-making Keepmoat Stadium - an arrangement scheduled to come into force at the start of next month - will not have an adverse affect on the playing budget.

Baldwin hopes that his two-year business plan, which has the full backing of the club’s major shareholders, will start to turn the losses into a small profit during that period.

He wants to see more use made of the superb social facilities at the stadium throughout the week and is hoping that fans and the wider Doncaster public will support the club’s efforts to promote events at the venue - including pop concerts.

He pledged that every £1 of profit made would go directly into the club’s coffers.

Despite speculation to the contrary during recent weeks, Baldwin says that manager Dean Saunders will have one of the biggest playing budgets in League One next season.

Meanwhile, Rovers’ chairman John Ryan has dashed hopes of the club’s reserve team being reformed next season.

Both Supporters’ Club chairman Len South and youth team boss Paul Wilson have gone on record in The Star supporting the return of a second string after Saunders expressed an interest in reviving the side scrapped by former boss Sean O’Driscoll.

“Something has to give,” said Ryan. “We can’t play games at the athletics complex because it’s not enclosed.

“We’ve had the pitch re-laid and it is is much softer now because we think a lot of the injuries we picked up were down to a hard pitch.

“If we were to play reserve team games on it next season it would probably kill it. It would be nice to have a reserve team but we just can’t afford it and we’d prefer to put our resources into the youth set-up.

“We signed five of last season’s youth team - and feel a few of them could make the first team - and we won the Alliance Cup final against Exeter.

“James Husband, of course, made his debut for the first team and played very well and is already being scouted by the top Premier League clubs.

“We see that as more the way to go and whilst we’d like to do both the reality is that our budget has gone down from £10m to roughly £4m.”