Doncaster Rovers: Ryan puts a brave face on things

John Ryan
John Ryan

No one bangs the drum quite like John Ryan.

In difficult times, the chairman will always find a positive. He’ll shout about Rovers from the rooftops, to anyone that’s listening.

So it was no surprise at all to find Ryan in combative mood at the recent ‘Meet the Owners’ press conference.

There’s no disguising this summer has been a difficult one for Doncaster. It has not gone to plan.

As soon as talks stalled with Irish consortium Sequentia Capital about a possible takeover, about a month ago, Paul Dickov’s squad rebuilding was placed on hold and was the forerunner for the last minute trolley dash for a goalkeeper and centre half.

Preparation has been far from ideal.

But, typically, Ryan was keen to downplay those behind the scenes hiccups which have sidelined ambitious plans to bring Billy Sharp and Shay Given, among others, to the Keepmoat.

Sat alongside Gavin Baldwin and Dick Watson, but no Terry Bramall, Ryan could barely hide his disappointment. He instigated the talks with Sequentia. He has made it his mission to get more investment into Rovers.

For whatever reason the deal with Sequentia is on the backburner - but Ryan was still keen to paint a positive picture before the big kick-off.

He waxed lyrical about the signings of Harry Forrester, Bongani Khumalo and Ross Turnbull.

He re-emphasized his belief that Doncaster can ruffle a few feathers in the Championship.

And, as per usual, he called on the people of Doncaster to get behind their team.

Rovers will need all the support they can get this season. Fourth from bottom, in my humble opinion, would be a good season.

They could do with getting off to a decent start too, to quell some of the doubt and uncertainty among fans which the press conference and subsequent fans question and answer session were clearly intended to address.

After a summer of speculation, smoke and mirrors, it’s almost come as a huge relief that there’s football to talk about again, even though the early start has done Rovers few favours.

But Doncaster’s season on the pitch could yet be determined by decisions off it - and it remains to be seen how much longer Ryan can put a brave face on things.