The owners are very clear that I have to present them with a strategic plan every three years. The main basis of it is Club Doncaster.
Club Doncaster can mean many things, but ultimately it means my job is to drive more revenue into the Keepmoat Stadium and into this club to improve the playing budget, which gives Paul Dickov the best possible chance of obtaining the highest possible position in the league. The business plan is not about the owners taking money out of the club. It’s about getting more money in.
The first step was taking over the Dons. We’re doing due diligence on the Rovers Foundation, our charity, and hope to take that forward. But we’ve got higher ambitions too. We’ve had informal discussions with the council with regards to a hotel or casino at the Keepmoat Stadium.
If you can imagine we have a playing budget of X, then every 12 months we add a different revenue stream of £1 million on top of that playing budget, within five years we’ve got a £5 million-plus budget and the owners don’t have to put a penny in, unless they choose to. If they choose to, we’ve then got a playing budget that’s competitive with anyone in this league. The important thing is it’s being done in increments and it’s not a high risk one-year strategy which could go horribly, horribly wrong.
We’re hopefully building a club that is competitive now, especially with the manager we have got. I think we all have to acknowledge what a great job Paul is doing.
But my greatest desire is to be able to say to Paul ‘there’s a playing budget that we’ve generated for you and it’s available for 10-15 years’. It would not be on the whim of a particular investor, and therefore we can be competitive for as long as Doncaster Rovers exist, for the next 100 years, not just the next two or three years.
We had a board meeting last week and talked about whether we should take over two companies, what those companies would bring to Doncaster Rovers, how they could improve that bottom line and how that bottom line could be spent.
The whole business model is about driving additional revenue and controlling costs, which means we have a better team on the pitch.
Gavin Baldwin was speaking at last week’s fans’ forum.