IN August Gavin Baldwin spoke candidly to Paul Goodwin about his plans for the club. So it’s time for a progress report. Paul took to Twitter to find out the questions YOU wanted answering. Here are the pick of them...
Shaun Musgrave @shauny_DRFC
Were you a football fan before this job and what are the main differences and challenges between your job at Rovers and previous jobs?
Yes – I’m a fan of all sports and played rugby union for Northampton and was especially proud to represent England.
After I stopped being an “Egg Chaser” I spent 15 years working in business recovery for various financial institutions, with a focus on maximising revenue through treating people right and reducing costs without impacting on the quality of services.
There are obviously similarities with the job at Doncaster Rovers as we aim to make the club more efficient but more fan friendly than in previous years.
We want Doncaster Rovers and the Keepmoat Stadium to be a venue where fans feel valued and I believe that can really make the difference moving forward.
More recently I held the position of chief executive at Doncaster Dome and was assistant director of Neighbourhoods & Communities at Doncaster Council.
Daniel Barthorpe @dbarthorpe
What did the club learn from the four years in the Championship and what would be done differently next time?
We have now created a three-year strategic plan with scenarios and contingencies built in to reflect different outcomes, such as promotion or relegation.
As a result of this we already know what the budget for next year would be if we were promoted and the controls on that budget.
It’s fair to say the club learned a lot about the financial pressures of competing in the Championship.
In trying to stay competitive we made decisions that resulted in a loss of identity and fans losing faith in us.
It is my feeling that if we had a tighter control during our time in the Championship and had undertaken our fan engagement strategy while in the division, thus allowing fans to work with us and feedback on major decisions, then we would still be in there now.
I strongly believe that if we had embarked upon our strategies a few years earlier we would have generated a profit and that would have been pumped back into the club as our current business plan states.
Dan Gilbride @DanGilbride
Are there going to be more additions to the squad? We don’t have many fit centre backs and surely Rob Jones can’t play every game.
The club has a board meeting every month to review all aspects of the club, both business performance and team performance.
As part of that review we spend a large amount of time discussing the squad, the amount of budget Dean Saunders still has available to spend and any needs.
Dean has built a squad based on what he feels will give him the best chance of success and has allowed himself room for manoeuvre and contingency plans.
Andy Griffin and Sammy Clingan, for example, have bolstered the depth of the squad at a time when we have a large amount of fixtures.
I now feel we have a squad that reflects our values and will excite fans.
Keifer Bentley @KeiferBentley
If we’re in the top six, would the board back Dean in January to push on for the final part of the season?
Yes, Dean has the full support of the board and has had throughout his time at the club.
As Dick Watson recently pointed out, the board have already provided Dean with a larger budget than was initially planned and have now allocated Dean further funds once again based on the impressive start to the season.
I know Dean recently went on record as saying he’s had unbelievable support from the board in terms of finances and that part of his job is to bring entertaining winning football to Doncaster Rovers that continues to get our shareholders excited.
Lee Miller @drfcmiller86
Is there a plan of squad investment should we go up or would we still be in a scrimp and scrape position?
I DISAGREE that we are in a “scrimp and scrape” position.
It’s well documented we had to lose some of our highest earners after we were relegated but the board have given Dean one of the highest playing budgets in this division, even allowing for some of the higher earners.
Dean has opted to use that budget on quality not quantity.
There is a misconception that the board have not invested in the squad this year. That is a myth.
We now have to work within the Financial Fair Play Rules and as a result of that some high earners had to leave so we would comply.
Dean said just recently that he’s had nothing but support from the board while putting the new team together and is always looking to bring better players into the environment.
I think credit has to go to all our shareholders, John [Ryan], Dick and Terry [Bramall] for the way they have approached this season.
They’ve allocated a budget but at the same time have shown flexibility to ensure Dean has been able to bring in the players he wants.
Adam Dawson @AdDaws
Are Preston keen to offload Iain Hume permanently?
Iain has made a great start at Rovers and Dean is hopeful that we could do something on a longer term basis.
For Part Two of #AskGavin log onto www.doncasterfreepress.co.uk tomorrow.