DONCASTER Rovers are counting the cost of a return to League One.
Dean Saunders’ playing budget has been slashed for next season after relegation from the Championship left chairman John Ryan with no alternative but to tighten the purse strings.
Rovers have been forced into several cost-cutting measures since the departures of money men Dick Watson and Terry Bramall in January.
The Free Press understands it is not out of the realms of possibility that both Watson and Bramall could return to the club in some capacity over the coming months - although it is unlikely the pair will shell out on transfers.
The extent of the cut-backs at Rovers were laid bare by Saunders this week.
And Rovers’ boss, who remained upbeat despite the trauma of relegation, is already preparing for a summer of wheeling and dealing.
Saunders said: “We’ve got 12 players in contract for next season and if you add up all the money we’re committed to, it’s miles over the playing budget I have available.
“It’s probably double [the amount the club can afford].
“So obviously we’ve got a tough summer in front of us.
“The season after next we will be all right when all the contracts run out.
“But this summer we have a lot of negotiating and haggling to do.
“We’re not shopping in Marks & Spencer anymore - we’re shopping in Lidl.”