Saunders: Losing out on old boys is “risk I have to take”

Sam Hird chose to join Chesterfield instead of making a Rovers return.
Sam Hird chose to join Chesterfield instead of making a Rovers return.
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DEAN Saunders has admitted that Doncaster Rovers’ waiting game in the transfer market is a risky business.

Saunders is still waiting for the green light from the board to begin his summer rebuilding job despite already missing out on Sam Hird’s signature.

Out of contract Hird chose to join League Two Chesterfield last week rather than return to his hometown club after Saunders’ restricted wage offer was trumped by the Spireites.

Rovers’ boss is still stuck in a vicious circle when it comes to transfer funds - and is anxious for measures to be put in place so he can begin drafting in players.

Several players are expected to join Doncaster over the next two months and several have already spoken to Saunders about a possible move to the Keepmoat Stadium.

But Saunders’ hands are effectively tied and it is still uncertain how the club plan to deal with their well-documented budget deficit.

Rovers are £1million over budget before a ball has even been kicked in the transfer market - and any clubs interested in the likes of James Coppinger, James O’Connor and George Friend are likely to hold out for as long as possible in the hope of tempting Doncaster into a cut price deal.

Doncaster’s precarious financial position is set to be one of the major talking points at Rovers’ Forum for the Future event on June 18.

The Free Press understands that mega-rich duo Terry Bramall and Dick Watson’s return to the board of directors will be confirmed at the Open Day event.

Meanwhile, Saunders has told the Free Press that he currently has no alternative but to risk a repeat of the situation with Hird.

Saunders said: “I’ve not ruled out offering contracts to any of the lads who were on the released list.

“But at the moment I’m in a position where I just need to wait and see what happens.

“I’ve said to a few of them if I had to offer you a contract now I’m not in a position to offer you much.

“If they come back to me in a few weeks time I should be able to make them a more realistic offer.

“In the meantime they are free to go and talk to other clubs - but that’s just a risk I have to take.”