The Inquest: The cupboard looks increasingly bare

Doncaster Rovers 4 November 2006''Rovers' chairman John Ryan (left) introduces new club directors Terry Bramhall and Dick Watson to the Belle Vue crowd.

Doncaster Rovers 4 November 2006''Rovers' chairman John Ryan (left) introduces new club directors Terry Bramhall and Dick Watson to the Belle Vue crowd.

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MONEY talks in football and Doncaster Rovers in truth are not making much noise.

In the finance-driven world of football, Rovers were fighting a losing battle this season.

The club has lost money in recent seasons to the extent that it could quickly become an alarming amount should it be allowed to continue.

This situation was only worsened when the two richest backers Dick Watson and Terry Bramall resigned from the board in January.

It appears the pair’s decision to depart came much earlier than their actual leaving date, meaning there was little money around to make Rovers truly competitive.

When Dean Saunders arrived at the club there was no war chest waiting for him, despite what the so-called ‘McKay Experiment’ may have suggested.

To fund the signings, Saunders had to restructure his outgoings.

He sent loanees Ryan Mason and Milan Lalkovic back to their parent clubs, freeing up a significant amount of money and refused to continue the loan of Jon Parkin on the terms agreed during Sean O’Driscoll’s tenure.

Only then did Saunders have room to manoeuvre in the transfer market.

The sale of star man Billy Sharp also hinted the extent to which the cupboard was bare.

In the end, Rovers accepted a scandalously low fee for such a player and only Sharp’s wages were made available to Saunders to reinvest.

Supporters may think John Ryan has a bee in his bonnet about attendances at the Keepmoat.

But with bums on seats being one of the main sources of income, you can understand his frustration.

Rovers had the second worst average attendance in the Championship this season and only the 48th highest in English football.