Darren Moore on transfer business at Doncaster Rovers in the wake of Ben Whiteman's departure

Darren Moore has moved to temper expectations over Doncaster Rovers’ attempts to sign players quickly in the wake of Ben Whiteman’s departure from the club.

By Liam Hoden
Thursday, 14th January 2021, 4:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th January 2021, 7:02 pm

Rovers sold the influential 24-year-old to Preston North End on Thursday for a ‘substantial’ undisclosed fee.

Moore has suggested a significant proportion of the fee will help to see the club through the financial challenges which have resulted from the Covid-19 pandemic, including the further delay to the return of supporters to grounds due to the current lockdown.

And he has ruled out paying a fee for a player this month, insisting that any new arrivals will be on free transfer or a loan basis.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Darren Moore

“It’s difficult because there are so many factors involved,” he said.

“Am I going to get a player in this month? We’ll see.

“Am I going try to get a player in this month? We will be working towards that.

“I can’t give any links to anything at the minute because those things have just been started with the confirmation of Ben leaving. We’ll start that now.

“My immediate focus is on Saturday’s game. The games are coming thick and fast and we have to think smart in terms of where we are.”

Moore said the portion of the fee received for Whiteman he has been provided has given him ‘something to work with’ during the January transfer window.

And he said what he is able to do and the number of players he could sign will be determined by how smartly he can work this month.

“It depends on how creative I can be,” he said.

“With where things are at the moment in terms of the pandemic, it is where it is.

“If you’re asking if I’m going to bring anyone in for a transfer fee then I can tell you no.”

While Rovers already have five loan players on their books - the maximum number than can be named in a matchday squad - Moore would be willing to sign more, as he has done in the past, but suggested that hopes to explore other avenues.

And he says with the incredibly demanding final few months of the season ahead, he feels there will be the need for rotation, which would allow for extra loanees.

He said: “If I feel I can use the loan market for a rotation system going forward then I will use it.

“That may be a possibility if things don’t quite materialise how I would like them.

“I usually like to go with six. If you want more than that it would be a real challenge.

“Any other season it would be a challenge but with 28 league games to come in a short space of time, it means your rotation would work in game time.”

Moore moved to explain that the fee received for Whiteman will help offset the losses which have arisen due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said: “Let’s put the situation into context with the Ben Whiteman deal because I know there will be a lot of speculation out there.

“We knew coming in that we were going to face a season unlike any other.

“The pandemic has hit us and it’s hit us hard like everyone else at this level.

“You have to remember that we’ve had no fans in the stadium so revenues from matchdays have gone.

“Because of the latest issues with the government, announcing the lockdown procedures until late February, football as an industry knows it is at a crossroads and the next few weeks could be significant for us all.

“We know there is come the end of February, into March, there is going to be no fans and the best we can hope for is 1,000 or 2,000 fans coming back in before the end of the season.

“Effectively we’ll have gone a full season without any fans in.

“When you look at our close neighbours Lincoln and the losses they’ve announced, here at Doncaster we’re no different.

“Ben going has helped the club be sustainable this season in departments where no funding has come in.

“The importance of it was the club this season has been able to continue and fulfil the season’s fixtures.

“I understand the situation why we had to sell Ben, for those parameters.”


In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.