Doncaster Rovers: Part three of our Q&A with CEO Gavin Baldwin talking his shareholding, funding, extending contracts and the start to the season

Gavin Baldwin’s status at Doncaster Rovers has come under scrutiny in recent weeks.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 12:00 pm
Tom Anderson is one player whose future Rovers would like to sort quickly

In the third part of our Q&A with the chief executive, he addresses his shareholding in Rovers’ parent company Club Doncaster and the obligations that brings plus general matters of extending player contracts and the start to the season.

HOW DID YOU COME TO HAVE A THIRD OF THE SHARES IN CLUB DONCASTER?

“If people think Terry and David give away shares for fun, they’re mistaken. They’re very tough businessmen.

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Doncaster Rovers chief executive Gavin Baldwin

“They must have given me the shares for a reason and they must have seen something happening that they liked.

“Terry was quite open. He feels that giving me the shares gives me a greater responsibility for the decisions I make.

“It took years to get into a position where Terry trusted and wanted to gift the shares.

“In my opinion, maybe Terry and David recognised there were good things going on here and it was also a good way to create stability with strategic leadership, as well as giving ownership to what they wanted to deliver.

Rovers boss Richie Wellens

“The first ever board meeting I was called to, the financial projection said that if we carried on in the same way, we’d lose £10million that year. It wasn’t we are going to lose that money, just if we carried on that way.

“We had far too many players on the books at the time and they were all tied into the experiment, off the field the revenues were not great

“Straight away we addressed the sheer number of players, and then we took over the stadium because we used to lease it. Straight away the losses dropped massively and every year since we have chipped away on the annual losses.”

YOUR SHAREHOLDING DOES NOT REQUIRE YOU TO PERSONALLY INVEST IN THE CLUB FINANCIALLY. IS THIS FAIR?

“With the business model we have got, it is.

“If we had a model where the owners were each putting £6million a year and trying to have a £20million playing budget, then they probably wouldn’t have given me the shares in the first place. And it wouldn’t make sense.

“But the very fact they want us to achieve break even and they are happy to be the backstop, it means it is not an issue.

“We’ve all got roles and responsibilities within the board and everyone thinks it’s fair.

WHEN WILL THE CLUB BE TALKING TO CONTRACTED PLAYERS ABOUT EXTENDING DEALS?

“We will talk about that in the mop-up meeting about the transfer window and what the perfect January will look like.

“We’ve graded players green, amber and red. There are players that we want to talk to as immediate priorities.

“It all goes into the thinking of what the perfect January will be and we will take that to the board.”

WHAT IS YOUR VIEW ON THE START TO THE SEASON?

“I was really excited in pre-season because you could see it coming together. There was a pattern and an identity.

“Even though we weren’t getting the wins for the first few games of the season, you could see what Richie was trying to achieve, you could see the players were trying to achieve it and you could see they were battling against all the isolations, the Covids and injuries in pre-season.

“The league game against Rotherham was hard and undeniably felt like a bump in the road.

“James Coppinger said that in pre-season we like to get 280 minutes of game time for the players. We were nowhere near.

“Now they’ve had those minutes so the players should be fitter and match sharp.

“We would say now that we have got to start performing and picking up points.

“There is a genuine optimism around the place that the results will start coming, while the team will also be good to watch.”

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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. Liam Hoden, editor.