Dick Watson: There was no boardroom split, says Doncaster Rovers vice chairman

Dick Watson. Picture: Chris Bull D5477CB
Dick Watson. Picture: Chris Bull D5477CB

ROVERS vice chairman Dick Watson has refuted suggestions of a boardroom split over the decision to sack Sean O’Driscoll.

O’Driscoll left the club last Friday - just days after John Ryan backed his manager publicly.

But Watson told the Free Press this week it was a unanimous decision by the board to replace O’Driscoll with Dean Saunders.

Watson, who along with Ryan and Terry Bramall each own roughly a thirty per cent stake in the club, said: “A few people have said one or two things about there being a boardroom split - but I can assure you one hundred per cent that we were all behind the decision.

“Everything had gone very flat.

“There was no excitement and we’d obviously gone 19 games without a win.

“I couldn’t see where any improvement and any goals were going to come from.

“It all happened very quickly but we were offered the new manager and myself and John decided, on balance, that we would take the chance.

“Terry was actually in Switzerland when it all happened but I knew he would the support the decision.”

Watson spoke to O’Driscoll on Friday to explain the board’s reasoning behind the decision.

“I have been one of Sean’s biggest supporters but personally I felt something had to happen,” said Watson.

“In my time at the club this is the biggest decision we’ve had to make.

“I didn’t get much sleep on Thursday night – but it had to be a quick decision.

“Sean rang me on Friday and we talked about how it had come out of the blue.

“He asked why the decision was made and I said it was down to results. He understood why.

“Obviously this season, after the start we’ve had, the aim is to stay in the Championship,” he added.

“We’re punching above our weight.

“It’s hard to sustain a Championship club with crowds of eight and nine thousand.

“But we saw on Saturday that the new manager has had an impact and there’s plenty of enthusiasm from the crowd.”