Doncaster Rovers: Baldwin reveals stance on Financial Fair Play rules

Gavin Baldwin
Gavin Baldwin

Doncaster Rovers are fully behind the concept of Financial Fair Play (FFP) and won’t be affected by the new legislation, chief executive Gavin Baldwin has told The Star.

UEFA’s FFP rules came into full effect across all professional divisions for the first time this season, with the aim of ensuring that clubs break even over a three-year period.

Earlier this year Rovers posted a pre-tax loss of £3.3m for the year ending May 31, 2012.

Turnover fell from £8.96m to £8.3m for the same period - and it was expected to take a £4.5million hit following relegation to League One.

Under the new rules, Championship clubs are permitted a maximum loss of £8 million for 2013/14. Clubs which overspend face the prospect of transfer bans or fines.

Since Doncaster were relegated from the Championship last year, Baldwin has overseen a rolling business plan aimed at making the club more sustainable, including the implementation of strict player salary parameters.

The club recently announced that taking over the running of the Keepmoat Stadium last September has generated £250,000 for squad strengthening.

Baldwin told The Star he does not foresee any problems in meeting the new criteria - and also hailed UEFA’s tough new regulations as good for the game in the long term.

“We manage [FFP] on a weekly basis and are happy thanks to our robust management processes that this will not affect the club,” he said.

“We fully understand what is trying to be achieved and feel that anything that guarantees the role of clubs in the community has got to be welcomed.

“The Financial Fair Play model is in place to ensure the long term sustainability of clubs.

“This suits the business model of the current owners.

“This season Doncaster Rovers will be one of only a handful of teams across the Football League to make a small profit, should we hit our targets,” he added.

“The board have already committed to investing those profits back into the first team.”

Current major shareholders John Ryan, Terry Bramall and Dick Watson - who recently released a joint statement re-affirming their commitment to the club in spite of ongoing takeover speculation - are thought to have poured in more than £15 million of their own money over the last decade.

A recent survey, undertook by BDO LLP, revealed that a third of owners surveyed at Championship and League One clubs are considering selling in the next 12 to 18 months, despite the introduction of the new FFP regulations.

Irish-led consortium Sequentia Capital remain interested in buying out Rovers’ major shareholders despite their initial knockback.

Another consortium, thought to be fronted by an ex-international footballer and local car magnate, pulled out of a prospective deal due to the costs involved in the transaction.