Doncaster Rovers: Bramall makes budget pledge

Terry Bramall says the board hope to provide a playing budget to allow boss Paul Dickov to achieve Rovers' ambitions
Terry Bramall says the board hope to provide a playing budget to allow boss Paul Dickov to achieve Rovers' ambitions

Terry Bramall insists Paul Dickov will be handed a budget to chase an immediate return to the Championship despite the collapse of John Ryan and Louis Tomlinson’s takeover of Doncaster Rovers.

Bramall and co-owner Dick Watson have found themselves in the somewhat surprising position of continuing to run the club after the high-profile takeover attempt ended at the 11th hour.

But the construction magnate insists the pair have welcomed the change in scenario with a ‘positive attitude’ and will back Dickov financially.

It was widely acknowledged that Rovers’ playing budget would have been significantly boosted had Ryan and Tomlinson been successful in their proposed buyout.

But Bramall has moved to dismiss suggestions Rovers will now be among the also-rans in terms of League One budgets.

In a statement, Bramall said: “We appreciate the difficult situation Paul has found himself in through no fault of his own.

“The delay in transfer activity has of course had short term impact on our season preparations but we are hopeful as a board we can support Paul with a playing budget that allows him to achieve all of our ambitions for a return to the Championship.

“Whilst we did not expect to be in this position, the opportunity that has presented itself is one that is welcomed with a positive attitude.

“We are looking forward to working with Paul Dickov, Gavin Baldwin and the rest of the senior management team and they of course will have our full support.”

Dickov had been awaiting the green light to begin to sign players, tie down those out of contract and hand new deals to the likes of Richie Wellens and James Husband.

That go-ahead was due to come on Friday when Ryan and Tomlinson’s takeover was due to receive full ratification.

But the bid fell foul of the Football League’s newly-bolstered regulations, specifically the source and sufficiency of funding test which requires proof of clear finances.

Following the return from the pre-season training camp in Portugal on Friday, Dickov will now seek assurances on the budget in order to discover whether he can offer deals to the likes of Peter Clarke and James Bailey, who have been training with the club and were expected to sign.

Bramall also revealed he and Watson were reluctant to accept Ryan and Tomlinson’s offer to buy their respective stakes - both approximately 24 per cent of the club.

But he said the passion the pair would bring was clear to see and he was confident the club would be in safe hands which led Bramall and Watson to not only accept the offer but also write off significant loans owed to them by the club.

Bramall said: “It was with reluctance we agreed to the takeover simply because we have been pleased with the journey the club has made since our time as owners both on and off the field.

“However John and Louis both have a clear passion for the club and we did not want to stand in their way.

“Our primary motive throughout has been to secure the future of Rovers and to ensure the club is in a position to thrive both on and off the field whilst protecting the future of all staff.

“Hence why we agreed to write off our loans to the club as part of the proposed takeover agreement.”