Doncaster Rovers: Dons takeover announcement put on hold

Dons' player coach Paul Cooke and owner Carl Hall
Dons' player coach Paul Cooke and owner Carl Hall

A press conference to unveil Doncaster Rovers’ takeover of Doncaster RLFC was this week postponed following John Ryan’s resignation.

As revealed in last month’s Free Press, Rovers and Dons have agreed a formal tie-up under the banner of ‘Club Doncaster’.

That agreement remains unaffected, despite Ryan’s astonishing attack on the proposal during his final press conference.

However, Rovers pulled the plug on an official announcement - which had been scheduled for Tuesday - as a result of the weekend’s shock turn of events.

Ryan cited the Dons takeover as one of the contributing factors to his decision to quit as chairman.

“I’ve been considering this for several weeks,” said Ryan.

“It’s not being going in a direction I felt was right for the club.

“I felt very sorry for Paul Dickov whose hands were tied.

“I was also annoyed this week, to be honest, that we shelled out nearly £100k to buy the rugby club.

“Really? Rugby in Doncaster, no one’s interested,” he added.

“Paul Dickov should have had been given that money.”

Doncaster’s Sporting Club model, championed by chief executive Gavin Baldwin, has been drawn up as part of a plan to maximise revenue at the Keepmoat Stadium and develop Rovers’ standing in the community.

Major shareholder Terry Bramall responded to Ryan’s criticism of the takeover by insisting it would help Rovers achieve their longer term aims and goals.

Bramall said: “I think it’s an ingredient in taking sport in Doncaster forward and developing it, which is part of our aims and ambitions.

“It can add to involvement around the stadium, bring better quality facilities and offers to the people of Doncaster.

“It’s a small amount compared to the playing budget,” he added on the costs involved.

“It’s an even smaller amount when compared with some of the costs of the playing squads in other clubs in the division.

“It’s not even worth thinking about in that respect.

“We’re thinking about the development of all aspects of this club, including the football side.”

A new date for the announcement is yet to be confirmed.

A spokesperson for Doncaster Rovers said on Monday: “Due to the weekend’s events the press conference which was due to take place [on November 12] has now been postponed.”

“We will schedule a revised date for the press conference in order to reveal the exciting developments about to take place in due course.

“Doncaster Rovers FC have no further comment to make at this time.”

Current Dons owner Carl Hall chose not to comment.