Doncaster Rovers: How last season's FA Cup prize money was spent

Last season's FA Cup prize money has been used to boost the long term future of Doncaster Rovers according to chief executive Gavin Baldwin.

Thursday, 17th October 2019, 12:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th October 2019, 1:00 pm
Rovers in action against Crystal Palace in the fifth round of the FA Cup last season

Rovers reached the fifth round for the first time in 63 years, with a live TV appearance against Crystal Palace further boosting the coffers.

While some money was spent on the team in the second half of last season, aiding the push for the play-offs, other funds were used for improvements to the Cantley Park training ground as well as bolstering the club's Development Squad.

"Essentially we budget for a profit from the cups each year, and that profit is approximately £220,000," Baldwin told the Free Press.

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"Last year with the FA Cup run we made an extra £600,000 on it.

"With that £600,000 it, in a way, meant that football at the club made a profit.

"Football loses seven figures each year and not starting with a 1, potentially starting with a 2. And therefore the £600,000 extra didn't suddenly mean a profit that gave us surplus monies.

"However the owners did take the opinion that they were happy it was bonus money and they would put it back into the club.

"So for instance in January you saw Paul Downing come in, which wasn't a cheap exercise, to give us the best chance of getting in the play-offs.

"Also that money has been used to boost numbers in the Academy and the Development group to secure the team going forward.

"There was new gym equipment bought for Cantley Park, all the pitches got refurbished, the training ground got refurbished.

"The owners have never taken a penny out and chose not to take any of those monies as bonus.

"They have spent it either on giving us the best chance of play-offs last year, which was successful, or creating a better environment for the players to thrive in, this year and going forwards."

Baldwin revealed then-boss Grant McCann was consulted on some of the spending, along with senior players and staff to make sure the money was used in the right areas and not squandered.

"It was about wanting to secure the play-off place but not blowing it in one decision - bringing in one player that could break their leg," he said.

"So with the development squad, last year we had five on permanent contracts and this year it's 11.

"The development team is improving, we're putting more hours in and Gary McSheffrey has taken over it on a permanent basis.

"We're trying to secure the future of the club as well and use those monies for that purpose.

"It didn't mean we made a profit but the owners wanted to use it to give Doncaster Rovers the best chance going forward on the long term."

The chief executive believes it is not in the nature of the club's owners to take out money or reduce their annual base input when profit is made in certain areas of the budget.

"The owners have a sum they are happy, or willing, to put in and they are good with it to be fair to them," he said.

"Therefore above that sum they were not passionate about taking that out and thinking we'll put less in this year.

"They had a chat with various departments to see how we could spend that money wisely to give us a better club going forward."