Doncaster Rovers: We won't gamble future of the club chasing the top two

Gavin Baldwin says putting together a top two budget in League One would risk the future of Doncaster Rovers.

Sunday, 15th September 2019, 9:00 am
Rovers chairman David Blunt with chief executive Gavin Baldwin

Chief executive Baldwin and other members of the Rovers hierarchy were questioned at the bi-annual Meet The Owners event over the aspirations of the club, particularly in light of last season’s run to the League One play-off semi-finals.

While acknowledging that promotion to the Championship remains a goal for Rovers, Baldwin reiterated that there will be no gambling of the club’s future in order to chase that.

Instead, they will continue to operate within the formula settled upon a couple of years ago whereby the team manager is presented with approximately the sixth to eighth best playing budget in the division.

“We are given a fighting chance every year of getting into the top six,” Baldwin told the audience.

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“We believe through research through the EFL, that if we get into the top six four out of five years for instance, we’ve got a good chance of going up.

“If you give an example of the playing budgets, the difference between the top two and the next few teams – for instance when Wigan were in our league – was something like £6m.

“We can’t put this club in that position and we won’t.

“But what we will do is give ourselves the best possible chance of being in the top six every year, having a really good season, really enjoying it.

“And you would back yourselves that if you get into the play-offs enough times that it’s going to happen.

“And if we do go up we've got the infrastructure, the revenues, the structure within the stadium to get there, stay there, have some fun up there and a few cup runs.

“I personally believe the risk of a top two budget is a risk too far.

“But I don’t believe that should be seen as any intention to not get promoted whatsoever.

“It’s virtually the way Burnley got promoted to the Premier League. They were very clear, give themselves the best chance and when they do get there, make the most of it.

“For instance they improved their training ground, they spent money on the backroom structure. Therefore they stay there for a lot longer period of time.”

Chairman David Blunt said spending money guarantees nothing in football and the focus for Rovers would remain steady progression, on and off the pitch.

“We're trying to build something across everything and that means trying to take everything forward in a positive way,” Blunt said.

“There are no guarantees in football, no matter much money or not you have.

“You play on a Saturday and hopefully you’ve got a team spirit that we've seen already that counts for a lot as well.

"We were mightly unlucky in the play-offs last season. And Charlton who did get promoted are second in the Championship.

“What we have to do is continue the progress. It may be slow but it’s got to be progress going forward.”

“We had a top six finish last year. There are no guarantees this year but hopefully we can get into the top six or the top two.

“We’ll have to wait and see how it all pans out.”