Liam Hoden: Rovers need stability from the start

Paul Dickov does not need any lingering headaches this summer
Paul Dickov does not need any lingering headaches this summer

Rovers just cannot seem to catch a break when it comes to heading into the closed season with stability.

To say the last couple of summers have been more than a little chaotic is somewhat of an understatement.

Whether it was Dean Saunders having just a handful of players to work with over 2012’s summer months, or takeover-related wrangling delaying much of Paul Dickov’s business a year ago, Rovers do not have a great recent record of smooth preparations.

And it continues. Even the business of putting together this year’s retained list has been complicated by clauses which could see contracted players heading out of the door with little resistance.

What Dickov needs – and almost certainly wants – is to get the complicated and niggly stuff out of the way quickly and get down to business.

When he took over a year ago – his first anniversary comes on Tuesday – Dickov quickly found himself surrounded by talk of a big money takeover.

Afterwards it became clear he was told a big budget would be coming his way. Players such as Shay Given, Richard Dunne and Billy Sharp had been lined up for permanent transfers.

But weeks passed, Sequentia Capital’s proposed takeover failed and Dickov was left with the more modest budget he likely originally signed up to.

He was also left with little time to work. Out of contract players were hurriedly signed up to new deals while targets faded and Tommy Spurr was allowed to find another club.

If Rovers are to gain a solid footing early in a League One which looks set to be as open as ever, such distractions from business must be avoided.

The first obstacle to clear is that of whether contracted players with get out clauses are to stay or go. All the signs suggest they have been given until the end of this week to decide but there must be no humming and hawing permitted.

Dickov needs a clear picture of who and what he has to work with before the end of this month. His budget for next season will be tight and careful consideration as always is required to make the best out of it.

Stable foundations are essential for the work ahead.