If you had £20 million burning a hole in your pocket, you might think of several better ways to invest it than in football.
But, if you did choose football, what would you expect in return?
The most asked question of the summer is why do Sequentia Capital want to invest in Doncaster Rovers?
At least in my mind, the answer is obvious. They’re investors. They expect some sort of return.
One of the key issues about this ongoing takeover saga, though, is not about how much money an investor is prepared to throw at the club, or what they stand to gain. It’s how they intend to spend that money.
Chasing the Premier League dream simply by throwing cash at players does not sit totally comfortably in times of economic austerity. Ask Portsmouth, Coventry et al.
Were that money to be spent on building the club from the bottom up, however, Sequentia’s specific proposals may have been met with more wider acceptance.
Invest in players by all means; young and hungry players.
But also invest in coaching staff, improve the club’s scouting network, develop the training ground, and build on the excellent work that the club already does in the community.
In other words, make the club stronger in the long term, not just the short term.
Sheikh Mansour might have poured hundreds of millions into Manchester City’s squad, for example. But a £200m training ground complex is also on the horizon.
If Rovers required a more realistic financial model to follow, however, Swansea City are the shining light.
Identity on the pitch, sensible investment and strong leadership has taken the Swans from the brink of the Conference to the Europa League in the space of ten years. Follow that.
A huge clash of cultures at Doncaster has acted as a roadblock for Sequentia this summer. John Ryan, the fan, versus Terry Bramall, the businessman. The solution, a much-needed way forward, lies somewhere in the middle. Compromise.
Rovers need investment. There is no getting round that. Ryan, the saviour, won’t be around for ever.
But, whatever the source, it’s how that cash is spent that really counts.