UPDATED: Doncaster Rovers deny administration talk

Rovers chief executive Gavin Baldwin.
Rovers chief executive Gavin Baldwin.

Doncaster Rovers have strenuously denied they are considering entering administration.

Rovers were thought to be weighing up the drastic move due to concerns centred on money owed to John Ryan.

But, following the announcement of Richie Wellens’ arrival on an 18-month contract on Wednesday, Rovers were keen to point to that deal in a statement denying they were contemplating administration.

Chief executive Gavin Baldwin said: “The club’s top priority is to support the manager in every way possible to ensure we maintain our Championship status.

“The owners have shown a clear intent for the future by making funds available for new signings during the transfer window.

“In addition to this we have also gone above and beyond our normal parameters to ensure that Richie Wellens remains at the club long term.

“These are not the actions of a club who are considering administration as an option.”

Reports surfaced in this week’s national press suggesting the club could be on the verge of going into administration; the latest twist in an extraordinary season of off the field activity.

The issue at the heart of that story is the money owed to Ryan.

Ryan revealed he is owed £4 million by the club when he announced his resignation as chairman and a director following the 0-0 draw at Barnsley in November.

Sequentia Capital are since understood to have agreed to buy that loan off Ryan as part of their strategy to take over the club.

The Free Press understands that neither Ryan nor Sequentia Capital are likely to call that loan in - but there has been anxiety in the Rovers boardroom about the cash owing.

Administration is one option, the most drastic, available to the club should they need to pay out.

Sequentia have written to Rovers’ majority shareholders attempting to dissuade them from entering administration and also expressing their continued interest in buying the club and investing in squad strengthening.

In light of the loan, the Football League are seeking assurances from Rovers that they are a viable business and will see out the season.

A Football League representative is understood to have met with Rovers officials to discuss the matter at Saturday’s FA Cup defeat to Stevenage.

Fears that the loan could be called in at any time were a key reason why majority shareholder Terry Bramall met with Ryan for talks in Harrogate just before Christmas.

Teams entering administration face an immediate ten point deduction and transfer embargo - a scenario that would almost certainly condemn Rovers to relegation back to League One.