Gavin Baldwin rubbishes 'cheap option' accusations over Andy Butler appointment at Doncaster Rovers

Doncaster Rovers chief executive Gavin Baldwin has rebuffed suggestions that appointing Andy Butler as manager was ‘the cheap option.’

Sunday, 18th April 2021, 12:00 pm
Doncaster Rovers chief executive Gavin Baldwin

Having planned for the eventuality, Rovers replaced the outgoing Darren Moore with Butler in early March, initially until the end of the season.

Critics of the appointment have suggested Rovers’ primary motivation was club finances but Baldwin insists striving for continuity was the main driving force.

“It is in no way shape or form the cheap option,” Baldwin told the Free Press. “Finances did not come into it at all.

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“We went for continuity - a decision that was extremely popular with the players and we believed it was right.

“The first few games, everyone was extremely happy. However, undeniably, performances have been poor and results have been poor.

“Is that because of injuries? Is it a legacy of Darren leaving? Those are questions and the main responsibility to turn it around remains with Andy.

“We received great credit from the players for recruiting from within and giving Andy the opportunity.

“They were comfortable with that because they’ve worked with him before, they know his character and also he knows them.

“It was a decision that was supported and there was a real buzz around the training ground on the Monday.

“Therefore it, at the time - and maybe in the fullness of time still - it proved to be a very popular appointment.”

Having consulted with players within the Rovers squad, Baldwin still feels the decision to hand Butler the reins was justified.

Rovers won their first two matches with the 37-year-old in charge but embarked on a nine game run without a victory before beating Shrewsbury Town on Saturday.

“The players have been adamant that it is them that need to have a chat with themselves and improve,” Baldwin said.

“I talk to senior players a lot and they are very honest with me.

“They say the training sessions are really enjoyable, they’re intense, and they feel they are exactly what is needed.

“And they are absolutely clear that the players are talking among themselves about how they need to improve and what they need to do it.

“I know this is an excuse across football, but the amount of injuries that Andy has had to counter are unbelievable.

“I remember talking with players, staff and the board at the Portsmouth game and everyone was saying we’ve never had as few injuries, we’re in a great position.

“And then for the Crewe game a week later virtually half the team was out.

“Andy has had to deal with a lot of injuries.

“When he had the full squad available to him, the Jon Taylors and Josh Sims, with real speed, we performed really well.

“He’s just not had those players available to him much since and there has been injury after injury.

“He’s responded with dignity and countered it well.

“The players are fully supportive and still believe they can produce a good end to the season to give us the chance of the play-offs.

“The attitude around the training ground is one of annoyance of how it’s slipped but let’s do something about it.

“Hopefully with the players that are coming back, he has a squad to pick from again like he did when we played Portsmouth.”


In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.