Richie Wellens insists he is on the same page as Doncaster Rovers hierarchy over budget and talks outgoings from his squad

Richie Wellens insists he is on the same page as the Doncaster Rovers hierarchy regarding the direction of the club.

By Liam Hoden
Friday, 20th August 2021, 11:07 am
Richie Wellens
Richie Wellens

There has been discontent within sections of the Rovers support due to funds not being available in the playing budget to make further additions to the squad - with the finger of blame pointed at chairman David Blunt and, in particular, chief executive Gavin Baldwin.

But Wellens scoffed at suggestions that he is unhappy with the finances he has to work with, saying he has been fully aware of what his budget is from his arrival at the club.

And he explained it has always been the case that he would need to move certain players on in order to free up further funds.

“Gavin and the chairman have been fantastic,” Wellens said. “The most important thing is that myself, Gavin and David are all on the same page.

“We know what the budget is and we have to build a whole new team. But we also had money committed to players that were already existing.

“If everyone in our squad is fit, I think we’re a decent League One team. I think we’re probably one more forward away from being where we want to be.

“But we haven’t got a fully fit squad. No one can legislate for those three being out. No one can legislate for Matt Smith and Charlie Seaman being out, so we are short on bodies.

“That is no one’s fault.

“It’s not a budget fault. It’s unforeseen circumstances.

“And we’ve always been trying to get rid of one or two players.

“Ed Williams is one I’ve made aware he can leave. Him and his agent are aware of that but we can’t move him.

“That isn’t my fault, it isn’t the chairman’s fault, it’s not a budget fault.

“We’ve got two players that we want to move out. I’ll be blatantly honest, we’re trying to move two players out. Ed Williams is one. I’m not going to name the other one.

“But if no one wants them?

“I’m not asking the chairman for extra money. We’ve had to build a new team.

“We’ve replaced Brad Halliday, Reece James and Andy Butler with Ro-Shaun Williams, Tommy Rowe and Kyle Knoyle for less money.

“We’ve done okay with our team. We look like an okay team and there’s a lot of good things that we’re doing.

“But when you haven’t got forward players, it has a massive impact on you.

“It’s not a problem. It’s not a question of the budget being too low. We’ve got injuries.

“I know what the budget is. I’m trying to work. We’ve still got a free loan. I might take two.

“We’re just in the circumstances where we need a certain type of loan in terms of the finances and no one is letting them out yet.”

Wellens has lined up what he termed ‘a renowned League One striker’ but needs at least one particular player to depart the club in order to make it happen.

He confirmed there has been outside interest in a member of his squad and he will allow them time to consider their options.

“We’ve had interest in one of our players,” he said. “I’m going to give that player in question a little bit of time to think about that offer and see where it takes us.

“It’s not me pushing someone out of the door. It’s that we’re in a situation where we need him to leave to free up the money to get someone in that we can use.”

Wellens says he will not be demanding extra funds from the chairman and insists he would be happy with his squad if he had injured trio Jon Taylor, Jordy Hiwula and Fejiri Okenabirhie available.

He said: “When you’re a club like this and we’ve had injuries and we’re a bit short with the squad and we’ve had three defeats on the spin, it hurts.

“There’s no excuses. There are reasons why we haven’t scored a goal and those reasons, when you watch us play, smack you straight in the face.

“We’ve probably been carrying a few that have not been fit. We’ve been in every single game and we’ve had two away games at probably two of the toughest places in the league for different reasons and we’ve been in them.

“But we’ve probably been carrying two or three players.

“So when we start playing with 11 fully fit, rather than seven or eight, and when we start having attacking players available, then we’ll start getting rewards.

“Myself Gavin and David are all on the same page.

“And the players are still adapting. We’re getting the rotations in midfield. Some of the performances of John Bostock, Ben Close and Ethan Galbraith have been really good.

“We need to build on that in the final third and when we do that, and when the final third players start doing it, those players will perform even better.”


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.