Doncaster RLFC chief executive Carl Hall says the Doncaster public must support their leading football and rugby teams if they want them to be successful.
In the first of a series of in-depth interviews in the Free Press, investigating the landscape of professional sport in the town, Hall was asked if he felt Doncaster’s teams were being priced out of playing at the very top level.
The Dons, like Rovers, currently find themselves in the third tier of the English game.
Doncaster Knights said last year they could not afford to play Premiership rugby, while Doncaster Rovers Belles chose not to apply for a new full-time women’s Super League to be launched later this year for financial reasons.
Hall said: “I don’t think you can blame the clubs in Doncaster for living within their means. The town needs to have a look at itself and come and support the teams.
“If they come and support the teams we have more money. It’s not just a full focus on the clubs, I don’t think.
“What do the clubs have to do to get the spectators to come and watch? I don’t know.
“If we get promoted are they going to come? If we get to Super League are they going to come? Who knows?
“The public of Doncaster has to support the teams if they want them to do anything. You can’t just keep relying on owners to make up shortfalls.
“You run with the restraints you’ve got. You can only spend what you’ve got. The most successful clubs are the ones with big gates.”
Rovers’ average home attendance this season is around the 7,500 mark.
Knights currently average 1,355, while Dons and Belles matchday attendances typically fall below the 1000 mark.
Read the full interview with Carl Hall in this week’s Free Press. Next week we speak to Doncaster Rovers Belles chair lady Faye Lygo.