WIDESPREAD cynicism greeted Doncaster Rovers’ decision to award football agent Willie McKay a two-year contract to handle transfers.
Through McKay’s extensive contacts, Rovers have signed a plethora of international stars on loan or out of contract. The club, looking to reduce the wage bill from £8m a year to £4m, have brought in players of the calibre of Pascal Chimbonda, Habib Beye and El Hadji Diouf, paying them less than £2,000 a week with a view to putting them in the shop window and then selling them on, with Rovers receiving a slice of the transfer fee.
McKay, charging Rovers just £100 a week for his services, says manager Dean Saunders has the power of veto.
Yet despite the unique experiment, Rovers remain bottom of the Championship table.
Steve Claridge is not a fan: “I wouldn’t go down the route Rovers have done.
“The problem is you are basing it on getting good characters in. If they come in, run around and give everything, then fans will accept that. If they come in, take it easy, don’t care and show no passion for the club, that’s when things get magnified.
“From a personal perspective, I’m not saying it is a right or wrong method but it is an out for a player. If Rovers get relegated, the players will go back to their parent club and it won’t necessarily affect them.
“They don’t have the same affinity for the club. That’s not to say some of them won’t care but I just think long term the hurt value is there as much as it might be.
“This model can’t be the way to manage for the next 20 years.
“You are going to have to put together players and a foundation that is good enough to stay in that division.”