Drumming up support

Banging the drum: Rovers chairman John Ryan wants fans to show their loyalty.             Picture: Andrew Roe
Banging the drum: Rovers chairman John Ryan wants fans to show their loyalty. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Doncaster Rovers chairman John Ryan is urging supporters to remain loyal as the club extended its season ticket deadline until Friday.

In an open letter on the club’s official website, Ryan explained Rovers’ ticket policy, re-affirmed his admiration of manager Sean O’Driscoll and said the club operates with an annual £1.5 million loss.

Rovers are facing a major shortfall in season tickets with the club more than 2,000 down on last season’s total of 6,018.

Already operating with one of the smallest budgets in the Championship, Ryan said it is tough for the club to keep punching above its weight: “It’s fair to say that 2011 so far has not been kind to Doncaster Rovers. Injuries ripped the heart of our small squad after Christmas.

“This resulted in our talented manager, Sean O’Driscoll, having few options available for the second half of the campaign and faced with a massive challenge in keeping Doncaster Rovers in the Championship.

“Survival on such limited resources in this division is once again a huge achievement, especially considering the quality of the Championship.”

Now having given fans extra time to buy a season ticket for the 2011/12 campaign, Ryan believes his loyalty needs to be repaid for the club to keep growing.

He said: “As a club we stay loyal to our fans by giving the manager as much resources as possible to compete in the Championship, a division that grows in strength year-on-year.

“Expressing our loyalty in this way means that the club operates at a loss in excess of £1.5 million per year, but gives our fans the opportunity to say that your team is one of the best in Yorkshire.

“However, now is the time that we ask you once again to show your loyalty to Doncaster Rovers by sticking with the club, in spite of a poor run of form towards the end of last season and in spite of some pricing decisions that understandably caused frustration.

“Loyalty, by definition, means staying in support of someone in spite of their actions. Please give me your support, I’ve put my heart and soul into Doncaster Rovers for 13 years now and I’m desperate for this club to continue moving in an upward direction.

“Without your support this is simply not possible.”