Rovers Lose £1.5m A Year

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CHAIRMAN John Ryan has admitted that Doncaster Rovers operates at an annual loss in excess of £1.5 million and called on the fans to help keep the club in the Championship.

CHAIRMAN John Ryan has admitted that Doncaster Rovers operates at an annual loss in excess of £1.5 million and called on the fans to help keep the club in the Championship. Rovers had one of the lowest average home attendances in the second tier last season and the club’s decision to lower match-day ticket prices on several occasions left some season-ticket holders feeling short-changed and many threatened not to re-new them for the current campaign.

“Our pricing structure last season upset some of our season-ticket holders, who questioned how loyalty is rewarded,” said Ryan.

“As a club we continue to 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.

“I’ve put my heart and soul into Doncaster for 13 years now and I’m desperate for this club to continue moving in an upward direction. But without the fans’ support this is simply not possible.”

Despite the predicted shortfall, Ryan insists that he is not looking to cash in on any of the club’s prize assets - a fact underlined when Rovers turned down a £2.6 million bid from Ipswich for striker Billy Sharp and James Coppinger.

“I think Billy will maybe move at some stage unless we get into the Premier League, but I feel that it will only be to a club in the top flight,” he said.

“There is always a sniff of interest in Billy, and there is also a bit of interest in George Friend. But we are hopeful that we can keep the main part of the squad together and obviously add to it.”

The latest Rovers’ player to be linked to a Premier League club is 20 year-old keeper Gary Woods, reportedly interesting Everton.

“If Everton came in for Gary then he probably would leave, but we haven’t had a concrete offer,” said Ryan. “We want to keep him because we feel that he is part of our future, but you never know in football.”

Rovers are reported to still be in talks with Sheffield Wednesday over left-back Tommy Spurr with the size of the fee believed to be the main stumbling block.

Rovers are reported to have shown interest in striker Paul Hayes, tipped to join Charlton, following his release by relegated Preston.