Hall concerned for old club on brink of closure

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DONCASTER Rugby League Club boss Carl Hall is saddened by the situation at Super League outfit Bradford Bulls, who are facing liquidation.

“I played for Bradford and loved every minute of it,” said Hall this week.

“They are a big club with a big support base so they shouldn’t be in the financial trouble that they are. I don’t know all the facts but it seems to me that it is down to bad management somewhere down the line.”

Hall says that The Bulls’ financial woes makes him ever more determined to keep the Dons’ finances in check - just as he has done since saving the financially-stricken club a couple of years ago.

“It’s tough (in the current economic climate) but we live within our means,” he told The Star. “We pay the players and we also pay our bills on time.”

The fact that the Dons can go weeks without a home game - something that wouldn’t be allowed to happen in other major sports - does little to help the club keep on top of things.

“It’s not ideal but you don’t hear us moaning about it; we just get on with things,” said Hall. “We know that we are going to play a certain number of league games in a season and we budget for those at the start of the year.

“All the money we get from the Rugby League goes towards paying the players. The gate receipts, and things like sponsorship, is spent on the general running costs.”

Hall says the current policy will again be applied next season even if, as looks likely, the third-placed Dons are back in the Championship.

He admits that playing contracts would increase next season were the club to be playing in the second-tier of the British game, but says that would be cancelled out by bigger attendances.

“It will be almost like a Yorkshire League next season were we to be promoted and quite a few of those sides would bring a decent following,” he reasoned.

As things stand, the Dons will be adopting a red and white away kit next season as a result of a proposal by recently-appointed Doncaster Rovers’ chief executive Gavin Baldwin, who is seeking closer links with the other clubs based at the Keepmoat Stadium complex.

It has not gone down well with all the Dons’ fans.

“I’m aware what some people are saying but it doesn’t mean that we’ll be playing in red and white hooped shirts,” said Hall. “I’ve spoken to Gavin on a number of occasions and I’m comfortable with what is being said.

“Rovers are taking over the running of the stadium and Gavin wants it to run at a profit. It is in their interest as far as the business side of things is concerned that we are playing at the highest level that we can because the bigger gates we attract will boost the catering side of the operation.

“There is nothing to worry about. Gavin is a very shrewd businessman and he just wants to help us to be as successful as we can.”

What a 22nd birthday on Monday for Doncaster’s Danny Rose, who was told that he had been picked for the men’s Great Britain Olympic Games squad.

It is another massive honour for the Spurs man, coming on top of his England caps at Under-17, 19 and 21 level.

No-one is more proud of his achievements than mum Angela, who knows a thing or two about football, being the sister of Mark Rankine. Now a football agent, Mark played over 7000 Football League games for a number of clubs.

Despite some impressive displays for the North London giants, including a stunning goal against arch-rivals Arsenal, Rose has yet to cement a regular starting place in the star-studded Spurs’ squad. Something, he admits which could see him look elsewhere if the situation continues next season under the club’s new boss.