In a rare interview, shareholder Dick Watson, talks exclusively to Doncaster Rovers Official Website and gives his feedback on the start to the season and how he’s looking forward to meeting up with fans once again in January.
After three back to back wins in the league, Doncaster Rovers fans can smile as they find the team 5th in the league with a home game in hand on all the teams above them.
The past few months have been a period of transition for Rovers with changes in the board room, control of the stadium passing to the Club and pretty much a whole new squad brought in by manager Dean Saunders.
This week the Club announced that in January fans will be able to attend a second “Meet the Shareholders” event, following the success of the first open forum event held back in June.
At that meet, shareholder, Dick Watson, spoke candidly to Rovers fans about relegation from the Championship and his ambition for Rovers future. A passionate fan of Rovers, Dick explained that watching Rovers struggle in the Championship for the best part of 18 months was a bitter pill to swallow, however like most Rovers fans, he is encouraged by the start to the season.
“Relegation disappointed us all but as shareholders, John, Terry and I were keen for the Club to move on, lick our wounds and get ready for this season and it’s been a good start.”
“It’s widely documented that after relegation we had to cut our cloth a bit and reduce our wage budget but even in doing so we still armed Dean with one of the biggest budgets in this division. Our aim was to ensure that our first season back in League 1 wasn’t a struggle and if possible we would attempt to get back up to the Championship”
“Obviously a few players left in order to cut the wage bill and you never want to see good players leave, but Dean has used the funds we have given him well and I think it’s clear that the team are starting to gel. When that happens I’m sure we’ll continue to improve as the season progresses.
“We’ve been impressed with the start we have made so far and as a result of Dean’s dealings in the transfer market and start to the season, we’ve changed our budget from the initial consideration to give Dean even more flexibility in the market.”
Away from the first team the Club have also undergone major changes with the stadium control now under Doncaster Rovers. Two months into the management of the stadium and Dick explains that targets are being achieved.
“We gave Gavin Baldwin and the senior management team a task of ensuring the stadium doesn’t lose money and instead contributes to the playing budget, it’s early on but so far stadium performance looks promising and this objective is being achieved.”
“On top of that we’re working hard to improve matchdays at the Club to ensure our attendances can grow again. Our stadium caterers, Spotless, have already implemented changes we’ve suggested based on fan feedback and Hawking, better quality food, bespoke beverages and reductions in the price of beer have already taken place. Plus I’ve seen the designs of the new kiosks which will be released next week and they look good and I’m sure fans will be pleased with the new range of food that will soon be on offer at Doncaster Rovers”.
Dick Watson will be present at Rovers next meet the shareholder event in January 2013, keep your eye on the Rovers website for full details of this event.