Doncaster Rovers senior players have agreed to defer a percentage of their wages until such times that games can be played in front of crowds again.
Football faces uncertain times with no clarity yet on when or if the 2019/20 Sky Bet League One season will be completed or when games will be able to be played in front of supporters. While Club Doncaster has worked hard to diversify its revenue streams, the business has only been able to bring in a fraction of its usual income and as a result more than 200 staff, including Rovers players and playing staff, have been furloughed. This has helped to safeguard the club in the immediacy of this crisis.
Despite the challenges, Club Doncaster has worked hard to top up its employees’ pay to ensure that every member of the Club Doncaster family can rule out money worries from what is already an extremely difficult time. The players’ wage deferral will go a long way to allowing the club to keep fulfilling its aim to support staff in this way and give the club the best chance of surviving if football needs to be played behind closed doors.
Chief executive Gavin Baldwin said: “We’d like to thank our players for their understanding at this time. To agree to defer their wages is a fantastic gesture from them and will make a huge difference to the sustainability of our football club.
“A return to football as we know it is clearly some way off and that means our main income stream, ticket sales, will be lost. The fact we have always strived to manage the club within its means, coupled with the Government’s assistance packages, have helped us to this point, but moving forward we may have some very difficult decisions to make. We are not free from risk in the long term if football is to be played behind closed doors for an extensive period and we have no income streams.
“However, I have been humbled by the actions I have already seen taken by members of our Doncaster Rovers family in the past two months. On top of the volunteering and fundraising for worthy causes, so much more is taking place to help our own club survive. The owners supported the club on day one of the crisis with additional funding in excess of six figures each. Players and staff have agreed to take pay deferrals and pay cuts, supporters are offering donations or buying additional products, and some of our corporate partners have already committed to next season, regardless of how it looks. These actions provide me with the confidence that if we can stay together as one, a united Doncaster Rovers family, then we will still have a club to support at the end of this terrible situation.
“I would like to thank everyone, all the fans and the staff, for their continued patience and support and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to the Keepmoat Stadium once it is safe to do so.”