Strange goings on at the Keepmoat Stadium
Doncaster Rovers host Coventry City at the Keepmoat Stadium this weekend amid a period of change at the South Yorkshire club.
Having risen from non-league to the Championship under the chairmanship of John Ryan, Doncaster Rovers have become a byword for how to run a football club in the modern day.
Ryan has given time to all of his managers while providing the structure for them to succeed. Sean O`Driscoll, linked with a number of 'bigger` jobs during his time at the Keepmoat Stadium, opted to stay where he knew he would get the backing from above.
But, as the task of staying in the Championship on a small budget and with the loss of star players such as Matt Mills has become more and more difficult, things have changed dramatically over the past few weeks.
O`Driscoll has gone, replaced by Dean Saunders, lured from Wrexham by the chance to manage at a higher level. In too however has come the notorious agent Willie McKay as a 'consultant` with, so it is believed, responsibility for the transfer policy at the club.
That policy is set to centre around loan signings of disaffected players from clubs at home and abroad with a view to selling them on and earning a nice profit.
Saunders insists he has the final say on transfers and on paper it looks like an innovative way for Rovers to compete at this level. No-one at all will blame John Ryan for trying new ideas to keep his club in the Championship while reducing the financial burden on them and, by extension, on himself.
What will alarm supporters of a club with a long and proud tradition however are some of the quotes attributed to Mr Mckay such as this gem:
'My valuation of Donny was nothing. They have no fanbase and everyone in Doncaster supports Leeds, Sheffield United or Sheffield Wednesday, who can all get 30,000 in their stadiums."
And this, talking about a deal to sign Herita Ilunga on loan from West Ham:
"We agree the deal on £2,000 a week and West Ham make up the rest of his wages. We take him at Doncaster, who are no threat to West Ham, and give him a shop window to perform by playing every week.
'If he plays well and I get him a move, say to Turkey for £5m, then I'll reach an agreement with David Sullivan about the fee West Ham will receive, plus my commission, less his full £26,000-a-week salary for the period he was at Doncaster.'