DRFC - Ryan has considered his Rovers future
Doncaster Rovers chairman John Ryan has said he has considered his position with the club after coming in for abuse with Rovers struggling at the wrong end of the championship table.
Ryan gave an interview in the Doncaster Free Press this week and admitted it is a difficult job and something that he would not recommend.
In a snippet taken from the Free Press, Ryan said, "I have considered my position.
"And I tend to think I`ll be respected a lot more once I`ve gone than I am now.
"I`ve had to put up with quite a lot of abuse, and when you`re putting a lot of money into the club that`s hard to take.
"It`s a difficult job being a football club chairman, and I wouldn`t recommend it to anyone.
"It`s not good for your health."
Ryan took over the club in 1998 with Rovers on the brink of extinction following the reign of former chairman Ken Richardson.
Richardson had run Rovers into the ground. They had fallen into the football conference and were the laughing stock of the Football League during the 1997/98 season. A season that saw Rovers win just four games and concede a staggering 113 goals.
Ryan came in and quickly promised a return to Second Division football.
After stabilising the club in the conference, they eventually won their place back in the Football League in 2003 with a dramatic golden goal winner against Dagenham and Redbridge in the Play-off final.
The following season, Rovers first in the league for five years they went into the season favourites for relegation.
In their first season, Rovers stormed to the Fourth Division title under Dave Penney and Mickey Walker, winning promotion on Easter Monday with four games remaining.
During the 2005/06 season, Rovers came within seconds of knocking out Arsenal in the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup, the furthest the club have ever reached in the tournament.
Just three years after their return to the Football League, Rovers were beating sides like Manchester City and Aston Villa in the competition and beating them well.
Rovers parted company with Penney in 2006 with Ryan bringing in Sean O`Driscoll, a decision that did not go down well with many Rovers fans.
In the same season, Rovers moved into their new 15,000 all-seater stadium, something else Ryan had promised would happen.
O`Driscoll led Rovers to their first ever-domestic trophy success in his first season when they beat Bristol Rovers 3-2 in the Johnstone`s Paint Trophy final at the Millennium stadium in Cardiff.
In his first full season, and just ten years after Ryan promised Second Division football would return to Doncaster, O`Driscoll led Rovers to play off final success over Leeds United at Wembley stadium.
Those fans saying 'Sean who?` just two years earlier were now dancing along Wembley way.
Rovers have consolidated their position in the championship for the last three seasons despite working with probably the smallest budget in the division.
They have also spent over £1 million in bringing Billy Sharp into the club, something that was personally bankrolled by Ryan and his fellow directors.
Only a horrendous injury list in 2011 stopped Rovers challenging for a play-off place and in the end Rovers did well to avoid relegation with half the squad on the treatment table.
Rovers started this season poorly under O`Driscoll, which eventually led to him being replaced by Dean Saunders in September.
Despite still being in the relegation places, Rovers are showing enough signs to suggest they will stay in the championship this season.
They are also working alongside football agent Willie McKay and are bringing in experienced international, Champions League and Premier League players to the club.
Who could have ever envisaged players like Pascal Chimbonda and El Hadji Diouf arriving at the club?
With all this said, how can any Rovers fan question John Ryan or his fellow directors at the club.
Those fans questioning Ryan are probably the same ones who were nowhere to be seen prior to the rise of Rovers into the Football League in 2003.
How many other clubs in the space of ten years have gone from non-league football, playing in a dilapidated ground to the second tier of English football and in a modern football arena?
There are probably 80+ clubs in the league would love a John Ryan in charge of their club.
In the past few years, we have seen a number of clubs go into financial difficulty, in what is a difficult time for football clubs up and down the country.
Rovers are currently punching well above their weight and Ryan and his fellow directors continue to pay off the debt the club find themselves in at the end of each financial year.
For the first time in thirteen years, Rovers fans have to put up with a real difficult position in the league.
Those that are staying away from the Keepmoat should get back down and support the club in these difficult times.
You have enjoyed the good times over the past ten years and now is the time the club need you more than ever.
I personally dread the day that Ryan calls it a day at Doncaster because one thing is for certain, nobody else will come into the club and give as much to the fans of Doncaster as Ryan as done.
He deserves the support of the Doncaster public so get behind him and the players.
For his full interview following the link to the Doncaster Free Press
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