John Ryan was reassured for over a year that he had a role to play at Doncaster Rovers, Terry Bramall has said.
Ryan resigned in November following a very public fall-out with Bramall and the existing Rovers hierarchy over their refusal to approve a takeover by Irish-led consortium Sequentia Capital.
Bramall has been keen to keep his counsel since Ryan’s “step out of the shadows” jibe but this week hinted at the shift in power behind the scenes at the Keepmoat when revealing a 18-month long bid to persuade Ryan that he was still a vital cog in the boardroom wheel.
Bramall also revealed at Monday’s fans’ forum that he and fellow majority shareholder Dick Watson have ploughed £17 million into the club since becoming directors in 2006.
“John chose to resign,” said Bramall.
“We didn’t ask him to resign. We didn’t want him to resign. He stood up and resigned without telling us that was what he was going to do so there was no debate.
“We must’ve persuaded John for the last 18 months that there was a role for John to play in this club - and he chose to resign.
“I don’t think that message has really got across to you [the fans]. It was his decision, not ours.
“John Ryan’s record at this club over the last decade is appreciated by all of us, which is why we wanted to continue with a role for John.”
Bramall reiterated his long term vision for Doncaster Rovers to become a self-sustainable business at Monday’s meeting.
The construction magnate resigned from the board, along with Watson, in January 2012 but the pair returned later that year after gaining assurances on how the club will be run.
Hinting at the cracks that had appeared behind the scenes, Bramall criticised Ryan for spending “his and Watson’s money” - something which has ultimately led to Rovers now working in a more cost-efficient manner under the guidance of chief executive Gavin Baldwin and finance director Lee Ferraby.
Bramall said: “If we talk about investment in the club, I think it’s fair to say that over the last seven years that Dick and I have been involved, we have put £17 million into this club.
“I’ve read very responsible letters in the press saying ‘if you want to win the lottery, you’ve got to buy a ticket’.
“That £17 million is over and above all the money that you guys [the fans] have put in, and that’s over and above the £50 million turnover in the last seven years.
“John has done a great job but at the end of the day he was spending my money and Dick’s money, and that is not right.
“That’s why he might have chosen to do what he did, but we wanted our views to prevail as to how we felt on the way this club should be going because that’s just too much money to lose.
“It wasn’t right. You’ve got to find other ways of taking the club forward.
“We are working on our reserve and youth policies and want to bring people through.
“We are searching for ways to increase the income and that will be for the benefit of the football side of the club.”