My dad recently told me a thoroughly depressing tale.
Having just upped sticks from the North East and moved to Scarborough he got chatting to some new neighbours, as you do. It turns out they’re from Doncaster.
Dad being dad, the conversation quickly turned to football and the Rovers.
“Oh, we support Manchester City,” came a rather abrupt reply. Somewhat dismissive of their hometown team, the conversation was aborted.
Doncastrians not supporting Doncaster is old news. Sometimes it feels like the majority of people here would rather support anyone but their team.
But dad’s episode got me thinking again about what exactly it would take for more locals to get behind THEIR team?
More advertising? Maybe. Cheaper tickets? Perhaps. What about Premier League football? Almost certainly.
Which brings us to the plan presented by Sequentia Capital in the Free Press a fortnight ago, a bold and ambitious vision of reaching the top flight in five years.
Let’s face it, talk is cheap. Any prospective football club owner can promise to deliver the earth. Delivering it is another thing entirely.
Given Doncaster’s traumatic recent history, a potential takeover has unsurprisingly divided opinion as much on the terraces as it has done in the boardroom.
But whether you’re for or against Sequentia, it’s hard to overlook their obvious intent to take the club forward.
And there lies the dilemma facing the current hierarchy; if the investment is not right, how do they take the club forward?
Which way does the club turn at the crossroads it now faces? Consolidate in tier two/three, or push for the very top?
The recent sub-7000 crowd against Bournemouth re-emphasised the losing battle they appear to be fighting against apathy.
But what now stands before the club’s major shareholders is an opportunty to define, one way or another, which direction they want to take the club.
With the current budget, and apparent lack of interest from the Doncaster public, that direction is unlikely to be the Premier League - factors which only serve to intensify the takeover dilemma.
The ongoing indecision in the boardroom can be forgiven.
This is a decision the shareholders need to get right - it’s one that could have a huge impact on the club for generations to come.
Ideally, that next generation of Doncastrians will support Doncaster too. The club’s destiny is in its own hands.