Doncaster Rovers: Ryan rules out Billy Sharp move

Billy Sharp's wages are beyond Rovers according to chairman John Ryan.
Billy Sharp's wages are beyond Rovers according to chairman John Ryan.

Rovers will not be pursuing a return for fan favourite Billy Sharp when the loan window opens on Tuesday, John Ryan has confirmed.

Striker Sharp is widely expected to leave Southampton on loan this month after being told he has no future at the club by boss Mauricio Pochettino.

But Rovers chairman Ryan has ruled out an approach for the 27-year-old due to a lack of funds.

“Billy is a player I would have loved to have come back to us but it’s not going to happen at this time I’m afraid,” Ryan told the Star.

“We cannot afford his wages and Southampton have made it very clear that they want whoever takes him to pay the full amount.

“You’re talking around £20,000 a week which is an astronomical figure for us.

“Even if they relaxed that and wanted a percentage, we still wouldn’t be in a position to go in for him.

“We’ve exhausted the budget in order to keep Richie Wellens and Reece Wabara as well as bringing in Theo Robinson.”

Rovers have been linked with a move for Sharp throughout the summer but it appears any deal would have rested on the potential takeover of the club going ahead.

Sharp was expected to leave Southampton before Monday’s transfer deadline but the club’s hard stance over his wages proved a stumbling block.

The Saints want 100 per cent of his wages paid by any club who would sign him on loan and that has put off the likes of Reading, Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich and Leeds.

Ryan insists such deals will continue to be beyond Rovers while ever attendances at the Keepmoat remain low.

The chairman was particularly disappointed by the 6,769 crowd last Saturday for the 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth.

He said: “Myself, Dick (Watson) and Terry (Bramall) can’t keep propping up deals like this, particularly when we are not getting supporters through the turnstiles.

“The attendance for the Bournemouth game was particularly disappointing. Shocking, I’d say, for the Championship.

“While ever we have crowds like that, players like Billy Sharp are going to be out of our reach.”