John Ryan: Rovers chairman on the future of the Keepmoat Stadium and visit of Birmingham City

John Ryan
John Ryan

ALL the nonsense that the council should bulldoze the Keepmoat Stadium is not possible.

We have a rock solid contract to use the stadium for another 19 years.

So have no worries at all, we will be playing at the Keepmoat for the foreseeable future.

People should remember the great contribution Doncaster Rovers have made to this fine town and its surrounding districts over the past ten years in particular.

Could I also point out that the stadium did not cost Doncaster Council £32 million.

Two million of that came from the Football Foundation because of Doncaster Rovers, and the club also relinquished the lease on the old Belle Vue ground - a prime site in the borough worth at least £10 million.

So the stadium in reality cost £20m.

With professional football, rugby of both codes, Doncaster Rovers Belles and the Grade 1 horse racing course in the town, Doncaster is kept firmly on the UK map.

Without these fine bodies then the town would become a real backwater.

Tonight we welcome Birmingham City for a fixture moved from the traditional Saturday to miss the Lincoln Handicap meeting.

I just wish we had seen this coming after our horrendous March fixture list.

Two games in a week is not the ideal scenario when battling promotion or relegation.

After Tuesday’s games, which saw Forest claw another point, it is definitely a four horse race to find out who will be playing in the Championship next season.

The game with Birmingham is yet another crucial one for both clubs.

We gave City more than a run for their money at their place, only losing 2-1 to them in the 87th minute after gifting them their first goal.

Chris Hughton has done a great job under difficult conditions and he will be fully aware of this.

We have performed incredibly well in our last two games at Southampton and Crystal Palace and given very committed performances.

It was written in the stars that Billy Sharp would come back to haunt us.

His first goal came from a corner that was given by an assistant referee who on the day just wasn’t up to his job.

It was definitely a goal kick and I certainly let my feelings be known after the final whistle.

He gave no support to his referee and once they got this goal they got on top for the first time and a second goal was always on the cards.

We had been much the better team before the first goal and perhaps if Dioufy had scored in the first half it could have been a different story.

It was good to see Chris Brown back on Tuesday night at Selhurst Park after his injury problems and get us a deserved equaliser.

It was also good to see George Friend back in action after his long lay-off.

Again we played well enough to have won and taken all three points but it wasn’t to be

But the main thing is we have played well in the last two games and I hope we take that into tomorrow’s game.

It is now down to the last seven games and we need to win four or five of them.

I am pleased for hard working manager Dean Saunders that his squad rotation has been paying off. This really has been a tough month.

Please really get behind the boys tonight and make some noise.