In view of some recent uninformed speculation, I would like to make the following clarifications in relation to my new position as a permanent board member at Doncaster Rovers:

1 I am NOT, never have been, nor ever will, being paid in any way as a director, not even any expenses or other disbursements.

2 I am NOT a substitute fans’ director. I have no specific role, any more than any other director, and will contribute whatever I can whenever I can, and whatever John or the board asks of me I will deliver if I can.

3 Clearly, I will, in the absence of an elected fans’ director, input the fan’s perspective on issues, and naturally, continue the communication role whenever possible (although not on a daily commitment basis as before, so not all fans’ questions, especially trivial ones, will be answered by me personally).

4 There has been a strange suggestions that the VSC should now be “wound up” simply because I have stepped down, and that moneys could somehow be returned to the members. The constitution of the VSC is such that it’s main objective is to help the club, including the raising of funds to donate to the club and/or purchase shares. Those shares are not, and have never been, tradable or saleable, and could only even in theory be sold to other directors or a third party by notifying the board and with the entire board’s authority. In such circumstances, there is no rule or precedent as to what might happen to any funds produced, and certainly the company (Patienceform) in which the shares are held are under no obligation to refund any investment at any time whether on request or otherwise. The return of money would, of course, fly in the face of the purpose for which it was originally given in any case. Of all the money given to the club in various ways, that which has been used for share purchase now stands at exactly £100,000.

5 I am now a permanent director, and would not be under any obligation to stand down if the VSC nominated a fans’ elected director to the board, nor would there even be any connection between the two events.

6 The position of there being the opportunity for a fans’ elected director remains unaffected by my election to the board. What is currently missing is a willing candidate. No-one sought nomination (nor for the immediately more important position as VSC Chairman) although all members were invited to do so in writing prior to the AGM. It remains possible for this to be achieved by co-option as a VSC director followed by nomination by the VSC board should a suitable candidate come forward.

7 The suggestion that the VSC and the DRSC merge is a good one, and has been raised by me in the past, even as far back as when Chas Walker was DRSC Chairman. However, this has been voted on by the DRSC committee and rejected (twice now).

8 Apart from the loss of my active input, the position at the VSC is unchanged. If it does not survive my leaving in the longer term then that could only be the result of a decision made by the remaining board and the members and as a result of lack of voluntary help. I can, however, confirm at this time that Ken Fear, Company Secretary, and the other directors are keen to see the VSC survive and continue, so currently this concern does not arise. They do, of course, urgently need help.

9 If VSC members feel disenfranchised as a result of the loss of a direct voice at Rovers’ board level, then that is a matter for them to find a willing volunteer as soon as possible from among their ranks. However, it should be pointed out that the position of a supporters’ director is the “icing on the cake” of any supporters’ trust (most still do not have one), is not constitutionally obligatory, and indeed the role does not even exist within our own constitution. The fact that I have offered myself for election every two years (as well as, and at the same time as, for the constitutional position as Chairman) was my personal choice in the sense that I could have obtained and/or remained in the role purely on the basis of the support of the VSC board. The (hopefully temporary) absence of a VSC main board director has no bearing otherwise on the VSC, it’s constitution, or it’s role as a contributor to forwarding the club, either by financial donation, share purchase, voluntary help, or otherwise. Again, I would emphasise that there has been, and remains, many other facets to the VSC’s activities other than purely the role of supporters’ director, how ever valuable that has been.

10 I do not understand the suggestion that my voice will now be ignored at board level, indeed the opposite is likely to be the case. The board actively sought my presence among their number because they wanted my continued input on a wide variety of matters, rather than accepting me as the fans’ nominee. To the extent that I had influence before, then that influence remains, perhaps enhanced by the fact that I now represent nobody specific, so am no longer obliged to argue any specific case as I did as supporters’ director. That does not, and will not, prevent me, as a fan, no more no less, having the opinions of a fan, understanding the views of our fans, and wanting to actively help our fans individually and collectively, as I have done in the past. We did not operate fans’ input on a referendum basis hitherto, and fans, on the whole, trusted me to use my judgment based on my understanding of their needs. That is the same pair of eyes that I will view issues through in the future.

11 The Rovers’ board operates on the basis of challenging discussion and consensus agreement. That remains unchanged. If a supporters’ director joins the ranks once again, his views will be listened to, especially if carefully thought through and well presented, and the consensus judgment will then be made on the basis of the discussions as a whole. If such a director proposed things I agreed with, I would do so. If he came up with ideas and suggestions that I felt were impractical, I would equally say so. There is no conflict there. Incidentally, the consensus method works so well within our existing board that formal votes are almost unheard of other than directly constitutional issues.

12 I have been honoured that John and the board chose to ask me to stay as a director. I have, nevertheless, not done so to join some gravy train or advantage myself, but because it enables me to help both the club and it’s fans as before, but at a less intense and directly obliged way. In other words, when I want to go on holiday – I now can!

Andy Liney

August 23, 2007

Andy joins the DRFC Board

Andy Liney has been appointed a full director of Doncaster Rovers Football Club.

After years of sitting on the Board of Directors as the elected supporter’s director, Andy Liney has been appointed a permanent member of the board of Doncaster Rovers Football Club.

Andy has been the chairman of the Viking Supporter’s Co-Operative since its establishment and after years of campaigning was given a seat on the Board to represent the views of the supporters. His move from supporter’s director to full member of the Board comes after an incredible amount of work and dedication, amassing various contributions that have gone directly into the club.

On his instalment, Andy said: “I’m honoured that John Ryan saw fit to offer me this extraordinary opportunity. When I took a seat on the Board as supporter’s director, I had no personal motive other than to see Doncaster Rovers moving forward.”

“I believe that the working relationship I have with John Ryan is one that is first class and as such has been a big help to achieving things for the benefit of the club and the fans.”

“When I came in as supporter’s director, there was the start of a great link of communication between the supporters, the directors and the club and that communication I feel has been responsible for oiling a lot of wheels.”

“I enjoyed my time as supporter’s representative but I realised that I couldn’t continue to do it on a flat out basis, so this new opportunity allows me to continue my work with the ability to take an occasional backseat. This opportunity allows me to continue the work that I started without a huge amount of obligation. I believe that John Ryan feels the same as I do and now I look forward to continuing working for the fans and Doncaster Rovers without the intensity I felt before.”

In addition, Andy has also made the following comments on the appointment:

“I hope the appointment remains as universally welcomed as it has been so far (and I’ve had loads of supportive and congratulatory e-mails as well). I feared that there may be some supporters who would choose to view this cynically, which is why I asked John to delay the announcement (the board voted me on a few weeks ago) so that I was back before it was published and I could field any criticism (none so far, thankfully) and thank everyone for their congratulations. In that latter context, I will struggle to reply to all the e-mails individually, and, since many messages were from forum members, I would like to thank them en bloc.

One comment on here that I would like to slightly amend, though – I will now be working equally both for the fans AND the board, without really taking, or having to take, or even try to appear to take (as an official fans’ representative did) “sides”. What this does give me is room to manoeuvre, freedom to do the “job” as I see fit, freedom to take time out when I need it, and remove the direct responsibility and commitment that I had in being an elected representative. I am also, as is correctly said, free of the criticism that I am “John’s man” at the expense of being the “supporters’ man”.

For all that, John was at pains to point out that he saw this appointment as a reward and honour and nothing more in terms of what I was expected to do or provide, although obviously he welcomes the ongoing opportunity to consult me, get the “fans’ perspective”, and communicate through me. It gives me the opportunity to do what I have been doing at a lower key, less intense level, which is what withdrawing from VSC office was all about in the first place. I should also emphasise that this came as bolt from the blue, albeit welcome, and was never the intended or expected outcome of my resignation.

Given the preceding explanation, the appointment therefore does not prejudice the rights of the VSC to propose a suitable candidate as a supporters’ director, should one come forward, as this is an entirely different role.

There is, unfortunately, one (completely coincidental) counter-acting issue at the moment, which is that I have recently been ill and was obliged to miss the first two home games, which is why I have also had a stand-in as “Donny Dog”. I will remain absent for a little while yet, so the fruits of this new appointment in terms of continuing some elements of my previous roles will be equally delayed for a while. Accordingly, I ask for your patience in the meantime.

August 21, 2007

Volunteers still required

Volunteer bucket collectors are still required to collect at the Manchester United game on 3 August to help raise money for the Mayor’s Fund for Flood Victims in the area. If you can help, please contact Andy Liney on 01777 703757 (you can leave a message on the answer machine if necessary), by e-mailing him at [email protected], or by leaving a message for his attention at the Rovers’ club office. This is a very worthy cause and needs all the support we can give it.

July 23, 2007


A public open meeting for Rovers’ fans will be held at the Dome on Saturday, 4 August, starting at 11.00 am. Supporters’ will be able to ask questions of a fantastic panel comprising John Ryan, Mickey Walker, Dave Morris, Sean O’Driscoll, and Richar