He may not be a massively wealthy owner, but Paul Cook reveals that Doncaster fans have other reasons for disliking their chairman
Distinguishing Features: A typical small town businessman, he introduced a trendy new look at a recent friendly with his trousers tucked into the back of his shoes.
Habitat: Made his millions with East Riding Sacks who sponsored the shirts last season. Now, after running the team from the directors’ box via notes to the bench, he’s cut out the middlemen and sits on the bench himself directing operations.
What use is he? He arrived at Doncaster as the ‘football consultant’ to a mystery company called Dinard Trading who’d just acquired a substantial stake in the club.When Ken was just an advisor he held regular public meetings at which he criticized club directors and the council, owners of the ground, Belle Vue. Since becoming sole owner, the public meetings have stopped, he’s threatened to pull Rovers out of the League and scrapped, then reinstated, the reserves and junior teams. Our future could still be bright, it seems, if only the council will let him sell Belle Vue to developers.
Who remembers his birthday? There’s never been anyone as unpopular at Belle Vue, even back in 1991-92 when the club was facing a winding up order and only won its second League game in January. Uncle Ken has managed to rouse the most patient supporters on Earth with what seemed like the whole crowd protesting at a recent home game. He’d only get cards from his faithful servant, general manager Mark Weaver, and a host of non-League players who would never have dreamed of playing professionally until being approached by Doncaster: we seem to sign one a week at the moment.
Other offences to be taken into consideration: When Uncle Ken arrived, he aimed to put the club in the First Division in five years. In just over four years we’ve had five managers and twelve assistants. Over the last couple of seasons around a hundred players have appeared in League matches. The few remaining professionals, joined by a host of former Unibond League players, turn out in borrowed kit with no shirt sponsor. To cap it all, the club’s biggest cup tie in a decade, against Forest in the Coca Cola Cup, was a complete disaster, with the biggest crowd for years presented with wholesale ticket mix-ups and an 8-0 defeat.
From WSC 128 October 1997. What was happening this month