RUFC - Chairman on Radio Sheffield
Rotherham United Chairman, Tony Stewart, has been talking on Radio Sheffield this evening and here are a few things he had to say.
He said that the season had gone better than he'd hoped so far and the work ethic is good. He seemed impressed that the eight players who have been brought in over the summer have fitted in so well and were playing like they'd been in the team months instead of weeks.
About Saturday's loss at Chesterfield, Mr Stewart thought Chesterfield were passionate and wanted the three points more.
About Don Valley he said that he's been told that most of the holes in the roof will be filled in for Saturday's home game with Rochdale and also that the clock and scoreboard will be working again. He also went onto say he was party to making the situation at Don Valley easier - especially for the disabled supporters. 'The people at Don Valley have been very accommodating and have bent over backwards to help. The minor problems have been remedied.'
He was asked about the new Stadium and he said it was at the specification stage. He went onto say that he was talking to people and he was taking a lot of care and attention to detail. 'We have a window of four years to get the stadium up and running and that is plenty adequate. We should be eighteen months in the planning stage and eighteen months in the building. But, we will be taking the full four years so we get it right.' He said it would be a community stadium and he had received a lot of help from the Council. There will be hospitality there and it will be be a commercial enterprise and things are progressing well.
Speaking about manager, Mark Robins, Mr Stewart said, ' Mark and I had many meetings when I first took over. He had his agenda and he'd put a plan together. I agreed that plan and he's keeping to the plan. Yes, we have a budget,' he told the listeners, 'Mark Robins told me what he wanted and I granted him his wishes. The loan window opens tomorrow and I am sure I will be advised what wants to be done. If they want to bring someone in then I would not be an obstacle. Mark Robins has a team of people he works with and he has overall control of who he buys and who he sells.'
On the Commercial side he admitted there was still a lot of work to be done and that it had been delayed by the administration problem. 'In the last three or four weeks we have been looking at the commercial and hospitality side. We need to get Rotherham United up and running and I think there's lots and lots to be done. With the sponsorship we have to make sure that people are getting value for money.
The new training ground at Rawmarsh was spoken about and it is to be at the side of Rawmarsh Comprehensive School. Mr Stewart said they have to move quickly and get it ready before next season.
Mr Stewart was asked about the Board at the club and he said there are four directors and although he said he would name then, he didn't but he did say he would see what each director was capable of doing before he gave them a job or task.
While the club was in administration, people were asking how we were managing to buy players and Mr Stewart said that he signed the players with the backing of the Football League. He said he worked very closely with the Football League and the Administrator and everything was done with their say so.
A caller asked why he hadn't reduced season tickets this season. 'We did away with the paying an extra two pounds on the day which seemed right at the time. We want a good investment at the club and we want to move forward much better than we did in the past. We've made all the cup games so far ten pounds and five pounds.'
'I've had a much better reception from the fans than I ever expected I would. Apart from the administration taking longer than we imagined I have found it easier than I thought I would.
'It's cost me a few bob and that's still on going. But I calculated that you've got to put your money where your mouth is. I still believe with the team we've got, despite the minus points, we can climb up the league and get into the play-offs. We've got a skip in our step and confidence is high in the team. Now, what we need is to bring some excitment back to Rotherham.'