RUFC - Chairman ' Don Valley helped Millers'
Rotherham United Chairman, Tony Stewart says he is sympathetic with the grumbles the fans have about the atmosphere at the Millers` temporary home Don Valley but he also insists that the stadium has done more for Rotherham United than it has been given credit for.
Speaking to of The Advertiser, Mr Stewart said, 'From a playing point of view we have done quite well at Don Valley in the two seasons we`ve been there.
'If not for the seventeen point`s deduction in our first season, we`d have finished fifth in League Two and last season we got to the play-off final.`
I`m no statistician but I think in the first two seasons at Don Valley we won twenty of our League Two games there - this season, so far we`ve won four.
'A lot has been said about the distance of the fans from the pitch, but there`s room to look after families,` the Chairman said. 'And the pitch is looking good these days and there are proper changing rooms for the players, which there wasn`t at Millmoor in the latter days.`
For those who don`t know, the former Chairman was in the midst of building a new stand at Millmoor, which meant that certain parts of the side, which included the dressing rooms had to be bulldozed and the players from both teams had to get changed in port-a-cabins and then walk along a, sometimes, slippery pathway to get to the pitch.
'The hospitality area is good at Don Valley,` Mr Stewart said. 'There are three dining areas for hot meals and the pie and peas days of Millmoor are gone.`
Because of the half built stand, the hospitality room went too at Millmoor and was replaced by a marquee (a big tent, actually) which was rather draughty in the winter months. But, I did like the pie and peas! (To be fair, I haven`t used the hospitality at Don Valley so can`t really comment, though I haven`t heard any bad reports).
'And don`t forget,` the Chairman carried on, 'Don Valley also helped us attract a conscientious and dynamic commercial director in Steve Coakley. He came from Sheffield Wednesday to work with us and he`s taken up the cudgels and done a really good job.`
He probably saw what was happening at Hillsborough! I`ve only ever met Mr Coakley once and he seemed a very nice gent.
After leaving Millmoor, Mr Stewart said, 'We came out of obscurity and we needed somewhere to go. The question is can Don Valley Stadium get us where we need to be?
'The answer to that is clearly 'yes`.`
My point about leaving Millmoor was not the fact that we did leave, but the way we left. I have a lot of happy memories of Millmoor and I still feel sore that I didn`t get to say a proper goodbye to her