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Doncaster blaze a trail with innovative transfer policy

Doncaster chairman John Ryan says the clubs transfer policy could become a model for other clubs to follow. Agent Willie McKay's arrival as "transfer consultant" has led to signings such as El-Hadji Diouf and a turnaround in the team's fortunes.

Ryan told BBC Sport: "We were the innovators. If it works well - the test for that will be if we stay up - it may well be [a model].

"We had to do something drastic and we have brought some quality players in."

Dean Saunders arrived as the new manager with Donny at the foot of the Championship and McKay was given a unique, exclusive two-year consultancy to handle transfers.

McKay has targeted out-of-favour players on loan or men who are out of contract. Doncaster pay a portion of the player's wages and get part of the fee if the player is sold on, which has seen them sign six players on loan.

Ryan said: "It works well between Willie, Dean and myself. I've known Willie for a few years and Dean has been a breath of fresh air, being very positive.

"They have convinced me that we would have a good chance of staying up if we did it this way."

Discussing the need to bring in the innovative policy, Ryan added: "Because of the small fan base, we haven't got the wealth to compete with the likes of West Ham, Southampton, Leicester and even clubs who have recently received parachute payments such as Blackpool."

Doncaster's fortunes have improved on the pitch moving them off the foot of the table and to within two points of Bristol City, who are one position above the relegation zone.

Ryan thinks the last couple of months have brought back a feel-good factor to the club.

He said: "It looked like we were going to be relegated by Christmas. We had one point from the first seven games, which is a desperate situation.

"Although we are still in the relegation zone, obviously hope is springing eternal now. We have had wins against the likes of Leicester and Southampton recently."

Asked if he has drawn up a list of January transfer targets, Ryan joked: "I am sure that Willie has. I can't pronounce them, that's the problem."

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Dave Williams

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