Ex-chief Ryan returning to Rovers alongside Tomlinson

JOHN RYAN and Louis Tomlinson will be officially unveiled as the new joint owners of Doncaster Rovers at a press conference in London tomorrow afternoon, barring any last-minute hitches.

John Ryan.
John Ryan.

The issue regarding the image rights of One Direction star Tomlinson, which had held up the proposed deal, has now been successfully ironed out, with the multi-million pound takeover now finalised.

Agreement has been reached with Rovers’ current major shareholders Terry Bramall and Dick Watson over the purchase of their shares by former chairman Ryan and Doncaster-born Tomlinson, who will become co-chairmen of the club.

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A press conference has been scheduled for 4pm tomorrow at one of Ryan’s clinics in London when a new era for the club is likely to begin, with the presence of Ryan and Tomlinson being the equivalent of a dream ticket to Rovers supporters.

The news will come as a relief to manager Paul Dickov, whose transfer plans had effectively been put on hold for the second successive summer pending the completion of takeover talks.

Ryan stepped down as chairman back in November following a bitter dispute over the future direction of the club with fellow major shareholder Bramall, although relations have improved between the pair this year.

Doncaster will face York City in the pick of the first-round Capital One Cup ties involving White Rose sides, with the encounter taking place at Bootham Crescent.

The Minstermen will be seeking revenge having lost out at Doncaster on penalties in a first-round clash back in August 2012.

Rovers have a poor record at York and have not triumphed there in nine attempts since Boxing Day 1985.

Elsewhere, Leeds United entertain Accrington Stanley, while 2012-13 finalists Bradford City and Huddersfield Town travel to Morecambe and Chesterfield respectively.

Steel City duo Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United have home advantage against Notts County and Mansfield respectively.

Barnsley and Rotherham are also at home, the former against Crewe and the latter hosting Fleetwood, while Middlesbrough visit Oldham.

Huddersfield have confirmed their first signing of the summer, former Coventry goalkeeper Joe Murphy joining on a two-year deal with the option of a third year.

Rotherham have made their sixth close-season capture in Crawley Town left-back Mat Sadler, who has signed a 12-month contract.

FC Halifax striker Lee Gregory has completed his move to Millwall for around £250,000.