Rotherham Utd

Summer spending continues 

ROTHERHAM United’s next marquee signing will be Scunthorpe United midfielder Michael O’Connor.

The 24-year-old Northern Ireland international has been released by Scunthorpe and will be Millers' boss Steve Evans's next big-name arrival. He has undoubted ability on the ball, which comes as no surprise after progressing through the youth ranks at Crewe Alexandra.

O’Connor will be on Rotherham’s top wage of £3,000 a week, along with recent new signings Kayode Odejayi and Daniel Nardiello. Rotherham will have five players in this wage bracket with the rest of the squad made up of what is left of the playing budget.

The signings Tony Stewart is financing this summer is a clear statement of intent from the chairman – he wants promotion and is putting his money on it happening this coming season!

Evans above! Why have Millers chosen Steve?

I almost crashed the car when it came over the radio that Rotherham United had appointed Steve Evans as their new manager.

He is simply the wrong man to lead the Millers in their new home.

Evans has an excellent record in recent years, guiding Crawley to League Two and leaving them well placed for a second successive promotion. He also took Boston United into the Football League for the first and only time in their history.

His credentials on the pitch have never been in doubt, but the controversial Scot comes with more baggage than an airport carousel.

His part in the Boston tax fraud cannot be forgotten. The Pilgrims were hit with a double relegation and plunged into the depths of financial crisis. Their very existence was threatened.

Evans avoided jail and was handed a suspended sentance after pleading guilty to conspiring to cheat the public purse. Evans, along with former chairman Patrick Malkinson, disguised wages and bonuses as expenses between April 5, 1999, and June 5, 2002. The scam resulted in £320,000 in taxes being withheld and was so successful, the club went from employing players on a part-time basis to full-time, resulting in promotion through the leagues. Gates also soared by 1,000 per cent and Evans was given a 20-month suspension from the game.

While many will argue what is in the past should be left alone, it is not easy to do so. The famous 'hand of God' goal will always crop up when you talk about Maradona and the red card in the World Cup will always be mentioned when speaking of David Beckham. It's the same for Evans, his actions ruined a club.

But it is not just the dark cloud of Boston that follows him around. His antics on the sideline wins him very few friends. He is what you call a Marmite manager.

Rotherham may well win promotion next season and Steve Evans may go on to become a hugely successful manager for the Millers, but there are plenty of managers out there who can do just as good a job.

On his appointment, Evans spoke about how not many people will like Rotherham and how he doesn't care.

Do Rotherham really need to go down that road? They are about to enter a new era, a new stadium awaits them and they do not need to become a team hated by others.

United have always been a well respected club but does promotion mean that much that they are willing to jeopardise that reputation with the appointment of a man who thrives on turning people against the club he manages?S

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