Date: 2nd May 2008 at 8:42am
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Rotherham United’s owner/chairman-in-waiting, Tony Stewart, owns ASD Lighting plc which is both successful and profitable and, although it is strongly rumoured that he is a Wednesday fan, he has now probably taken on the biggest challenge of his life.

He says he, and some other local business men, were approached by the council to have a look at the club. ‘They thought someone with a business head might have a cure and the antidote as to what the problem was,’ he told The Advertiser.

He said that taking over the reins at Rotherham United is not about making a profit – it’s about getting Rotherham United to pay it’s way while putting out a successful team on the pitch.

‘Whether it’s manufacturing light fittings or being involved in a football club it’s a business and it’s all about employing professional people to do the job.

‘Every business needs a product and in the case of Rotherham United the product is football and the team. A good team costs money but it has to be in keeping with the funding the club has, otherwise you are asking the fans and investors to keep pouring money in. It has to be self-financing.

‘Any money we make in the next two or three years will not be about profit and loss it will be invested into better players.’

Mr Stewart has promised to work with the remaining staff at the club with some new faces to forge the way ahead. ‘I’m not going to tell them what to do, because they know what to do,’ he said. ‘But, I shall be there to support them.’

Some of the things he has said he will help with is getting more sponsors, more posters, more programme sales and get the website beefed up. ‘We are going to be honourable to our suppliers,’ he said, ‘and we are going to be looking towards the people of Rotherham to support the business.

‘Everyone wants to bathe in success but you have to have the right work ethic to achieve it.

‘We are fans but we’re not fanatics – and there’s the difference.’