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RUST Ramblings 17th July 2002 Issue 2

Hi,

Welcome to one and all and a big thank you for your comments on last week's opening newsletter, which have been great, thanks. So here goes with the latest batch of opinion, gossip and rumours from your truly.

Another week nearer the start of the new season and another without any major news to report. Just over three more weeks and we'll be doing battle at the New Den with those not so friendly Lions of Millwall. The question that the majority of Millers fans want answering is when are we going to see some new signings? I must admit to being a little concerned that we appear no nearer bringing in any new players. Once again, this week was one of missed targets, the latest player that Ronnie had expressed an interest in, Sean Dyche, signed for Watford? This despite rumours that he was keen to sign for the Millers, as he wanted a move North. Maybe, Dyche's geography isn't all that great and he thinks the Hertfordshire club is a northern outfit but then again, to Londoners Watford is north and Luton the far north!

Word is that Ronnie is still keen to bring in a centre-back and that a big Finnish lad, Peter Blomberg has trained at Millmoor. That's all that I've heard on that one, I don't know anything about him, only that he's anxious to find a club in England. Another trialist is a French midfielder, surname, Valois. He's been at Luton this summer, but their manager, Joe Kinnear hasn't decided whether he intends to sign him or not. In the meantime, he is to spend a week at Millmoor and might be a useful addition to our squad. On a cautionary note, he was at Preston last season and failed to make the grade!

Finally, on possible signings, I've heard that Ronnie and John are monitoring the situation at Grimsby and are quite keen on transfer listed Phil Jeavons. He's a striker that cost over £200,000 from Everton a couple of season's back, watch this space. Hopefully, there will be some transfer news this time next week. For now, don't despair, at least we haven't had to reduce our squad and we might yet see an influx of new blood, very few clubs have spent any cash to date, biggest spenders are apparently Manchester City. Having played them twice last season, they certainly need new players if they're to survive in the premier!

Talks with Chris Sedgwick and his agent about a longer contract aren't going too well. Sedgy has another year remaining on his current deal but Ronnie is trying to secure him for a longer period. Talks had broken down after his agent quoted some outrageous sums, although the word from Millmoor is that he might still put pen to paper.

Millwall have sent us 1,000 tickets for the opening game and will send more if required. Many supporters are still on holiday at that time of year and I doubt whether we will sell more than 500 or so. You never know with Rotherham fans. I recall our game at Forest last season, an expected away following of less than a few hundred actually turned out to be more than 1,500 and took the stewards there by surprise. Millwall isn't the ideal venue for our first fixture and many will be put off by the reputation of their fans. I've been there and it can be quite intimidating, particularly after the game.

Sports relief is alive and well in the guise of Rotherham United. Last Friday evening, Chris Beech and Paul Warne gave up some of their valuable time to attend the Rotherham Ladies darts league prize giving at the Rotherham Transport club. By way of sponsorship of the league and associated events throughout the year, all proceeds went to the NSPCC. The evening itself was a roaring success and a donation in excess of £1500 was handed over to the children's charity. Well done girls and boys.

Have any of you subscribed to the new Millers World interactive web site? I tried unsuccessfully several times to access the free preview. It always appeared to crash before installation. It will cost you £35 for a year and claims to offer in depth "everything" about the club. I'll be interested in just how many fans sign up for the new offering. Last season, apart from our lack of signings, the biggest gripe amongst supporters was always to do with finance and the cost of supporting the team! Unless Rotherham fans have come into some money, I can't really see the idea being all that popular, can you? Perhaps, it will appeal to exiled Millers and in particular, those living abroad. I'll reserve judgement on that one for now, and I'll try and get an overseas perspective from my ex-pat following.

Talking of money, where has it all gone? Just before last season's transfer deadline, we were supposed to be offering fees of £250,000 for the likes of Danny Alsop and Lloyd Owusu. Apart from shelling out £50,000 for Darren Byfield we spent nothing else. According to the club, we have sold a record number of season tickets and are to receive about £500,000 from the new Sky TV deal, yet Ronnie has allegedly been told that there isn't any cash for new players. That sums up our club, nothing ever seems to change. Remember all that talk of a new 7,000-seater stand? That's just a pipe dream now!

Changing the subject, away from Millmoor, did anyone read that story about the Iranian national squad? Apparently, quite a few of them had been seen with prostitutes, which are banned in Iran. As a punishment they were sentenced to several lashes of the whip! Two of the squad have already received 70 and 170 lashes. I don't expect to see Iranian players swapping shirts for some time.

Another interesting story concerns third division Leyton Orient. In an effort to increase attendance's at Brisbane Road, chairman Barry Hearn is to take out advertisements in the home match day programmes of Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham offering season ticket holders of the respective clubs free admission to one of Orient's home games. He confidently expects to increase gates to around the 10,000 mark. I know from the experience of living just a couple of stops on the tube from Orient that despite the proximity of the club, may thousands of football fans in the area, choose to support the premiership big boys instead of their local team. I suppose we are in a similar situation with many potential Millers fans choosing to support one of those two Sheffield sides instead of their hometown club!

Finally for now, our fanzine, the famous "Moulin Rouge" has been saved and should appear once more on the terraces and in the streets, please support it. I can't tell you just how brilliant and proud I was to see a copy of the fanzine for sale in a specialist sports bookshop off Charing Cross Road in London. It was holding its own amongst the likes of Tottenham and Arsenal! We're a first division club now and deserve our own fanzine!

That's all for now, keep the feedback coming, it does make a difference, perhaps you might tell other Millers to subscribe via the RUST website.

Cheers,
Chris S
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