Doncaster chairman threatens to pull plug

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The Independent Online

The future of Doncaster is in doubt following the threat of their chairman to withdraw his support at the end of the season.

Craig Harrison says he will pull out unless the club's fans match the £20,000 he will put in between now and the end of the campaign. Harrison has been putting in £5,000 a week to meet the National League Two club's budget shortfall and cannot continue to do that indefinitely.

Despite playing at a state-of-the-art new stadium, bringing in a high-profile coach in Ellery Hanley and reaching the final of the Northern Rail Cup, gates have remained below the break-even figure of 1500. The club has even explored the possibility of moving out of the ground it shares with Doncaster Rovers.

St Helens have confirmed that their former Great Britain captain, Paul Sculthorpe, is to leave the club at the end of the season.

The 30-year-old loose forward, twice voted Man of Steel as the game's outstanding player, is not being offered a new contract, because of Saints' salary cap and his recent injury record.

Ironically, he is fit again after his latest problem with a strained hamstring and hoping to play at Harlequins on Sunday and stake a claim for a place in the Challenge Cup final on 30 August.

He is expected to join Salford on a two-year contract, although Wakefield have shown interest in signing him to play alongside his younger brother, Danny.

Salford have extended the contract of another former St Helens player, Stephen Bannister. The forward, who has also played for Harlequins, has agreed terms for the 2009 season.

The former Warrington centre, Nigel Vagana, 33, is planning to follow Sonny Bill Williams into French rugby union. He is currently with South Sydney.