The Paul Warne Column ... The Rotherham United boss writes for the Advertiser

The Paul Warne Column ... The Rotherham United boss writes for the Advertiser

By Paul Davis | 17/05/2020

The Paul Warne Column ... The Rotherham United boss writes for the Advertiser
Birthday boy


REGIONALISING the lower leagues? To be honest, I’m not sure where I stand on that one. I don’t really have a set opinion.

The subject has cropped up again because of the financial strain being put on clubs by the coronavirus pandemic.

I can understand the logic of it. If you look at the extremes, such as Exeter City playing Carlisle United, the cost for those clubs is an absolute joke.

Regionalisation would help financially but I’m not sure the appetite is there from the fans.

I presume the older supporters would like it because they’d say: ‘Well it used to be like that, so why can’t it work again?’

I suppose my real opinion is that whatever has to be done to keep all the clubs alive, healthy and growing has to be done.

If they regionalised the lower leagues and there is a real appetite from the fans then I have no problem with that.

Then again, what would happen at the end of a season?

Would the two winners of League One North and League One South go up to the Championship and then the third promotion place be filled by the winner of a play-off between the two runners-up in both divisions?

I think at the moment things work well because it is always exciting until the end of the season.

At the time the play-offs were first introduced I can remember there being an outcry because teams could finish third and not go up whereas they had been promoted automatically before.

Everyone now agrees that the play-offs keep the season alive for everyone. You can be in tenth spot towards the end of the season and still have a chance of going up.

Regionalisation might work if the top from North and South go up and the next five in each league play off against each other to produce two regional winners. Those two sides could then go head to head for the third promotion place. That would make it more exciting.

Regionalisation also means more local derbies and might mean bigger gates and less travelling for the teams and fans.

I suppose also that many of the small League Two clubs would like it because they’d find themselves playing bigger League One clubs from their region, so it would help them significantly.

I can imagine regionalisation happening but not this summer because there are so many things going on and more pressing things to do first.


THE Warnes are getting a Red Fox Labrador dog! Finally, it’s all arranged.

The only problem now is what to call him!

I wanted a large male and the breeder has sorted me out.

She put pictures of the puppies on Facebook the other day. I texted her and she said she’d sell me the biggest one. I could tell which the biggest one was because the weight was on it.

I said: ‘I’ll definitely have ‘Mr Blue Collar’ but then she joked that her husband didn’t want to let him go. I’m like: ‘Oh my God.’

Fortunately, I think her hubby will be open to bribery. He’s a Newcastle fan so I’ll have to get our loan midfielder, Dan Barlaser, to get him something.

The pups are only a week or so old so it will be a while before ours arrives at Warne Acres. I think we can have him when he gets to eight weeks.

The Warne pup is somewhere in this lot

My son, like me, has no DIY skills yet hilariously he has offered to make a wooden kennel to go under the stairs.

I said to him: ‘You’ve done woodwork like, I don’t know, twice in your whole life.’ Rach has some DIY skills. She can lay tiles and everything. I’m rubbish, though, and unfortunately Mack is swimming in my side of the gene pool.

We’ve gone through loads of names for the dog. I wanted to call him Brian but Rach is not having it. Brian is a good, old, proper English name.

Rach is going for something more exotic. At one stage we were calling him Cane because that’s an Italian term for a dog. Then we had Solo. Then we were going to call it Bandit.

Bandit is a great name but it presents a problem for me. I know if I named him Bandit I’d have to get a second dog and call it Smokey.


THANK you for all the video messages fans posted on Twitter for my 47th birthday last Friday. You made me and my dear old mum very happy.

My birthday was brilliant. It was the best one I’ve had in years. The weather was amazing and I was with my missus and two kids. I didn’t have to spend time with anyone I didn’t like. Perfect!

I’m just a grumpy old git, aren’t I? I didn’t have to get changed and go to a restaurant I didn’t want to go to. I just stayed at home all day and had a couple of beers while sitting my son’s dinghy.

We had a barbecue and I really chilled out. I spoke to all my family, had loads of texts and my wife showed me all the videos on Twitter.

I’m a bit ‘Twitter reluctant’ but Rach made sure I saw them. My mum saw them as well and she thought it was amazing that so many supporters would kindly post lovely stuff like that.

My missus bought me mostly clothes. She reckoned there were one or two things that had still to arrive. Yeah, yeah, that old chestnut.


WE’VE been holding online race nights and quizzes for the staff and some of the players to keep up spirits during lockdown.

The other week, Richard Wood was on the group video call and Matt Olosunde as well.

Ross Burbeary, our fitness man, downloaded a race which had different animals in it. There were nine of them and the one who picked the loser had to sing.

I lost and was absolutely devastated.

As a consequence, the Warne family had to give a rendition of the Take That song, The Greatest Day.

I was let down badly by my backing singers, I have to say, but rose to the occasion and was even better than Gary Barlow.

A few weeks ago, our coach, Matt Hamshaw, had to do Boom! Shake the Room.

I’m not saying he was bad but I was definitely Boom! Shaking my Head.

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