'You do it and I'll buy the beers' ... Steve Evans' challenge to Rotherham United fans

Rotherham United boss Steve Evans. Picture: Jim BrailsfordRotherham United boss Steve Evans. Picture: Jim Brailsford
Rotherham United boss Steve Evans. Picture: Jim Brailsford
STEVE Evans is ready to follow in the footsteps of Viktor Johansson and buy the beers for Rotherham United fans in a bid to push season-ticket sales through the 7,000 barrier.

The Millers boss has pledged to put his hand in his own pocket and put money behind the bar if the magic number is hit before August 10 opening day.

He's even prepared to go one better than goalkeeper Johansson who paid for 600 pints to be served in the Cutlers’ Arms, near AESSEAL New York Stadium, on the day of his final appearance for the club last May.

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The manager will match the Swede's gesture and then also personally buy season ticket number 7,001, at a cost of up to £485, himself.

Rotherham United boss Steve Evans. Picture: Jim BrailsfordRotherham United boss Steve Evans. Picture: Jim Brailsford
Rotherham United boss Steve Evans. Picture: Jim Brailsford

“I love our supporters,” Evans told the Advertiser this week from the club's training camp in St Andrews on the east coast of Scotland. “It would be my pleasure to reward them.”

Sales have already passed the 6,500 mark, with a month still to go until Rotherham's League One season begins.

"What Viktor did was magnificent," the Scot said. “It was his way of saying 'thank you' to fans for the backing they had given him during his time here.

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“It set me thinking along the same lines because those same Millers followers have shown me a similar level of support.

“So, can I set them a challenge: reach 7,000 and I will beat Viktor's ‘love you’ message with more cash for more beers.”

Evans described himself as “humbled” by the surge in ticket sales that his arrival for a second spell in the hot-seat has sparked.

Fans have committed themselves in their droves to regular seats at New York as the Millers seek to make an instant return to the Championship.

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The figure so far has smashed the number the last time the club won promotion from League One, in 2021/22, leading Evans to remark: “The quality of the people who follow this club never ceases to amaze me.

“I feel humbled that so many of them want to be part of the journey we're now on. The backing I have received from them since I came back has been astounding.

“Stopping in the town for fuel can take me 25 minutes or so because so many supporters come up to me to wish me well. We will do everything we can to give them what they deserve.

“I’d also like to thank the chairman and the board for their support in my work.”

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In 2021, when the Millers were gearing up for the campaign that famously ended in last-day promotion at Gillingham under Paul Warne, 6,256 season tickets were sold.

Purchases this summer had been expected to be down because of the dismal fashion in which Rotherham slipped out of the second tier last term, but Evans' second coming in April transformed the landscape.

The number of signings he has made is already in double figures and the recruitment will continue. “We're getting there,” he said. “However, the jigsaw isn’t yet complete.”