His mode of dress was mandatory at the Clydesdale Bank bash, but the chief executive of the SPL should be fitted out with a tracksuit such is his demotion to the sidelines of an increasingly chaotic field of play for the organisation.
Doncaster had just brushed himself down after a bruising encounter with the press on Monday before being hit by Bill Miller's announcement last night. An SPL vote on any sanctions to be laid against a newco Rangers was postponed until May 30, but the inevitable crisis has intervened.
Miller's decision not to pursue a bid for Rangers has left the SPL and Doncaster in limbo. It is a deeply uncomfortable spot. Doncaster was breezily upbeat last night. He has to be. The situation is grave but, as designated captain of the ship, he must be seen to have a clear head and his statements must not alarm anyone.
''I think from the point of view of the other 11 clubs and the SPL itself, clearly clarity would be preferred,'' he said as Rangers list rudderless.
''This development means clearly a lack of clarity. We're in a position where we can't be proactive, we have to be reactive to whatever's agreed between Duff & Phelps, as administrators of Rangers, and, indeed, anyone who comes forward. We have to see what develops.''
The last sentence sums up the problem for Doncaster and his member clubs. It has long been clear Rangers, most specifically the administrators, have been driving the process over the retention of SPL status or the entry of any newco in the league. Doncaster has been routinely criticised as the SPL postponed so many votes there was a suspicion that the next one was contingent on a pitch inspection.
Yet the governing body has faced frankly insoluble problems in regards to Rangers. It is difficult to rule on a newco when no such application has been made. Any sanctions, too, on a prospective newco may have been subjected to a legal challenge that many inside the SPL feared could be successful.
As a body, too, the SPL was conflicted about what to do with Rangers. Sporting integrity was under heavy assault from financial pragmatism. And if anyone is offering odds, I know where my wager would be placed in that contest.
Doncaster, too, has become increasingly aware of disaffected fans stating clearly that Rangers had to be punished heavily, with many advocating expulsion from the league. There have been threats from fans of many clubs that season tickets would not be renewed if the SPL was perceived to have ''gone soft'' on Rangers.
The chief executive's cheery smile at last night's awards dinner was strained. His patience with the administrators must fall into the same category.
''Life goes on at the league, we have a fixture list to plan for next season and commercial contracts to put in place,'' said Doncaster.
''Clubs have season tickets to sell, commercial deals to sign and players to sign. As much clarity as can be achieved is desired but we're not in that position.''
The position, rather, is that the Clydesdale Bank has one more SPL bash to host and no one else is as yet prepared to be a title sponsor. The Sky TV deal remains unsigned.
Rangers, meanwhile, are appealing SFA sanctions, awaiting a verdict on a tax case and are heavily in debt. There is no buyer at the moment and the money, according to the administrators, runs out at the end of the month. It is difficult to see what progress has been made since administration was declared in February.
The SPL have generally been seen amid the crisis as initially an organisation keen to punish Rangers, then willing to let the club remain in the league or a newco join it, to now being a structure that has no idea whether one of its members will be able to fulfil fixtures next season. The situation is that perilous.
Doncaster is frankly unable to influence proceedings to any measurable degree. It is to be hoped he enjoyed his dinner last night. He may not be a condemned man, but he must be an increasingly desperate one.