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Barnsley enquire to groundshare with multiple EFL clubs amid Oakwell concerns

Barnsley enquire to groundshare with multiple EFL clubs amid concerns about their currently Oakwell Stadium with one stand already closed.

The Tykes reportedly contacted Bradford City earlier this year about the prospect of a potential ground-share at the Utilita Energy Stadium aka Valley Parade.

That is according to the Yorkshire Post with the Championship outfit’s hierarchy previously discussing the potential for formal talks with the Bantams last season. Despite this, nothing materialised.

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In January, it was also revealed by the same publication that Barnsley had also spoken last season with another Yorkshire club in Rotherham United whether it would be possible to be part of a groundsharing project.

Not only that, by the Tykes also approached other Football League clubs during the 2020/21 season – two of which from Lancashire – about potentially hosting the club’s matches, with talks continuing over their long-term future at Oakwell.

Speaking in August, co-chairman Paul Conway confirmed that the club had instead abandoned plans to buy the ground, intending to stay on as tenants, but didn’t rule out the prospect of relocating if the ground couldn’t be modernised.

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Last month, the club controversially made the decision to close the 130-year-old West Stand to spectators until further notice, due to safety concerns and crowd management issues.

The move caused a problem to the 1,000 fans who had already purchased a season-ticket for that stand that season. A number was made to relocate to other parts of Oakwell, while others wanted a refund.

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, who also have a 50% stake of the stadium alongside the Cryne family, have expressed a disappointment at the decision by the club to shut down the West Stand and said that the facility passed an inspection by the local authority two months ago in September.

The club have stressed that their primary goal is to stay at Oakwell and positive discussions have been recently held to that effect with Barnsley MBC officials, it is understood.

Barnsley’s hierarchy say that they committed to a positive relationship with the council going forward.

Back in January 2020, the club’s majority shareholders were working on potentially buying a half-share of Oakwell owned by the Cryne family – who still hold a 20% shareholding in the Championship outfit – however subsequently raised a number of concerns.

Speaking about the Oakwell situation in late summer, Conway said: “If we are caught in a situation where we can’t use the ground without not getting a (stadium) licence, we have to keep alternatives out there. That is the right thing to do for any club, but the goal is to stay here.

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“We still have six years to go on it (Oakwell lease). We need to generate more revenue which allows us to be more competitive.

“Some of our revenue generation is limited by the facilities and all the supporters will know that.

“We are working with the Council and hope it comes to a good resolution, but need to see some capital improvements. We were willing to put it in ourselves, but could not get clean title on it.

“Last year, during the pandemic, the investment group put in millions into escrow as part of buying the stadium. Our goal was buying the stadium and a big part of the reason why we invested in the club.

“Simply, we cannot get clean title on the ground. Similar to if you are renting a house and you want to purchase that house, you want to get clean and clear title on it. And we can’t – and we can’t get title insurance either.

“So the club has abandoned the attempt to purchase the ground, so we are a tenant here.”

Twitter users reacted with reports Barnsley enquire to groundshare with multiple EFL clubs amid Oakwell concerns…

@JoeBeardsall: The idea of Barnsley playing in Bradford is just complete nonsense in my opinion, it just won’t happen. Us fans wouldn’t go. I’m glad that it sounds like now the owners and the Council are trying to find the best solution, that’s the right way forward. Oakwell is our home!

@DrZazlos: It’s madness Joe. But Sums up our owners. I know you have spoke with them and your opinion I have respect for, but in this cutthroat world I wouldn’t trust em to run a bath 😡

@shaunkirton1: In fear for our club now this board is ripping it apart sorry joe but they not bothered about our club same goes for all the owners if they did they get Oakwell fit again not let it dye not by bit all of them should leave now your ripping my heart out now

@neilmeynell: It’s just brinkmanship. Both sides need to stop pissing about with the club and get on with it.

@SDicko83: Think it’s best all round if the Crynes sell up and council too

@The_Vman_v2: Love how they play hardball yet have still to pay for the club while skimming off the top allegedly. Only billionaires that haven’t put a penny in. OUT

@hirst_arron: What’s going on like?

@Torn_Tay: If this is true Conway et al can do one ➡️➡️

@harrisms1972: Been a Season Ticket Holder for 30 years & watched them since 78 but if this is true then I won’t be renewing my season ticket in the spring. This with the missing £750k makes me feel very uncomfortable. Time for an AFC Barnsley?

@bfc_cheets: won’t get a season ticket then simple conway can get fucked

@laratanderson: Again @BarnsleyCouncil why don’t you sell your share of the ground? Your leaders keep moaning about the lack of money coming from central government, so why don’t you sell your assets? @DanJarvisMP @CllrSteveHunt @SouthYorksMayor @Mayor_Barnsley @SarahNormanCX

@rufc_pod: Looks like Barnsley asked about a ground share with us 🙈

@The_Vman_v2: GET THIS FAT FUCK OUT OF OUR CLUB TONIGHT

@Harry_gilbank: Ground share to a ground an hour away? These owners are a joke and slowly destroying the club

@Housesetc: I have to say if it’s not at #Oakwell I won’t be going to watch #BarnsleyFC

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