Barnsley hold talks with rival EFL clubs over shock move away from Oakwell with club involved in furious row over the purchase of their ground (and Yorkshire side could now play their home games in Lancashire!)
- Barnsley have been in talks with EFL clubs about a shock move from Oakwell
- The club are involved in a heated row over the purchase of their home ground
- Their owners have so far failed in an attempt to buy a half share of the stadium
- Sportsmail understands they are in discussions over a controversial switch
Barnsley have held talks with other EFL clubs about a shock move away from Oakwell amid a furious row over the purchase of the ground – and could even play their home games in Lancashire.
The Championship club’s owners have failed in an attempt to buy a half share of the stadium and Sportsmail understands that they have now engaged in discussions with other clubs about what would be a highly-controversial switch.
A source close to Barnsley, who have played at Oakwell for 132 years, disclosed that a number of other sides have been spoken to about hosting the club’s matches, including two in Lancashire.
Barnsley have held talks with other EFL clubs about a controversial move away from Oakwell
In what may well be a high-stakes move designed to ramp up pressure on the local council, which owns 50 per cent of the ground, Barnsley have taken action.
While the club declined to comment, the source said that the blocking of a previous attempt to buy half of stadium from the authority left the majority owners – Chinese businessman Chien Lee and US colleague Paul Conway – ‘discouraged and immediately seeking alternative arrangements’.
They added that the investment would have improved ‘dated infrastructure which is rapidly heading into a state of disrepair’ and say the move has been made on the back of limited matchday revenue forecasts thanks to the Covid pandemic and continuing behind-closed-doors football.
‘The current landowners do not contribute toward maintenance which makes yearly costs very difficult for the club,’ they said.
Any such move would need permission from the EFL board. Fellow Championship club Coventry City, in dispute with landlords Wasps over the Ricoh Arena, are currently playing their matches at Birmingham City’s St Andrew’s.
Barnsley are also in dispute with former owners the Cryne family, who own the other 50 per cent of Oakwell. They say the family will not part with their share, which was agreed in the initial deal and have rejected ‘a variety of proposals’.
The Crynes, who still own 20 per cent of the club, deny suggestions they refused to sell and told the Barnsley Chronicle that they are taking legal action for £2.75m they claim they are still owed from the sale of the club against Lee and Conway as ‘a last resort’.
The Championship club’s owners have failed in an attempt to buy a half share of the stadium
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