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Barnsley agree long term lease of Oakwell Stadium with local council

Barnsley FC and Barnsley Council have announced a historic partnership which will mean the club will continue to play at Oakwell Stadium.

The two parties have agreed on a new lease of 30 years less one day which will also see investment into the facilities at Oakwell.

In 2023, the council became the sole owner of Oakwell Community Assets Limited (OCAL), which owns the stadium and land around it. This followed successful negotiations with the Cryne family, who had been joint owners of OCAL with the council since 2003.

Leader of Barnsley Council, Cllr Sir Steve Houghton CBE, said: “I’m delighted we’re able to announce this fantastic news that Barnsley FC are here to stay at Oakwell.  

“Barnsley FC is part of our heritage, and one of our anchor institutions with significant economic, social and wellbeing value for the borough. It’s a badge of identity for our communities, contributing to pride of place and a sense of belonging for Barnsley people.

“We’re proud to have played a key role in securing the future of professional football in the borough and we’re now proud to be taking the next step in securing that future for many years to come. This agreement helps unlock much-needed investment at Oakwell, to improve community provision and improve the experience for visitors to the club.

“Both the council and Barnsley FC acknowledge the huge contribution the late Patrick Cryne made to securing the survival of Barnsley FC, and building the successful and resilient club it is today. We’re grateful to the Cryne family for their co-operation in securing this future for Oakwell.”

Jean Cryne, an owner and director of Barnsley FC and previous joint-owner of OCAL, said: "I am pleased that the council have acquired my 50% share of the stadium. This is very positive for the Club and the town and I hope the fans can now feel safe in the knowledge that Oakwell is secure for the future of Barnsley Football Club.

“It’s been a tough few years - in more ways than I can begin to say - but myself and James along with Neerav and Julie Anne are doing our utmost to build on what we have achieved in this first year.

“To our supporters – please try to support the club in the best way you can by building up our fanbase. Please put the word out that we need you all, that we can’t do this alone.”

Neerav Parekh, Chairman of Barnsley FC’s board, said “This is another step forward for the Club, with the future of Oakwell now resolved. This was a key task after the reconstitution of the board just over 18 months ago - to agree a new long-term lease. We want Barnsley Football Club to remain in Barnsley, and this agreement now guarantees that.

“We also promised to repair our relationship with the town and the community of Barnsley. As directors of the Club, we’re delighted to be working hand-in-hand with the council, and would like to thank them for their support throughout this process. I would also like to thank Jean Cryne in particular, for putting the interests of the Club and town at the heart of everything she does at Barnsley.

“This new agreement will open up key investment opportunities as we look to modernise Oakwell and work together with all relevant parties to maximise our combined assets for the betterment of the Club and town.”

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