Barnsley FC sign 30-year lease to stay at Oakwell

Barnsley FC will continue playing home matches at Oakwell after agreeing a 30-year lease with the town’s council.

The deal was announced after Barnsley Council took 100% ownership of the stadium, having bought out the family of former owner Patrick Cryne.

Council leader Sir Steve Houghton said the agreement would pave the way for “much-needed investment”.

Tykes’ chairman Neerav Parekh added that it would “open up opportunities as we look to modernise Oakwell”.

A joint statement issued by the League One club and council said: “This investment is an important lynchpin in a partnership which will see Oakwell become even more of a sporting centre and cultural home for the whole borough long into the future.

“It will create a platform for Barnsley FC to use Oakwell for unique fan experiences and events, music concerts, corporate conferences and community activities on a regular basis for generations to come.

“The move also secures the future for the newly formed Barnsley FC women’s team who will continue to play games at Oakwell throughout the regular season and beyond.”

Mr Cryne bought the club in 2003 and became joint owner of the ground and land around it with the council.

After his death in 2018, his family remained involved with the club and had been working with the council to “protect this asset for the long term”, Sir Steve said.

He said purchasing the ground would not only help protect both the stadium and the land around it, but also the newly-built Glassworks leisure area in the town centre.

“We didn’t want to see competitive development on the [area around Oakwell] that could undermine that,” he said.

“It means you’ve got an asset that can be used not just for football, but for a range of sporting or cultural activities.”

Mr Parekh added: “I know there’s been rumours floating around about a ground share or moving away from Oakwell, so I’m glad we’ve got all that sorted out and I hope it’s reassuring to fans but also exciting because there’s going to be improvements to the ground.”

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