Barnsley Council sign 30 year lease to keep Barnsley Football Club at Oakwell - and become sole owners of land

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Barnsley Council has become the sole owner of Barnsley Football Club’s stadium and surrounding land, after Jean Cryne sold her 50 per cent share of the assets for an undisclosed sum.

The club and council have also signed a 30-year lease to ensure the club will remain at Oakwell.

In an announcement today (January 22), Sir Steve Houghton, leader of the council, said that BMBC had become the sole owner of Oakwell Community Assets Limited, following successful negotiations with the Cryne family, who had been joint owners of the Oakwell Community Assets Limited (OCAL) since 2003.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The site is ultimately in the council’s ownership,” added Coun Houghton.


“There may be some short-term investments in terms of maintenance and other things that are required, but in terms of developing the ground, that’s for the longer term.”

He added that any income received by the council as landlord will be reinvested back into the ground, and the deal is ‘cost neutral’ for the taxpayer.

“We won’t be putting in any additional financing,” he added.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“If we properly maintain the West Stand there’s at least another 10 years’ life in that.

Sir Steve Houghton, Jean Cryne and Neerav ParekhSir Steve Houghton, Jean Cryne and Neerav Parekh
Sir Steve Houghton, Jean Cryne and Neerav Parekh

“That gives us time to think about the future of that part of the ground without making any hasty judgements.

“We want to look at how we can improve the experience for fans, we rule nothing out.

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.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“This is a major step forward, not only for the council but for the town.”

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 per cent 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.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

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.

“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.”