Barnsley: Chairman wants Oakwell to be ‘the centre of town’
Barnsley's co-chairman Paul Conway says the club is committed to making Oakwell a place where supporters “come earlier and stay later”.
The Reds are celebrating promotion back to the Championship, but the owners also want to improve things off the pitch.
When they arrived in South Yorkshire at the back end of 2017 they said they wanted to enhance the facilities at Oakwell.
They have already invested heavily into the players' facilities but intend to make the ground a better place for spectators too.
That has already started with the introduction of Kid Zones on matchdays, but the plan is to make Oakwell the hub of the town.
“There is a lot of things behind the scenes that you haven't seen,” Conway told the Star. “We have made a lot of investment into the players' facilities.
“But we have built a kidzones, we want Oakwell to be the centre of the town, for supporters to come earlier and stay later but we have to give them more attractive activties.”
Conway was part of a consortium, along with Chien Lee, that took over from the Cryne family, with the Reds becoming the second club they own.
Barnsley is perhaps not as in a glamourous locationas their other – Ligue 1 side Nice – but Conway admits the South Yorkshire town has a charm.
“This is a passionate town,” he added. “When the club is going well, the enthusiasm on the streets is fantastic.
“We are happy to be here and when we go on the road there are sometimes 3,000 supporters. That is great to see and they deserve the success.”
Conway is not the only man who has been getting used to life in Barnsley following coach Daniel Stendel's move last summer.
The German barely spoke a word of English following his appointment, but has got better as the season has gone on.
He hopes to improve further over the close season, but admits that learning the Barnsley tongue is like learning a whole new language in itself.
He said: “Every English way is difficult, it is more and more easier, every day a little bit more.
“But Barnsley slang is very fast. Three words is one word.
“I hope next season I will be get better.”