Barnsley were the subject of a smash and grab raid on the pitch as prospective new owner Chien Lee was being wooed by current chiefs off it on Saturday.
Chinese billionaire Lee sat in the stand at Oakwell alongside current club owner Patrick Cryne, but the pair were surely disappointed as sub Fraizer Campbell snatched a late undeserved winner for out-of-form Hull.
Reds manager Paul Heckingbottom, also in the stand serving the second of a two-match touchline ban, was clearly frustrated after his team had dominated before slipping to a first defeat in four matches.
Heckingbottom was loath to comment about Lee also witnessing the defeat, but he did say: “Some games make you happy, some make you sad, some make you puzzled.
“I said the to the players after the game that I’m upset for them, yet also angry with them.
“We didn’t take our chances, we didn’t capitalise when we were dominant.
“When you’re not capitalising at one end, you’ve got to be faultless at the other, but we weren’t in this game.
“That was a perfect example of us not being ruthless enough at one end and paying the price at the other.”
The Reds bossed a goalless first period, one during which the toothless Tigers didn’t create a single goal-scoring opportunity.
Harvey Barnes, Cameron McGeehan and Adam Hammill missed presentable chances for the hosts.
After the restart Ike Ugbo and Hammill went close, before Campbell struck with 12 minutes left, firing home from close range after Liam Lindsay had blocked Jackson Irvine’s header on the line.
Reds sub Ryan Hedges thought he’d levelled late on, but his powerful strike was diverted away from goal by the outstretched leg of ‘keeper Allan McGregor.
Now for the Owls
Paul Heckingbottom is prepared for a hectic week in the build-up to Saturday’s crunch Championship derby at Sheffield Wednesday.
Barnsley will be desperate to produce some form of ‘bouncebackability’ following the weekend’s disappointing reverse, and they will go into the mouth-watering Hillsborough tussle with a squad boasting relatively little big south Yorkshire derby experience.
“There’s not a lot of players who’ll really know about how big game Saturday’s is,” said Heckingbottom.
“There’s Adam (Hammill) and Davo (Adam Davies), Andy Yiadom played in it last season, Tom Bradshaw and Angus (MacDonald), but I think that’s it in the whole dressing room.
“It’s brand new to a lot of them so we’ll have to speak about it and say what it’s all about and what to expect.
“If we put in a performance it can generate a fantastic atmosphere and it is a game that is different to others.”
Centre-back Adam Jackson limped out of the Hull fixture in the second half so may be a doubt to recover in time for the Saturday lunchtime fixture against the Owls.
Club is in good shape
If Chinese billionaire Chien Lee is to become the new main man at Barnsley, he’ll have taken over a club that’s in good shape.
Of course Lee might not have been overly impressed with the end result at Oakwell on Saturday, but Patrick Cryne will already have pointed out to the big money man that he must look at the bigger picture.
The Reds, while not being the most fashionable football club around, do have solid infrastructure in place and they are reasonably well placed in the English football pyramid.
Overall, the potential is most definitely there for any potential new owner.
Cryne has looked after his club extremely well and he will leave it in a much better shape than it was when he first stepped foot inside Oakwell in 2004.