BARNSLEY: Italians eye up Reds in takeover speculation

Have your say

AN Italian consortium is interested in buying Barnsley Football Club.

The Star understands Reds’ officials have held talks with the consortium about a possible sale.

However, director Don Rowing stressed that the club had received no “concrete” offers for its purchase.

He dismissed rumours that Arab businessmen had expressed an interest in buying the club as “just speculation.”

Speaking exclusively to The Star, Rowing revealed: “We have been approached by someone interested buying the club, but at this stage we’ve had no concrete offer.

“We’re a stable, debt-free club that has been the culmination of eight years of hard work since Patrick Cryne bought the club and I became involved with the day-to-day running of it.

“We’ve got a business template in place here which could prove to be very attractive to any potential buyers so, if offers are forthcoming, we would give them serious consideration.”

Multi-millionaire owner Cryne has wanted to sell the club, which he bought in 2004, for some time.

Until now any talk of a possible sale have not come to fruition.

Cryne – a Reds’ fan who used to attend most of the club’s games – has taken a back-seat this season and has rarely been spotted in the Oakwell directors’ box due to illness.

Yesterday, contacted by The Star, Cryne declined to comment on the possible sale of his club.

There was also growing speculation yesterday that if the interested Italian consortium did take over the club, then that might spell the end of manager Keith Hill and assistant manager David Flitcroft.

But Rowing added: “We are very happy with our first team manager and assistant manager, they’ve been doing a great job.”

To add more fuel to the fire Flitcroft was once again linked to the vacant manager’s position at his former club Bury, although he is understood to be keen to stay at Barnsley.

Referring to any potential takeover Hill said: “I wouldn’t know what to expect if there were new owners at the club, but what this talk can do is undermine what we’re doing and sow a seed of doubt in players about the club’s future and their future.

“I’ve got a great relationship with Patrick and, 100%, want him to retain the ownership.”