Hard sell from Reds boss

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Barnsley boss David Flitcroft is having to “sell the club” to potential new players because of one of the lowest budgets in the Championship.

Flitcroft has yet to make any new signings ahead of next season, but has tabled bids for former Sheffield Wednesday loan striker Chris O’Grady, Motherwell hitman Michael Higdon and ex-Bristol City marksman Jon Stead.

Jason Scotland, Jimmy McNulty, Tom Kennedy and Kelvin Etuhu have all agreed new deals to stay at Oakwell, but keeper Luke Steele, Bobby Hassell, Martin Cranie and winger Tomasz Cwyka have yet to commit their futures.

“I can’t compete in terms of wages, so I’ve promised new players a good work environment,” Flitcroft told The Star.

“It’s about looking after the players and making them feel really welcome. If you look after players then they’ll stay at the club.

“I’m trying to sell a fantastic training programme and a great environment to play your football.

“What I’m offering is a fully inclusive package. It’s a hard sell, but we’ve got to offer something else that other clubs haven’t got.

“We’ve got a great unity within the squad and I want any new signings to buy into that.”

Flitcroft wants a new improved team coach for the players to make sure they can relax on the road, as well as improved training conditions and a new club entrance for the players to make them feel more welcome when they turn up for training every morning.

“I had lengthy talks with [club owner] Patrick [Cryne] and we’re trying to transport lots of new things into the club,” revealed Flitcroft. “The working conditions have to be better – and they will be. The environment is changing.

“The change will be very expressive. We’ve got a shared vision.”

The appointment of Maurice Watkins as the club’s new chairman and Ben Mansford as new chief executive are two major changes in the club’s progression model.

And Flitcroft is quietly confident the changes will benefit the Championship club in the long run.

“We don’t know how it’s going to shape up, but football can be very infectious,” he added.

“There’s a massive wealth of experience with Maurice coming in. It’s an incredible move for the football club.

“It [the Championship] is a Premiership ‘Two’. We’re hoping there’s going to be a real interest in season tickets for next season.”

n Barnsley will be having a pre-season training camp in Spain from 30 June - 7 July.

Flitcroft is taking his squad to the La Cala Resort on the Costa del Sol for an intensive eight-day training camp.

Flitcroft will put his players - new and old - through their paces at the camp ahead of the new Championship season.