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Thread: Letter from supporters trust

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    18,045

    Letter from supporters trust

    Open Letter to Barnsley FC and the Owners of Oakwell

    Formed in 1887, Barnsley FC have enjoyed 134 years experiencing the trials and tribulations of being a football club and a cornerstone of the town and the community. Each one of those years has been played at Oakwell in front of an adoring and loyal Barnsley faithful.

    These multiple generations of supporters, that have experienced an ever-developing Oakwell over the decades, are the lifeblood of the football club. Without them and their support the football club is nothing.

    Players, managers, captains, and owners of the past, have spoken with passion and positivity about what being associated with Barnsley Football Club has meant to them and how the football club epitomises the values of the town: hard work, honesty, respect, and integrity.

    Unfortunately, with the recent announcement of the closure of the West Stand, the values of honesty, respect and integrity appear to have been forgotten.

    How have we found ourselves in a position where 1,000 season ticket holders are faced with the difficult decision of choosing between an inferior seat that will likely diminish their Oakwell experience, or ending their association with a football club theyíve supported for years, decades or a lifetime?

    How, when Barnsley supporters have backed the club in its hour of need during a pandemic that threatened its future, are these same loyal supporters being disregarded so easily?

    How have we managed, as it appears on the outside looking in, such an alarming fall from grace in less than six months regarding club and supporter relations?

    6,000 supporters bought season tickets knowing that seeing any live football at Oakwell was unlikely in that season. We then had 10,000+ supporters buy season tickets for this season, despite the uncertainty around when capacity crowds would return to Oakwell. This was the Barnsley FC community showing support for the players and coaching staff who pulled off the unthinkable away at Brentford, went one better by coming close to achieving the impossible last season, but also to support the amazing staff behind the scenes that work tirelessly for the club on our behalf.

    With this in mind we urge and plea with the different ownership groups involved with Barnsley FC and Oakwell to consider the below points:

    Supporters were initially told the West Stand was closed for safety reasons, but this was later changed to operational concerns. Could this be clarified in a full and transparent public update?
    For the Sheffield United fixture on 24th October the North Stand will accommodate its largest away following of the season at over 4,100 supporters. Can it be confirmed or denied that the closure of the West Stand was commercially motivated to increase match day revenue? If the motivation isnít a commercial one, can you explain the sudden increase in the away team allocation for this particular game?
    Can we have complete transparency on what the issues with the West Stand are, what the plan is to rectify these issues, and when we can expect to see the stand re-open?
    Contradicting statements from different parties benefit nobody. Even if the Supportersí Trust must act as a mediator, can ongoing communications be aligned, collaborative, and in the best interests of supporters from all those concerned?
    Whether one supporter or 100 supporters have decided to end their season ticket association with the football club, can we see a clear strategy to appease these people? Also, considering that many supporters will be moving seats under duress, and non-West Stand supporters are equally upset about how this has been communicated and managed, what do we plan to do as a football club to rectify this and bring the community feeling back to Oakwell?
    We encourage all parties to regularly consult with BFCST on matters that will directly impact on supporters. Weíre here to be a support function for advice and supporter consideration prior to decisions and announcements being made. We appreciate difficult decisions are sometimes inevitable, even more so during a pandemic, but our means for existence is solely to ensure supporters feel heard in times like these. At present, they donít.
    We welcome and praise the plan for the various fan and media engagement forums over the coming weeks as a really positive step that shouldnít be downplayed. However, these will be almost a month after the initial West Stand announcement, and as a result we feel that immediate action is needed to bring clarity to such an emotional and disruptive issue, at a time when all energy needs to be focused on improving performances on the pitch.

    Barnsley FC Supportersí Trust has always had an excellent relationship with Barnsley FC, working in the interest of supporters with various owners since 8th October 1994. Weíve achieved many positive results in collaboration with the club to improve the matchday experience, optimise existing plans and announcements for the greater good, improvements for disabled supporters, and supporting the recruitment of the younger generation through various schemes and initiatives.

    We firmly believe this relationship can continue in a positive manner if all parties work as one and look forward to a change in stance that brings everyone together to focus on one thing: the supporter.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by EastStandRed View Post
    Open Letter to Barnsley FC and the Owners of Oakwell

    Formed in 1887, Barnsley FC have enjoyed 134 years experiencing the trials and tribulations of being a football club and a cornerstone of the town and the community. Each one of those years has been played at Oakwell in front of an adoring and loyal Barnsley faithful.

    These multiple generations of supporters, that have experienced an ever-developing Oakwell over the decades, are the lifeblood of the football club. Without them and their support the football club is nothing.

    Players, managers, captains, and owners of the past, have spoken with passion and positivity about what being associated with Barnsley Football Club has meant to them and how the football club epitomises the values of the town: hard work, honesty, respect, and integrity.

    Unfortunately, with the recent announcement of the closure of the West Stand, the values of honesty, respect and integrity appear to have been forgotten.

    How have we found ourselves in a position where 1,000 season ticket holders are faced with the difficult decision of choosing between an inferior seat that will likely diminish their Oakwell experience, or ending their association with a football club they’ve supported for years, decades or a lifetime?

    How, when Barnsley supporters have backed the club in its hour of need during a pandemic that threatened its future, are these same loyal supporters being disregarded so easily?

    How have we managed, as it appears on the outside looking in, such an alarming fall from grace in less than six months regarding club and supporter relations?

    6,000 supporters bought season tickets knowing that seeing any live football at Oakwell was unlikely in that season. We then had 10,000+ supporters buy season tickets for this season, despite the uncertainty around when capacity crowds would return to Oakwell. This was the Barnsley FC community showing support for the players and coaching staff who pulled off the unthinkable away at Brentford, went one better by coming close to achieving the impossible last season, but also to support the amazing staff behind the scenes that work tirelessly for the club on our behalf.

    With this in mind we urge and plea with the different ownership groups involved with Barnsley FC and Oakwell to consider the below points:

    Supporters were initially told the West Stand was closed for safety reasons, but this was later changed to operational concerns. Could this be clarified in a full and transparent public update?
    For the Sheffield United fixture on 24th October the North Stand will accommodate its largest away following of the season at over 4,100 supporters. Can it be confirmed or denied that the closure of the West Stand was commercially motivated to increase match day revenue? If the motivation isn’t a commercial one, can you explain the sudden increase in the away team allocation for this particular game?
    Can we have complete transparency on what the issues with the West Stand are, what the plan is to rectify these issues, and when we can expect to see the stand re-open?
    Contradicting statements from different parties benefit nobody. Even if the Supporters’ Trust must act as a mediator, can ongoing communications be aligned, collaborative, and in the best interests of supporters from all those concerned?
    Whether one supporter or 100 supporters have decided to end their season ticket association with the football club, can we see a clear strategy to appease these people? Also, considering that many supporters will be moving seats under duress, and non-West Stand supporters are equally upset about how this has been communicated and managed, what do we plan to do as a football club to rectify this and bring the community feeling back to Oakwell?
    We encourage all parties to regularly consult with BFCST on matters that will directly impact on supporters. We’re here to be a support function for advice and supporter consideration prior to decisions and announcements being made. We appreciate difficult decisions are sometimes inevitable, even more so during a pandemic, but our means for existence is solely to ensure supporters feel heard in times like these. At present, they don’t.
    We welcome and praise the plan for the various fan and media engagement forums over the coming weeks as a really positive step that shouldn’t be downplayed. However, these will be almost a month after the initial West Stand announcement, and as a result we feel that immediate action is needed to bring clarity to such an emotional and disruptive issue, at a time when all energy needs to be focused on improving performances on the pitch.

    Barnsley FC Supporters’ Trust has always had an excellent relationship with Barnsley FC, working in the interest of supporters with various owners since 8th October 1994. We’ve achieved many positive results in collaboration with the club to improve the matchday experience, optimise existing plans and announcements for the greater good, improvements for disabled supporters, and supporting the recruitment of the younger generation through various schemes and initiatives.

    We firmly believe this relationship can continue in a positive manner if all parties work as one and look forward to a change in stance that brings everyone together to focus on one thing: the supporter.
    Its a great letter that has been put together in a manner that spells out what a lot of us are thinking but I do not expect any positive response from our owners , with the way they have handled the west stand fiasco they have shown that they only have contempt for our loyal fans , I hope it does but I do not see this changing

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    1,522
    A good letter - interesting to see the response.

    Could well be quite a toxic atmosphere at Oakwell come noon time on Sunday the 24th

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2,161
    The letter is a response to mass HYSTERIA.
    Most of it whipped up on message boards.

    When I went to move my ST seat from the West Stand to the East Stand I spent a bit of time talking to the lovely woman serving behind the counter.
    What she said to me very much rings true - SOME PEOPLE JUST CANíT HANDLE CHANGE.

    If I have to move from the West Stand - which I have sat in for many many years - so the club can make more money and by doing so move the club forward - then Iím more than willing and glad to do so.

    Iím not that selfish that I put myself and my comforts before the club.
    Barnsley Football Club comes first !!!
    Last edited by Young_Nudger; 15-10-2021 at 10:03 AM.

  5. #5
    Will anything change by the letter yeah dream on

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    15,443
    Quote Originally Posted by Young_Nudger View Post
    The letter is a response to mass HYSTERIA.
    Most of it whipped up on message boards.

    When I went to move my ST seat from the West Stand to the East Stand I spent a bit of time talking to the lovely woman serving behind the counter.
    What she said to me very much rings true - SOME PEOPLE JUST CAN’T HANDLE CHANGE.

    If I have to move from the West Stand - which I have sat in for many many years - so the club can make more money and by doing so move the club forward - then I’m more than willing and glad to do so.

    I’m not that selfish that I put myself and my comforts before the club.
    Barnsley Football Club comes first !!!
    This post just confirms tharron here to take the p1ss, posting things just to provoke a reaction. No more replies to thi posts from me.

  7. #7
    Great letter; keeps to the facts perfectly. Will definitely learn a lot from the response.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Young_Nudger View Post
    The letter is a response to mass HYSTERIA.
    Most of it whipped up on message boards.

    When I went to move my ST seat from the West Stand to the East Stand I spent a bit of time talking to the lovely woman serving behind the counter.
    What she said to me very much rings true - SOME PEOPLE JUST CANíT HANDLE CHANGE.

    If I have to move from the West Stand - which I have sat in for many many years - so the club can make more money and by doing so move the club forward - then Iím more than willing and glad to do so.

    Iím not that selfish that I put myself and my comforts before the club.
    Barnsley Football Club comes first !!!
    I think the point is Nudge, why should people move? They haven't even been given a 'consistent' reason why it's necessary.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2,161
    Quote Originally Posted by Arblasterfromthepast View Post
    I think the point is Nudge, why should people move? They haven't even been given a 'consistent' reason why it's necessary.
    I donít know.
    But what I do know is that the CEO stood up infront of a crowd of Barnsley supporters only a few weeks ago at the Garrison pub in town and said something on these lines ÖÖÖÖ.. I want my relationship with the supporters to be open and transparent - I donít want what was said in this meeting to be broadcast on social media because Iím planning to have more of these face to face meetings with supporters.

    A few weeks later he announces another meeting in the Garrison on the 1st November.

    So taking this into account Im really struggling to understand why we have all this hysteria.

    Imagine if we didnít hear a single thing from the club - total silence.
    Then rest assured Iíd be the first to complain.
    But we havenít !!!
    We have a CEO willing to stand up in a pub in front of supporters and answer any questions thrown his way.
    And under the present circumstances of the club near to the bottom of the league - then that man is probably a braver man than I am.

    The people employed at the club must be shaking their heads reading all the flack thatís coming their way.

    Whatever our owners are doing they are doing it to make the club a success.
    Basically because if it isnít a success then they will LOSE MONEY.

    All what us supporters want is that the team is successful and we play at Oakwell in a stadium that enables the club to have a good base to build success in the future.
    Thatís all.

    Some of our supporters need to get a grip.
    Last edited by Young_Nudger; 15-10-2021 at 12:14 PM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Young_Nudger View Post
    I donít know.
    But what I do know is that the CEO stood up infront of a crowd of Barnsley supporters only a few weeks ago at the Garrison pub in town and said something on these lines ÖÖÖÖ.. I want my relationship with the supporters to be open and transparent - I donít what was said in this meeting to be broadcast on social media because Iím planning to have more of these face to face meetings with supporters.

    A few weeks later he announces another meeting in the Garrison on the 1st November.

    So taking this into account Im really struggling to understand why we have all this hysteria.

    Imagine if we didnít hear a single thing from the club - total silence.
    Then rest assured Iíd be the first to complain.
    But we havenít !!!
    We have a CEO willing to stand up in a pub in front of supporters and answer any questions thrown his way.
    And under the present circumstances of the club near to the bottom of the league - then that man is probably a braver man than I am.

    The people employed at the club must be shaking their heads reading all the flack thatís coming their way.

    Whatever our owners are doing they are doing it to make the club a success.
    Basically because if it isnít a success then they will LOSE MONEY.

    All what us supporters want is that the team is successful and we play at Oakwell in a stadium that enables the club to have a good base to build success in the future.
    Thatís all.

    Some of our supporters need to get a grip.
    Nudge, you may be happy about it and that's fine. I sit in the east stand so it doesn't affect me. But if I was in the west stand I'd be livid. The fans have been given various reasons for the closure from the various parties; no consistent reason has been given. This has left fans surmising that the reason for the closure is to allow more fans into the away end of ground ( quite probably is the reason). So if this is the reason, why didn't the club state this as the reason for closure and discuss this with the fans affected? Don't you think that might have been good manners? It might also have prevented the speculation as to the reasons for closure and stopped all the bad feeling.
    I know the club wants to make money and be successful; but it needs to take the fans along with it. From this example with the west stand closure, I have serious concerns that the club is capable of taking the fans with it.

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