Barnsley Football Club held a press conference at Oakwell this afternoon where four of the new majority shareholders were joined by CEO, Gauthier Ganaye where they addressed the media for the first time since yesterday’s change of ownership was confirmed.
Ganaye kicked off the press conference by welcoming the new consortium before each new board member introduced themselves briefly.
Mr Chien Lee expressed his delight at the deal, saying: “We are very excited and happy to have finalised the deal and to make the announcement, about the transaction to invest into Barnsley. This is one of the oldest clubs in England and it has an identity, a culture and we are looking forward to working with the team, the management and the Cryne family, as we try to get to the next level.
“We also look forward to working with the people of the town, the fans especially and try to build something special together.”
Mr Paul Conway expressed his pleasure too, whilst outlining his vision for the club.
He told us: “We are delighted to be here, and I’ll explain a little why that is. We got into football in June of last year when we bought majority control of OGC Nice in France. And we see this as a very similar situation here in Barnsley, where the team has a good tradition, a passionate fanbase, and a great coach.
“They were in need of a little help on the commercial side, a bit of help in terms of nationalisation of the club. And our philosophy for football is very disciplined, at Nice we keep a balanced budget but we believe that using our resources we can drive revenue up, we can improve the fan experience.
“There’s a great academy in place here, we believe we can enhance that. If you look at everything we’ve done with Nice, it speaks for itself. We intend to have that similar model here at Barnsley. We’re not going to be crazy, we’ll remain disciplined, but we will grow the club, year upon year.”
Ms Grace Hung told us it was great to be back in the UK, a place she has spent a lot of her formative years in.
She said: “I’m very appreciative of all this, to be back in the UK. I came to study in the UK since I was 10-years-old and I always enjoyed my experiences here. Everything I learn here, I take back with me to China. England has the best education and is probably the one place I like the most.
“The entertainment sector, the animations, these are the sort of areas I’ll be focused on. It’s about brand building for me, taking Barnsley to a worldwide audience.
Mr Nareev Parekh spoke of his excitement about the future, saying: “I’m from India, I travel between the UK and Mumbai right now, and I handle my family’s portfolio.
“I am absolutely crazy about football which is probably one of the big reasons Im here!
“When I heard and was told about the interest I saw it as a no-brainer really. It’s a fantastic town, a fantastic club and I’m so excited to be involved here in this project.”
In closing the proceedings, Gauthier Ganaye told us: “I’ve been here six months now and I knew it was an exciting project I was starting. And now six months later, it’s an even more exciting project!
“I am really happy. All I can see is such a wonderful opportunity for Barnsley Football Club. For us to be able to come together with and work with so many successful businessmen and women, who have succeeded in different countries, to use all of our expertise together, it’s a huge opportunity for the town and the club, to bring success for us moving forwards.”
The full press conference video is available for free, over on our YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE.