The Reds' Chief Executive Officer addressed a number of issues when he met with members of the press this week.
ON GERHARD STRUBER
“There have been a few approaches for Gerhard, but nothing concrete. He is still our Head Coach and he’s planning ahead for Saturday’s game with Coventry City.
“There is a buy-out clause in Gerhard’s contract, but he’s committed to being Head Coach of Barnsley Football Club. So if a club was to meet the figure in his contract, then it would be completely down to Gerhard at that point.
“Plenty of clubs have asked and called over the last couple of months but nothing concrete, nothing set. Until such a time, he is our Head Coach. And I do feel he wants to be here at Oakwell this season. We’ve been working hard together to improve the squad to help us have more success on the field."
ON TRANSFER ACTIVITY
“We thought we had a player done and ready to announce a week ago in Sandro Kulenovic. That leaked out into the press and we had hoped that was one piece of the puzzle sorted out. He’s a player we’d been chasing as a club for the best part of 14 months. We felt we had that tied up and then right at the last second the player pulled out.
“That one fell through and so we’ve continued to look at our other options, and believe me, we know that’s an area we need to strengthen. We need to score goals.”
ON FINANCIAL IMPACT OF COVID-19
“Right now, as a football club we are lucky that we aren’t impacted as badly as some.
“Our fans were magnificent in supporting the club in terms of buying season tickets despite the unknown that is the Coronavirus Pandemic. I can’t state that enough, just how important a factor that was.
“And so that together with the support of our ownership group and how we run the club, we are in a position where we can afford to strengthen our squad and bring players to the club.
“But obviously, the situation around when supporters will be allowed back into stadiums is clearly going to alter everyone’s financial outlook. We do believe though, that we are in a better position than most and we can go and invest in our team and make the squad stronger.
“We have several options that we are well down the road with and it’s just about finalising them and getting them across the line now. I’m very confident that we’ll get our business done before the end of the window."
ON JACOB BROWN TRANSFER
“We wanted to keep Jacob at the club. We offered him a contract that would have doubled his wages. But he wanted to leave when Stoke City came in for him and you have to weigh up the best decision I suppose.
“It was felt that with the money we’d get for Jacob we could reinvest that into the squad and that’s exactly what we are in the process of doing right now.
“We have to be smart. This is a very tricky time for everyone, not just football. We have to care for our club and make sure we are making the smart decisions at the right times. There have been other players who clubs have asked about but we’ve managed to keep them at bay.
“The intention is to keep this group together now. We lost Jacob but the core here now, we are focused on keeping them together for at least this season and pushing on up the table.”
ON ALEX MOWATT CONTRACT
“I spoke with Alex’s agent just a couple of days ago now and there’s good dialogue there.
"The bonus with this one is that Alex is a good person and his agent is a good person. So there’s no chance of things getting contentious.
"We are working together to try and come to an agreement and we aren't too far apart I don't think. He’s a vital part of our team here and will definitely be with us this season at least.
“We have already told a number of clubs that we aren’t selling certain players. With Jacob Brown it was a little different because he was adamant that he wanted out.”
ON PLANS FOR FANS TO RETURN TO OAKWELL
“As a club we are continuing to forge forward with the plans we’ve been putting together over the last few months. The date has obviously been pushed back in terms of when the fans will return, but that won’t stop us preparing for that eventuality.
“We will have a fully robust plan to get our fans back into Oakwell and in the safest of environments.
“Our staff here have done an amazing job in such trying circumstances to get things in place. We just need a few things finalising and then it’s down to the government and relevant bodies to give clubs the green light.”
ON CLUB FINANCES WITHOUT FANS
“Right now, yes, we are okay. It’s tough to predict what things could look like in six months time, but for now we feel we can get through this period.
“I fear more for the sport at large.
“If there are no fans for the next six months then sure, maybe some of us will be okay, but what about the majority of clubs, and in particular, those in the lower leagues?
“I have serious doubts there.”
ON OWNERSHIP DISPUTE
“There is a dispute that’s obviously been well-publicised. I don’t think a lot of it as accurate, but yes, there is a dispute between the majority and minority owners.
“But the focus for us as a club remains the same. There are three things I want to see this season. The first is to have a successful campaign on the pitch. Two, is to make sure all of our BFC employees remain employed and three, to get our fans back into our matches.
“The discussions around the ownership and the stadium, I haven’t been privy to those and that’s purely between those parties. I would imagine they’ll do the best for the club they’re invested in.
“I have a very good relationship with the owners. I work very closely with James Cryne here at the club each day. But these things happen in life. Whether that’s a family, a business or indeed in sport.”
ON BAMBO DIABY CASE
“We are still waiting. Yes, I know, that’s what we always say, but that’s the facts of it. The communication and how it’s progressed has been really poor from other organisations.
“It’s taken too long. It’s affected the player, it’s affected the club and we can only hope for a resolution as soon as possible. But we’ve been told that it’s coming time and again and we are still waiting.
“But as soon as we are able to, we will make a statement on the whole process.”
ON CLUB GOALS
“As a group, the intentions are clear and they are to grow the club, to make sure it’s financially stable, and to compete at the highest level possible within the model and philosophy we try to adhere to.
“The message for our fanbase is to trust that we all want the best for our club and we all want to make it work together.
“We want to put the best team we can on the pitch each week, we want our great staff here with us and we want you all back with us at Oakwell as soon as that is possible, and we will strive, day in and day out for all that.”