With Barnsley FC’s 20/21 Sky Bet Championship campaign to be extended into the Play-Offs, please see an operational update regarding a potential return of fans for the home leg.
Regardless of what the next month holds, this campaign will live long in the memory.
This Club have seemingly battled against the odds and have now achieved what many would think impossible. Do not interpret that statement to suggest we are content with our performances and current position. We are by no means finished. We are where we are on merit and will continue to take each game ‘one by one’.
Our supporters have been magnificent throughout the last 18 months. Understanding and patience has been constant and everyone now deserves to enjoy whatever follows our final regular 20/21 league fixture against Norwich City, on Saturday.
Although our final placing and play-off opponents are yet to be determined, we appreciate the curiosity many have and of course, the potential of fans returning for our home tie. In the interest of transparency, below is our current understanding:
Whilst previous attempts were prevented by Coronavirus ‘Tier Three’ status bestowed on South Yorkshire throughout November/December 2020, the Club’s stance and intention has always been for supporters to safely return to Oakwell, as soon as possible. This has not changed. Whilst we await confirmation from Government officials, we anticipate and plan towards a maximum of 4,500 individuals being allowed to attend the home leg of our play-off fixture (likely to be played on Monday 17 May, kick-off time tbc).
General reports have been circulated across various news outlets regarding temporary capacities of stadia. Oakwell’s bespoke safe capacity calculations have been enforced by the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) and will remain in place until 21st June at the earliest.
Due to the reduced ticket allocation for this fixture, the Club have worked towards establishing a fair ticket distribution process. While various options were considered, If supporters are permitted to attend, 20/21 Reds Reserved (and RR+) members will be invited to enter an online ballot, for a chance to secure a seat. The ballot will be live on Tuesday 11 May. With an exceptionally quick turnaround expected, successful ballot applications will be notified by Thursday 13 May, with automated payment to follow.
Members will be permitted to enter the ballot in groups of up to six, all of whom will need to be within your e-ticketing network. Whilst supporters must complete a compulsory online health assessment prior to attendance, we are anticipating minimal restrictions.
Safety Officer, Steve Howard commented: “The potential of fans returning to stadia has been a long time coming and as a team, a dedicated number of individuals have worked diligently to ensure that Barnsley FC and Oakwell are in the best possible position to welcome you back as soon as possible.
“As a Club, it’s frustrating not to have answers to hand, but whilst we seek total clarity, we thought it best to inform our supporters of our initial plans. Our final plans can only be confirmed after the Government announcements scheduled for 10 May.
“Along with a number of colleagues, I plan to speak with our fan engagement forum in the coming days to help answer questions and ease potential concerns.
“I would like to thank our supporters for their continued understanding and patience on this complex matter. When the time is right, we can’t wait to welcome you home.”
Once appropriate, the Club will share further details of final processes and timeframes.
We appreciate this is still a very fluid situation and the Club will endeavour to keep you informed of future developments.