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Club News


24 December 2022

Club News


24 December 2022

Barnsley FC Chief Executive Officer, Khaled El-Ahmad's message ahead of the festive period.

Dear Reds,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I write this as I sit with my own young family, amidst the festive period that is exactly that - a time for families; to enjoy the company of our loved ones at the end of another year. And so I hope this message reaches you well, in what has been a challenging 12 months, not only for us as a football family, but for the wider world in general. 

The war in Ukraine, the fall-out from the pandemic and the financial impacts that have hit everyone hard in 2022 - it’s been difficult. But through such adversity, there are lessons we can learn, obstacles we can overcome. And when looking just at Oakwell, I believe we have started to regain our footing, as we repair relationships and attempt to create a stronger bond from which we can look to build a brighter future for Barnsley Football Club and our community as a whole.


Going back to May, a reconstitution of the Club’s board set the agenda for a fresh approach, backed up by the appointment of Michael Duff as our Head Coach. I can’t speak highly enough regards the work that all involved have put into the first half of this season. There was a blank canvas in the summer, and all at the Club have really come together to fashion a new identity across each department, and I’m pleased with the progress we are all making, whilst acknowledging that it’s early days.

There have been missteps, errors made along the way. But going back to the point about adversity, I’ve been proud of the way that we’ve dealt with any setbacks this season, often turning a mistake into a success. That is borne out of mentality and the culture we’ve strived hard to nurture as a Club over the last six months.

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The greatest example of that would be our Together Red campaign. We made something special out of a difficult situation, and I’m immensely proud of the fact that we’ve been able to shine a light on charities dear to our town’s heart, in Weston Park Cancer Charity and Barnsley Hospice.

Our commercial partners have stood with us to make this happen, and I thank Rapid Response especially whilst looking forward to further strengthening our ties with a current Club partner who’ll be our next front-of-shirt sponsor for the New Year. 

It is vital for us as a Club - because we are the heart of this community - to foster relationships with businesses and charities in our borough. Each matchday at Oakwell, we have a drop-off station for Barnsley Foodbank. Alongside our charitable arm, Reds in the Community, we go out into the town on a daily basis, seeking to educate, to open our doors to anyone in need. This must be built upon as we move into 2023.


On the pitch, we’ve seen a young group of players impress more often than not. As I write this, we head into Boxing Day’s fixture at Accrington in fourth position in the league table, having won five consecutive games and remain in this season’s Emirates FA Cup, with a trip to Derby County next month in the third round. Nobody here is getting carried away. But I’m reliably informed by our media team that this has been the best first half to a season for Barnsley FC in over 40 years.

Credit then to Michael, his staff and of course the players for their efforts up to this point. It hasn’t been easy either. We’ve been unlucky to lose a number of players to injury. And so it’s pleasing to know that we’re heading towards January which opens up the ability to utilise the transfer market and address any shortcomings. 

As you are all aware, we are not in a financial position where we can ‘splash the cash’. But we’re confident that we can do good business, as we feel we did in the summer, so that we leave January with an even stronger squad for the second half of the campaign.


I want to thank all of you who renewed or bought a season ticket last summer, and to those who’ve taken advantage of our half-season ticket packages in recent weeks. It’s because of your loyal and unwavering backing that we can attack the season in the manner we have. Naturally, we’d love more through the turnstiles and want to see Oakwell full and in tremendous voice. We have some mouthwatering fixtures to look forward to here in the coming months and your support could prove to be pivotal if we are to make this campaign a memorable one.

I have a number of meetings coming up with supporter groups and we’re looking into a number of interesting ideas to help improve both the atmosphere here in the stadium and the ‘experience’ in terms of what we have on offer outside of the match itself. We’ve made a number of positive changes already, with lots more to do. But we need to come together, as a Club and fanbase, to keep pushing for more. 

We are in positive dialogue with Barnsley Council regards our continuing relationship and I hope we can bring further positive news on that next year. 

But for now, I just want to wish each and every one of you a wonderful Christmas. I started by talking about family, and I hope the Red family enjoys this holiday season, capped off by positives results over the next few days!

Go Reds!


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