Barnsley F.C.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Full nameBarnsley Football Club
Nickname(s)The Tykes, the Colliers[1]
Short nameBAR
Founded1887; 137 years ago (1887)
OwnerBFC Investment Company Ltd
ChairmanNeerav Parekh
managerDarrell Clarke
LeagueEFL League One
2023–24EFL League One, 6th of 24
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Barnsley Football Club is a professional football club in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England, which competes in EFL League One, the third level of the English football league system.

Nicknamed "the Tykes", they were founded in 1887 by Reverend Tiverton Preedy and moved to Oakwell the following year. The club's original blue colours were changed to red and white in 1904. Barnsley spent the 1890s in the Sheffield & District, Midland and Yorkshire leagues, before gaining admittance to the Football League Second Division in 1898. They twice reached the final of the FA Cup whilst still in the second tier, losing to Newcastle United in 1910 and winning the competition over West Bromwich Albion in 1912. The club suffered relegation in 1933, but secured promotion as Third Division North champions in 1934. They won the Third Division North title for a second time in 1939, having been relegated the previous season. Relegated again in 1953, they secured another Third Division North title in 1955. However, further relegations left them in the fourth tier of English football by 1966. Promotion from the Fourth Division was achieved in 1968, though they were relegated after just four seasons. The club secured two promotions in three years under the stewardship of Allan Clarke and Norman Hunter, and from 1981 would spend sixteen consecutive years in the second tier.

Premier League football was secured for the 1997–98 season with a second-place finish in the First Division, though they were relegated after one season and dropped down to the third tier in 2002. Barnsley won the 2006 League One play-off final and remained in the Championship for eight seasons. Relegated in 2014, they won both the 2016 Football League Trophy final and the 2016 League One play-off final, though this time spent just two seasons in the Championship. In 2017, a majority stake in the club was sold to a consortium that included Chien Lee, Neerav Parekh and Billy Beane. Barnsley won promotion from League One with a second-place finish in 2019, before being relegated out of the Championship again in 2022. Barnsley have spent more seasons and played more games at the second level of English football than any other team.[2][3] The club's main rivals are fellow Yorkshire clubs Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United, Leeds United, Huddersfield Town and Rotherham United.


Beginnings and FA Cup glory[edit]

Barnsley were established in 1887 as Barnsley St Peter's by Reverend Tiverton Preedy, and they played in the Sheffield and District League from 1890 and in the Midland League from 1895. In 1897, the club dropped the St Peter's part of its name to become simply Barnsley. They joined the Football League in 1898, and struggled in the Second Division for the first decade, due in part to ongoing financial difficulties. In 1910, the club reached the FA Cup final, where they were defeated by Newcastle United. In 1912, they reached the FA Cup final again, and defeated West Bromwich Albion 1–0 to win the trophy for the first time in their history. When league football restarted after the First World War, the 1919–20 season brought some significant changes to the league. The main difference was that the First Division would now have 22 teams, rather than 20. The bottom team from the previous season was Tottenham Hotspur and they were relegated. The first extra place in the First Division went to Chelsea, who retained their place despite finishing second bottom and therefore in the relegation places. Derby County and Preston North End were promoted from the Second Division which left one place to be filled.

Having finished the previous season's Second Division in third place, Barnsley expected to achieve First Division status for the first time, but the Football League instead chose to call a ballot of the clubs. The League voted to promote sixth-placed Arsenal, for reasons of history over merit. Sir Henry Norris, the then Arsenal chairman, argued that Arsenal be promoted for their "long service to league football", having been the first League club from the South of England.[4] It has been alleged that this was due to backroom deals and even outright bribery by Sir Henry Norris, colluding with his friend John McKenna, the chairman of Liverpool and the Football League, who recommended Arsenal's promotion at the AGM.[5] No conclusive proof of wrongdoing has come to light, though other aspects of Norris's financial dealings unrelated to the promotion controversy have fuelled speculation on the matter. Norris resigned as chairman and left the club in 1929, having been found guilty by the Football Association of financial irregularities; he was found to have misused his expenses account, and to have pocketed the proceeds of the sale of the Arsenal team bus.[6]

Pre-war and post-war era[edit]

The club came close to reaching the First Division in their early years. In the 1921–22 season, they missed out on promotion by goal difference. During the 1930s and 1940s years, the club found themselves sliding between the Second and Third Division. In 1949, the club signed Danny Blanchflower from Glentoran, and he impressed at Oakwell that two years later he was signed by First Division side Aston Villa, later signing for Tottenham Hotspur and being voted FWA Player of the Year twice, as well as being the captain of the 20th century's first league and cup double winning team in 1960–61.[7] Around the time of Blanchflower's departure, a young centre-forward called Tommy Taylor broke into the Barnsley team, scoring 26 goals in 44 games. In April 1953, he became one of the most expensive players in English football at the time when Sir Matt Busby signed him for Manchester United for a fee of £29,999. Taylor went on to be a prolific goalscorer at the highest level over the next five years, winning two league titles and scoring 16 goals in 19 appearances for the England national football team, before losing his life in the Munich air disaster on 6 February 1958.[8]

When the Northern and Southern sections of the Third Division were replaced by national Third and Fourth Divisions for the 1958–59 season, Barnsley were still in the Second Division, but went down to the Third Division at the end of the season. In 1965, Barnsley were relegated to the Football League Fourth Division for the first time, winning promotion three years later. They went down to the Fourth Division again in 1972, and this time stayed down for seven seasons, finally returning to the Third Division in 1979. Two years later, they went up again and quickly established themselves as a decent Second Division side throughout the 1980s, although they still failed to clinch that elusive First Division place, despite the introduction of the play-offs in the second half of the decade, which gave teams finishing as low as fifth and eventually sixth the chance of winning promotion.[9]

Division One and the Premier League[edit]

Manager Danny Wilson guided Barnsley to the Premier League in 1996–97.

For the 1994–95 season, Barnsley turned to midfielder Danny Wilson to manage the club. His first season brought a sixth-place finish in the First Division, which would normally have meant a play-off place, but a restructuring of the league meant that they missed out. They finished 10th a year later before finally emerging as serious promotion contenders in the 1996–97 season, finally clinching runners-up spot and automatic promotion and gaining the top flight place that they had spent 99 years trying to win. Barnsley lasted just one season in the Premier League but they did reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, defeating Manchester United in the fifth round. They also made their record signing that season with Gjorgji Hristov for £2 million. Wilson then departed to take over at Sheffield Wednesday, being succeeded as Barnsley manager by striker John Hendrie, who had been a key player in the promotion-winning team. Barnsley were the only team from outside the Premier League to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in the 1998–99 season, but only finished 13th in the league. Hendrie was then replaced as manager by Dave Bassett, who rejuvenated the team and took them to fourth place in 1999–2000. The team lost in the play-off final to Ipswich Town, the last play-off final at Wembley before the stadium was closed for redevelopment.[10]

Mixed fortunes in the 21st century[edit]

The team were relegated to the Second Division in 2002; administration threatened the existence of the club as Barnsley suffered greatly due to the ITV Digital crisis. A late purchase by Barnsley's then mayor, Peter Doyle, saved the club from folding. In 2006, the side won in the play-off final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, where they beat Swansea City 4–3 on penalties to earn promotion to the Championship. The manager at this time was Andy Ritchie, who was in his first season in charge after replacing Paul Hart. The team struggled in their first season back in the Championship. In November 2006, with Barnsley in the relegation zone, Ritchie was sacked in favour of Simon Davey, who managed to steer the team away from relegation in the second half of the season, and they eventually finished 20th. The following season, Barnsley reached the semi-final of the FA Cup, beating Premier League side Liverpool 2–1 at Anfield and defending champions Chelsea 1–0; the team lost 1–0 against fellow Championship side Cardiff City at Wembley in the semi-final. In October 2008, the club fielded the youngest player in the Football League's history when Reuben Noble-Lazarus came on against Ipswich Town aged 15 years and 45 days.[11]

Barnsley ended the 2011–12 season as one of only two football clubs to turn a profit in the Championship; they stayed up only because Portsmouth were given a 10-point deduction for going into administration. In 2016, Barnsley won the Football League Trophy after a 3–2 win against Oxford United.[12] They gained promotion to the Championship following a 3–1 win over Millwall in the play-off final later that season.[13] In September 2016, Barnsley were caught up in an ongoing scandal in English football, with assistant manager Tommy Wright alleged to have accepted "bungs" in exchange for working as an ambassador for a third-party player ownership consortium. Wright was initially suspended before being sacked by Barnsley.[14]

New ownership[edit]

In December 2017, Patrick Cryne and his family sold an 80% stake in the club to NewCity Capital's Chien Lee and Pacific Media Group's Paul Conway; they were joined by Indian investor Neerav Parekh and executive vice president of baseball operations and minority owner of the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball, Billy Beane (famous from the Moneyball film), as part of the international investor consortium.[15][16] Barnsley were relegated to the third tier in 2017–18;[17] afterwards. the new owners used a data approach to identify talents, focusing on young players and team rebuilding.[18] The club appointed Daniel Stendel as head coach,[19] who played high pressing football; Barnsley were promoted back to the Championship the following season.[20] In the 2019–20 season, under new coach Gerhard Struber,[21] Barnsley avoided relegation from the Championship.[22] In 2020–21, under the management of Valérien Ismaël, Barnsley finished in fifth place and made it to the EFL Championship Play-offs for the first time in 24 years, with the youngest squad and one of the smallest budgets in the league.[23] The Wall Street Journal called Barnsley a "Moneyball experiment".[24]

Prior to the 2021–22 season, Markus Schopp was revealed as the new head coach.[25] In November 2021, Schopp was sacked after a run of seven straight defeats.[26] Three weeks later Poya Asbaghi was appointed as the new head coach.[27] Fortunes improved little as Barnsley were relegated from the 2021–22 EFL Championship following a 2–1 defeat against Huddersfield Town.[28] Asbaghi left the club by mutual consent shortly afterwards.[29] On 15 June 2022, Michael Duff was appointed head coach of Barnsley FC on a three-year deal.[30]

In May 2022, it was revealed that Pacific Media Group did not actually own all the shares they claimed to own, and were simply a nominee for a group of 4 investors who owned 20% of the club. Following this revelation, Neerav Parekh purchased the shares of 2 of the investors, while Matt Edmonds purchased the shares of the 4th investor. Following the purchases and further equity raises, the new ownership of the club is now understood to be split between Neerav Parekh (55.59%), the Cryne family (21.30%), Julie Anne Quay and Matt Edmonds (10%), Chien Lee (9.20%),and Conway's company Pacific Media Group (3.91%). With this reconstituted shareholding and a loss of majority control, Paul Conway, Chien Lee, Grace Hung and Dickson Lee were voted off the board of Barnsley Football Club, and were replaced by Jean Cryne and Julie Anne Quay in May 2022.[31] In July 2023, the EFL charged Barnsley with 5 breaches of the EFL Regulations related to the ownership of the club under Conway and Lee's tenure, whilst also charging Conway and Lee individually with causing these breaches in regulations.[32][33]


The stadium's name, Oakwell, originates from the well and oak tree that were on the site when first built. Oakwell is a multi-purpose sports development in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, used primarily by the club for playing its home fixtures, and its reserves. While the name 'Oakwell' generally refers to the main stadium, it also includes several neighbouring venues which form the facilities of the Barnsley academy – an indoor training pitch, a smaller stadium with seating on the south and west sides for around 2,200 spectators, and several training pitches used by the different Barnsley squads. Until 2003, the stadium and the vast amount of land that surrounds it was owned by Barnsley themselves; however, after falling into administration in 2002 the council purchased the main Oakwell Stadium to allow the club to pay its creditors and remain participants in the Football League.[34] The stadium's capacity is 23,287.[35]


According to a survey, 'The League of Love and Hate' conducted in August 2019, Barnsley supporters named fellow Yorkshire clubs Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United and Leeds United as their biggest rivals, with Huddersfield Town and Rotherham United following.[36]

Colours and strip[edit]

Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors[edit]

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
1976–1977 Litesome
1977–1979 Admiral
1979–1980 Umbro
1980–1981 Taits
1981–1984 Hayselden
1984–1986 Brooklands Hotel
1986–1988 Lowfields Sandal Bayern
1988–1989 Intersport Lyons Cakes
1989–1991 Beaver International Shaw Carpets
1991–1993 Gola Hayselden
1993–1994 Pelada
1994–1995 ORA
1995–2000 Admiral
2000–2001 Big Thing
2001–2002 iSoft
2002–2003 Red Flag
2003–2004 Vodka Kick
2004–2005 Koala
2005–2007 Jako Barnsley Building Society
2007–2008 Surridge Wake Smith
2008–2011 Lotto Barnsley Building Society
2011–2014 Nike C.K. Beckett
2014–2015 Avec
2015–2019 Puma
2019–2022 The Investment Room
2022–2023 Various[note 1]
2023–present US Mobile


Home strip[edit]

Barnsleys home shirt in the 1997–98 Premier League season

Barnsley have played their home games in red shirts for most of their history. The only exception to this is the period 1887–1901, where it is speculated that the team first wore blue shirts with claret arms, then circa 1890 the team wore chocolate and white stripes, before moving on to blue and white stripes around 1898. The team first wore red shirts in 1901.[40] Since this time, the team have worn red shirts often with a white trim, although in more recent times a black trim has sometimes been used. As with most football clubs the shirt design varies from season to season. One particular design that stands out is the 1989–90 season shirt which featured white stars on a red background and has been named as one of the worst shirts ever.[41] Manufacturers logos were added to the shirt in 1976–77, while sponsors were first added in the 1980–81 season.[citation needed]

Away strip[edit]

Barnsley's away shirt in the 1998–99 season

The club's away strip (used for away or cup fixtures where there is a clash of colours) differs from season to season but usually follows the design of the season's home strip with a variation on the colours. The most common colour for the away shirt has been white but many others have been used, including blue, yellow, black, ecru, dark green and even black and blue stripes. One notable away strip was the 2001–02 "It's just like watching Brazil" kit, where the team wore the colours of the five-time World Cup winners Brazil for their away games.[42]


Current squad[edit]

As of 2 February 2024[43]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
3 MF Jamaica JAM Jon Russell
4 DF Poland POL Kacper Łopata
5 DF United States USA Donovan Pines
6 DF France FRA Maël de Gevigney
9 FW England ENG Sam Cosgrove
10 MF England ENG Josh Benson
12 FW Portugal POR Fábio Jaló
14 FW Scotland SCO Oli Shaw
15 DF England ENG Kyran Lofthouse
16 FW Scotland SCO Andrew Dallas
17 DF Republic of Ireland IRL Barry Cotter
No. Pos. Nation Player
20 MF Hungary HUN Callum Styles
21 DF Republic of Ireland IRL Conor McCarthy
22 DF Republic of Ireland IRL Corey O'Keeffe
23 GK England ENG Ben Killip
30 MF England ENG Adam Phillips
33 MF England ENG Matty Wolfe
36 FW England ENG Max Watters
41 DF England ENG Jack Shepherd
43 DF England ENG Josh Earl
48 MF Republic of Ireland IRL Luca Connell

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player


As of 10 January 2024[44]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
19 FW England ENG Aiden Marsh
27 GK England ENG Adam Hayton
28 MF England ENG Jean Claude Makiessi
31 GK England ENG Paul Cooper
32 MF England ENG Harrison Nejman
34 DF England ENG Danny Benson
35 FW Montserrat MSR Josiah Dyer
37 DF Thailand THA Nathan James
No. Pos. Nation Player
38 MF England ENG Theo Chapman
39 FW England ENG Mylan Benjamin
40 MF England ENG Aaron Atkinson
42 MF England ENG Charlie Hickingbottom
46 DF England ENG Hayden Pickard
50 GK England ENG Kieran Flavell
DF England ENG Alex Joof
DF England ENG Josh McKay


As of 17 September 2023[45]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
47 FW England ENG Emmaisa Nzondo
63 MF Wales WAL Vimal Yoganathan
60 GK England ENG Rogan Ravenhill
68 MF Wales WAL Jonathan Bland
GK England ENG Trent Carter-Rodgers
DF England ENG Luke Grimshaw
DF England ENG Ziggy Kozluk
DF England ENG Geoffrey Lundoloki
DF Northern Ireland NIR Bayley McCann
DF England ENG Tom Senior
No. Pos. Nation Player
DF England ENG Max Swift
DF England ENG Will Thompson
MF England ENG Kieren Graham
MF England ENG Malachi Mbogba
MF Portugal POR Rafael Monteiro
MF England ENG Elliott Probert
MF England ENG Kallum Reid
MF England ENG Owen Warburton
FW England ENG Luke Alker
FW England ENG Leo Farrell


As of February 2024[46]

Ownership structure[edit]

  • Neerav Parekh 55.59%
  • Cryne family 21.30%
  • Julie Anne Quay and Matt Edmonds 10.00%
  • Chien Lee 9.20%
  • Pacific Media Group 3.91%

Board Members[edit]

  • Chairman: Neerav Parekh
  • Director: Jean Cryne
  • Director: Julie Anne Quay
  • Director: James Cryne
  • Chief Executive Officer: Jon Flatman
  • Finance and Operations Director: Robert Zuk
  • Sporting Director: Mladen Sormaz

First team staff[edit]

As of March 2024[47]
Role Name
Head Coach EnglandDarrell Clarke
Interim Head Coach Republic of Ireland Martin Devaney
First-Team Coach England Jon Stead
Goalkeeping Coach England Thomas Fawdry
Head of Sports Science England Matt Cook
Sports Scientist England James Walsh
Head Physiotherapist England Vacant
Club Doctor England Dr John Harban
Performance Analyst England Tom Yeomans
England Ed Davies
Head of Football Operations and Club Secretary Ann Hough[48]
Academy Manager England Bobby Hassell
U21 Manager England Tom Harban
U18 Manager England Nicky Eaden

Managerial history[edit]


Barnsley F.C. managers from 1898 to present

Club records[edit]

Chart of table positions of Barnsley in the Football League

Barnsley have spent more seasons and played more games at the second level of English football than any other team.[2][3]

Player of the season[edit]

Year Winner
1970 England Johnny Evans
1971 England Les Lea
1972 England Barry Murphy
1973 England Eric Winstanley
1974 England Mick Butler
1975 Scotland Bobby Doyle
1976 England Kenny Brown
1977 England Brian Joicey
1978 Republic of Ireland Mick McCarthy
1979 Republic of Ireland Mick McCarthy
Year Winner
1980 Scotland Ronnie Glavin
1981 Republic of Ireland Mick McCarthy
1982 England Trevor Aylott
1983 Scotland Ronnie Glavin
1984 England Andy Rhodes
1985 England Paul Futcher
1986 England Clive Baker
1987 England Stuart Gray
1988 England Paul Cross
1989 England Paul Futcher
Year Winner
1990 England Steve Agnew
1991 England Brendan O'Connell
1992 England Mark Smith
1993 Northern Ireland Gary Fleming
1994 England Neil Redfearn
1995 Northern Ireland Danny Wilson
1996 Netherlands Arjan de Zeeuw
1997 Scotland John Hendrie
1998 England Ashley Ward
1999 England Craig Hignett
Year Winner
2000 England Chris Morgan
2001 England Kevin Miller
2002 England Bruce Dyer
2003 England Bruce Dyer
2004 England Antony Kay
2005 England Chris Shuker
2006 Republic of Ireland Nick Colgan
2007 England Brian Howard
2008 England Stephen Foster
2009 England Bobby Hassell
Year Winner
2010 Argentina Hugo Colace
2011 England Jason Shackell
2012 England Luke Steele
2013 England David Perkins
2014 England Chris O'Grady
2015 Republic of Ireland Conor Hourihane
2016 England Adam Hammill
2017 England Marc Roberts
2018 Scotland Oli McBurnie
2019 Jamaica Ethan Pinnock
Year Winner
2020 England Alex Mowatt
2021 Poland Michał Helik
2022 England Brad Collins
2023 Denmark Mads Juel Andersen
2024 England Adam Phillips

Source: Barnsley F.C.

Honours and achievements[edit]





  1. ^ Originally, cryptocurrency company were announced as Barnsley's shirt sponsor, but after the Barnsley Supporter's Trust raised concerns about controversial and homophobic tweets by people who reportedly brokered the deal and an investigation by the club, they were dropped as the Barnsley shirt sponsor after only featuring on the shirt for 2 games.[37][38] The shirts remained sponsorless for the following 4 games of the campaign. On 27 August 2022, Barnsley launched the "Together Red" campaign against discrimination and hate, with numerous sponsors adorning the Barnsley shirt for select games throughout the 2022/23 season starting with the away game against Ipswich Town.[39] The campaign ended on 14 April 2023.


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External links[edit]