Barnsley FC bracing themselves for 'significant' financial losses amid Covid-19 shutdown

BARNSLEY chief executive Dane Murphy has addressed supporters in an open letter and stressed that the Reds are bracing themselves for significant losses which could 'severely impact' upon their future as they grapple with the financial fall-out of the Covid-19 crisis which has closed down football.

Oakwell.

Like all EFL clubs, Barnsley are preparing for an extended spell of games being played without supporters when football does finally resume and expect to take a big hit to their finances in the coming months.

Murphy said: "This pandemic hit the British economy hard. Football has not been exempted. BFC can forecast and budget for specific eventualities, but this is a sight unseen.

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"Even the most fiscally responsible have to adjust when all revenue streams instantly dry up.

"To help withstand the immediate impact of the pandemic, we utilised the Government’s Job Retention Scheme and temporarily paused operations. Staff have continued to receive all of their expected salary.

"We have some outstanding personnel, who work tirelessly at Oakwell. I thank them for their continued understanding and support.

"Ordinarily at this time, the club would be selling tickets and hospitality packages for the 2020/21 season. This makes up a significant percentage of our annual revenue.

"With our community at the forefront of planning, a collective decision was made in March to postpone the ‘on-sale date’ until clarity on the return of football was received.

"However, we are now faced with the reality of a return to football without supporters in stadia meaning BFC may have to operate without season ticket sales and matchday revenue for the foreseeable future.

"For our club, the losses are significant and could severely impact our future. This predicament naturally presents a huge challenge and again, raises more questions.

"How do we remain sustainable long term? How does BFC maintain the financial structure that has placed it ahead of its counterparts?

"There are countless variables to consider. Our board and senior leadership are laborious in effort to provide solutions to hurdles created by this crisis. To plot our way forward, it’s going to be difficult. There is no easy answer.

"As I’ve repeatedly told our staff, we’re a special club. Together, we will get through this."

Meanwhile, Murphy has stated that the club are following all health and safety guidelines ahead of a potential return to training later this month for their players, if the English Football League gets the green light to resume its operations.

Player safety and well-being represents a primary concern, he confirmed.

Murphy said: "The health of our staff has remained paramount throughout the enforced isolation.

"Although the club has yet to receive a positive COVID-19 case from any member of the organisation, employee well-being will continue to be our primary focus.

"Especially as the British Government and English football look to transition from previous protocol.

"With the first team expecting to return to training in short order, we are working closely with Gerhard (Struber) and his staff to ensure all players feel comfortable coming back to the grounds.

"Leadership across the club are collaborating to implement relevant protocols to ensure the environment at Oakwell is safe for coaches and players."