Barnsley FC respond to Barnsley Council over their surprise and disappointment at the closure of Oakwell's West Stand

Barnsley FC have responded to the local council's disappointment surrounding the closure of Oakwell's West Stand insisting that shutting down access to the facility is the best course of action.

The 4,500 seats will remain closed until further notice, with around 1,000 season ticket holders to be relocated after safety issues and crowd management concerns were cited as reasons to close the stand.

On Friday, the Council - who jointly own Oakwell along with the Cryne family - who also still retain a 20 per cent shareholding in the club - said that their own inspections last month deemed Oakwell to be 'perfectly safe' to host professional football and accommodate supporters.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Council would go on to express their 'surprise and disappointment' over the decision but Barnsley have reiterated their reasoning for closing the stand.

A club statement read: "Barnsley FC have noted the recent comments of Barnsley Council/Oakwell Community Assets Limited and respectfully disagree with some of the observations that have been made.

"The decision to close the West Stand was based on numerous operating factors, as highlighted in Thursday’s statement. The club are ultimately responsible for public safety and are required to meet the terms of the safety certificate that has been granted by the local authority.

"The operational decision, in conjunction with advice from safety representatives, is the best course of action.

"The club have contacted relevant representatives at Barnsley Council to resolve the matter.

CLOSURE: For Barnsley's West Stand (right). Picture: Getty Images.

"With a Fan Engagement forum scheduled for October 21, local press meeting on October 22 and a supporter question and answer session on November 1, Barnsley FC Chief Executive Officer, Khaled El-Ahmad, will speak openly with all supporters and stakeholders across a number of topics. Until that time, no further comment will be made."

The Reds' next home game is a Yorkshire derby with Sheffield United on Sunday, October 24.The closure of the West Stand is the second ground issue to impact upon Barnsley in 2021-22.

Earlier this season, the club elected to reduce the capacity in the North Stand for visiting supporters to just over 2,000 due to ongoing issues surrounding the recruitment of matchday stewards. The facility holds around 5,000 fans.