Barnsley FC - Why the Reds’ historic West Stand at Oakwell has had to close

Barnsley’s historic West Stand at Oakwell has been closed with immediate effect until further notice by the club following extensive structural inspections.

The historic West Stand at Barnsley's Oakwell ground. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA

Around 1,000 season ticket holders will be relocated, with impacted supporters having been contacted. No fans or directors will be permitted access to the facility but it will remain operational for visiting media on matchdays.

Remedial works are to be carried out on the stand, which opened 130 years ago. Safety issues and crowd management concerns have also been cited as reasons to close the stand.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Chief executive officer Khaled El-Ahmad said: “The safety and security of supporters and staff is of the utmost importance. I made a promise internally to staff and fans alike to be transparent regardless of how difficult the news is to share.

Barnsley's players applaud the fans with the West Stand behind them after the Championship play-off semi-final first leg game against Swansea City last season. Picture Bruce Rollinson

“The decision is purely based on a structural report and a number of West Stand specific crowd management challenges.

“With the history associated to the stand, in addition to the knowledge that a number of supporters have sat here for consecutive seasons, the club appreciates both the emotional and practical problems this decision brings.

“Please know that we have members of staff working tirelessly to implement solutions in time for our next home game.”

The situation is under review.

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.