Barnsley FC's West Stand to re-open in New Year

BARNSLEY have announced that the West Stand will re-open in the New Year in time for the Championship home game with Blackpool on January 15.

West Stand.

The 130-year-old facility has been closed to supporters since prior to the Sheffield United fixture on October 23, with the club stressing that the decision was made due to safety concerns and crowd management issues.

The move affected 1,000 season-ticket holders. A number have relocated to other parts of Oakwell, but some have asked for refunds

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The stand has remained operational on matchdays for members of the media.

Barnsley Council - who hold a fifty per cent stake in Oakwell with the Cryne family - expressed disappointment at the decision of the club to close the West Stand with immediate effect in late October following structural inspections and say that the facility passed an inspection by the local authority.

Chief executive officer Khaled El-Ahmad dismissed suggestions that the decision to close the West Stand was financially motivated and insists it was made purely made on safety grounds.

Following several open forums and consultations, the South West block of the stand - the part of the facility which operational to the right of the press box, will now re-open in the middle of next month following further remedial repairs.

From January, displaced supporters will be entitled to return to their West Stand seats, while there will be further updates 'relating to certain options' in the coming days.

On the update, El-Ahmad said: “A proposed re-opening was always a goal the club was working towards, and thanks to the hard work of our dedicated team, I’m pleased to say that this is now a reality.

“Whilst this impacted all supporters, I want to particularly thank those who have been displaced by the closure. Although we deemed it a necessity, those that I have met over the last months were understanding and supportive.”

The club remain in positive discussions with numerous stakeholders, including Barnsley Council, about further enhancements of Oakwell Stadium, a club statement added.