Barnsley CEO Khaled El-Ahmad: Any fan protests will hurt the club and won't gain anything

BARNSLEY chief executive officer Khaled El-Ahmad has acknowledged that a lot of supporters have lost trust with the club's majority shareholders Pacific Media Group - but believes any sort of protests will hurt the club more than gaining anything.

El-Ahmad spoke to the club's Supporters' Trust in a question and answer session and said that the club hierarchy are aware of discontent from Reds fans towards them following a disastrous 2021-22 campaign - with many feeling increasing angry at the running of the club.

El-Ahmad commented: “I don’t think there should be any protests because it will hurt the club more than it will gain anything.

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“I have been part of organisations where they start throwing flares and the club gets points deductions and it also takes away from the team dynamic.

Oakwell, home of Barnsley FC

“It’s a free world but I am just saying that is not the way to do it.

“The owners already know how they feel.”

“If someone wants to buy at the right valuation, contact the owners. I don’t know if they will sell or not.

“Until someone comes in and buys whoever out, there is no solution. Even if they aren’t wanted, someone still has to buy them out.

“The owners are aware that a lot of fans have lost trust.

“I think it’s unfortunate. I get emails from people who will not come to Barnsley Football Club after 40 years. I find it surprising after two or three years of bad decisions.

“Whether the owners are liked or not, the club is still here, we are competing, we’re doing our best and they have put more money into the squad than last year. The salary cap has increased from last year. So they have invested.

“You can dislike the owner but still like and support the club."

Barnsley will lose around £7m in the event of relegation and only a miraculous turn of events is likely to rescue the Reds' desperate Championship campaign, which has seen them win twice in 24 league matches and see them retain their second-tier status.

El-Ahmed confirmed that relegation clauses have been inserted in a number of player deals and should the Reds drop into League One - as seems likely - it promises to be a testing close-season.

But he has stressed that the club won't be in financial trouble.

“Whether it’s relegation clauses or player sales there will be a lot of adjustments if that (relegation) happens," he said.

“When and if that happens, a lot will be dictated by what happens in the summer in.

“I don’t think there is any long-term risk to the future of Barnsley Football Club.

“We have to make money and we have to figure out a way to do that by adjusting the wages or selling players.

“(But) We’re not in a situation where Barnsley is not going to exist.”