League One outfit Barnsley FC name former York City Knights chairman as the club's new permanent chief executive officer

JON FLATMAN has been named as the new permanent chief executive officer at League One promotion contenders Barnsley.

The former York Knights chairman took over in an interim capacity following the departure of Khaled El-Ahmad to MLS outfit Minnesota United in December.On his full-time appointment, Flatman said: "To be asked to be CEO of this historic football club is an incredible honour.

"We are a club at the heart of the town and it has never been more important for us to give back to and create a future for the supporters who have stood behind us in recent years.

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"There is a lot of hard work to come and there will be some new faces around the building who will work alongside Rob Zuk, Mladen Sormaz and the rest of the staff at Oakwell to help us achieve success both on and off the pitch.

Oakwell, home of Barnsley FC.Oakwell, home of Barnsley FC.
Oakwell, home of Barnsley FC.

"I am very honoured to have been given the support of Neerav (Parekh), Jean (Cryne), James (Cryne) and Julie Anne (Quay) and I am looking forward to the challenge."

Flatman has an impressive background in rugby league administration and was a senior figure in the 2021 Rugby League World Cup organising team.

In his time at York, he oversaw an impressive turnaround with the club on the brink of closure in 2016 before overseeing significant improvement on and off the field.

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He helped to co-ordinate to club's move to the LNER Community Stadium.

In his role at Barnsley, Flatman will focus on all operational aspects of the business, as opposed to football matters, which will be the remit of new sporting director Sormaz - who was appointed into the newly-created role early last month.

The Reds began the process of overhauling their day-to-day operational structure following the departure of El-Ahmed in mid-December - with chief revenue officer Flatman serving as acting chief executive after initially arriving at the club in early 2023.

Flatman has been involved in a variety of tasks since taking over the reins before Christmas, including the club submitting an application for a section of rail seating in the Pontefract Road End to provide a safe standing area at Oakwell.

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Chairman Parekh said. “Jon has a clear vision for how a modern football club should operate and he has driven a restructure that we believe will take the club forward in a more professional manner; as a board we are delighted that he has agreed to take the role permanently.

"His leadership over the past few months has been impressive.

"During his time as chief revenue officer, he was influential in both the new Oakwell lease with Barnsley Council and the partnership working with the community trust alongside improved and diversified commercial income.

"Since stepping into the role as CEO, the club have improved their active listening to the fan base and implemented the Fans Advisory Board and the move to safe standing.”