08/10/2021 - Oakwell Community Assets Limited (OCAL)  - response to the closure of the West Stand at Oakwell

The Council inspected the ground on behalf of Oakwell Community Assets Limited (OCAL) as the landlord on 21 September 2021 and found the physical infrastructure (including the West Stand) perfectly safe to host professional football and accommodate fans in all areas to the capacity set out in the current Safety Certificate. The club didn't raise any concerns during this visit.

The Safety Advisory Group also undertakes pre-season and in-season inspections to ensure concerns around safety management are addressed. They have recommended a range of remedial measures that the club should action to meet their responsibilities as tenants, but there are no current concerns about the physical infrastructure at the ground.

In 2003, the Council stepped up to save the club and help secure its future. The Council has a direct interest in Barnsley Football Club through a 50 per cent shareholding in Oakwell Community Assets Limited (OCAL), a joint venture partnership with the Cryne family. OCAL owns the stadium and surrounding land.

OCAL aspires to make sure Barnsley has a professional football club for the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the borough. We're somewhat surprised and disappointed for the supporters at the decision that Barnsley Football Club have taken to close the West Stand, and we urge them to make their desired improvements and get the fans back in as soon as possible.

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