Published on November 19th, 2015 | by Paul Gallagher in Barnsley FC News Meetings With BFC News


Meeting with Patrick Cryne and Ben Mansford Part 1

On Friday 13th November, members of the BFCST board met with Patrick Cryne and Ben Mansford for full, frank and honest discussions regarding the current plight of Barnsley Football Club. In advance of the meeting we were asked to provide the main questions our members wanted answers or clarity on to ensure we got the most out of the two hours plus we spent with them. These questions focused on current form, recruitment, future plans, and ownership of the club. Patrick kindly provided a written response to these which can be found here but also spoke in great length and with passion about these points raised which will be form another report.

Here is Patrick’s written response:

Current Form

Like all fans I am distressed by the team’s current form.  Early in the season our team showed some promise, but more latterly, particularly with the injuries, we have fallen away badly.  Everyone on the Board knows that the large number of consecutive defeats is unacceptable.  The manager has been given the remit to strengthen the team and the recruitment of Adam Hammill and Ivan Toney are part of that process.  We expect further additions.

The Head Coach picks the players, the team, playing formation etc.  Neither the Board, nor me, nor anyone connected with me interferes in these matters.


If Lee Johnson has stated that he needs experienced “blokes” then no doubt he will seek to identify them for recruitment.  Adam Hammill clearly fits that bill.  Recruiting players with experience is difficult, because they inevitably have choice of destination and high salary demands.  Nevertheless, we accept that challenge.

The recruitment policy is twofold.  We need to recruit young players into the academy, U21s and U18s who have development potential in order that we can trade in the transfer market in due course.  Loanees who might transfer to us having proved themselves are also candidates.  But we also need to balance this with experienced players.  In this latter regard we have been unsuccessful so far, but we continue with this aim.

Certainly, we do not want people at Barnsley that are just here for their last payday.  They have to be capable of making a difference on the pitch.

We will seek to recruit in the January transfer window.


I have said throughout all my recent meetings with fans that it is time for me to leave.  It is not the cost of my involvement that has driven my decision.  The weight of unending criticism, much of which is deserved, is a burden that I no longer have the physical, emotional or mental resources to absorb with resilience.  I intend to publish my intentions to the wider fan base in due course.

Head Coach

There is nothing sinister in this designation.  It was intended that Lee Johnson should focus on a coaching role with the first team rather than the broader administrative remit that often attaches to the designation of a manager.  It was about focus and taking the pressure off him, nothing more.


To my knowledge no one ever promised a top six finish.  Certainly, the early bird was intended to balance the interests of fans with the need to have an indication of how we stood in relation to SCMP.  The early bird was a good deal for fans in terms of pricing.

Yes.  I still put significant sums of money into the club to bridge the gap between what we earn and our expenditure on payroll and stadium operating costs.  The annual accounts show the order of magnitude.  We are just about to publish our accounts for the year we were relegated from the Championship.  We have major items of expenditure that are not covered by the income we generate, for example, the operation of a Category 2 Academy of over £500,000 and police costs which are approaching £200,000 per annum.

The Board

The Board is not responsible for footballing matters in playing terms.  Manager’s contracts usually provide for them to have final decisions on recruitment (subject to agreed budgets) and team selection.  It has always been the case in my time at Barnsley FC.  Lee Johnson has the same contractual provisions irrespective of his job title.  If Lee Johnson believes he requires advisory support the Board will support that.  It is not appropriate for the Board to impose it upon him.

Patrick – 13.11.15

Part 2 detailing our meeting drilling into these and other items will be available shortly

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