Barnsley FC.svg
Full nameBarnsley Football Club
Nickname(s)The Tykes, the Colliers, the Reds[1]
Founded1887; 135 years ago (1887)
OwnerBarnsley FC investment Ltd
ChairmanNeerav Parekh
ManagerMichael Duff
LeagueEFL League One
2021–22EFL Championship, 24th of 24 (relegated)
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Barnsley Football Club is a professional association football club based in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England, which plays in the Championship, the second tier of English football, and will compete in the EFL League One in the 2022–23 season following their relegation. Nicknamed "the Tykes", they were founded in 1887 by Reverend Tiverton Preedy. The club's colours were originally blue, but were changed to red and white in 1904. Their home ground since 1888 has been Oakwell.

Barnsley won the FA Cup in 1912 and were runners-up in 1910. The club won the 2016 Football League Trophy, beating Oxford United 3–2 in the final, and the 2016 Football League play-offs, beating Millwall 3–1 in the final. Barnsley have spent more seasons and played more games at the second level of English football than any other team.[3][4]

In 2017, a majority stake in the club was sold to a consortium led by Chien Lee of NewCity Capital, Paul Conway of Pacific Media Group and joined by Indian businessman Neerav Parekh and baseball player and executive Billy Beane. Barnsley's rivals include fellow Yorkshire clubs Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United and Leeds United as their biggest rivals, with Huddersfield Town and Rotherham United also considered as rivals.[5]


Main article: History of Barnsley F.C.

Beginnings and FA Cup glory

Barnsley were established in 1887 as "Barnsley St Peter's" by a clergyman, Tiverton Preedy, and played in the Sheffield and District League from 1890 and then in the Midland League from 1895. In 1897, the club dropped "St Peter's" from its name to become simply Barnsley. They joined the Football League in 1898, and struggled in the Second Division for the first decade, due in part to ongoing financial difficulties. In 1910, the club reached the FA Cup final, where they lost out to Newcastle United in a replay match. In 1912, they reached the FA Cup final again, and defeated West Bromwich Albion 1–0 after a replay to win the trophy for the first time in their history. When league football restarted after the First World War, the 1919–20 season brought some significant changes to the league. The principal difference was that the First Division would be increased from 20 teams to 22. The bottom team from the previous season was Tottenham Hotspur and they were relegated. The first extra place in the First Division went to Chelsea, who retained their place despite finishing second bottom and therefore in the relegation places. Derby County and Preston North End were promoted from the Second Division which left one place to be filled.

Having finished the previous season's Second Division in third place (1914–15), Barnsley expected to achieve First Division status for the first time, but the Football League instead chose to call a ballot of the clubs. The League voted to promote sixth-placed Arsenal, for reasons of history over merit; Sir Henry Norris, the then Arsenal chairman, argued that Arsenal be promoted for their "long service to league football", having been the first League club from the South.[6] It has been alleged that this was due to backroom deals or even outright bribery by Sir Henry Norris, colluding with his friend John McKenna, the chairman of Liverpool and the Football League, who recommended Arsenal's promotion at the AGM.[7] No conclusive proof of wrongdoing has come to light, though other aspects of Norris's financial dealings unrelated to the promotion controversy have fuelled speculation on the matter; Norris resigned as chairman and left the club in 1929, having been found guilty by the Football Association of financial irregularities; he was found to have misused his expenses account, and to have pocketed the proceeds of the sale of the Arsenal team bus.[8]

Pre-war and post-war era

The club did however come close to reaching the top division in the early years. In 1921–22, they missed out on promotion by goal difference. During the years preceding and following the Second World War, the club found themselves sliding between the Second and Third Division. In 1949, the club signed Danny Blanchflower from Glentoran, and he impressed at Oakwell that two years later he was signed by First Division side Aston Villa, later signing for Tottenham Hotspur and being voted FWA Player of the Year twice, as well as being the captain of the 20th century's first league and cup double winning team in 1960–61. [9] Around the time of Blanchflower's departure, a young centre-forward called Tommy Taylor broke into the Barnsley team, scoring 26 goals in 44 games for Barnsley. In April 1953, he became one of the most expensive players in English football at the time when Matt Busby signed him for Manchester United for a fee of £29,999. Taylor went on to be a prolific goalscorer at the highest level over the next five years, winning two league titles and also scoring 16 times in 19 appearances for the England national football team, before losing his life in the Munich air disaster in February 1958.[10]

When the Northern and Southern sections of the Third Division were replaced by national Third and Fourth Divisions for the 1958–59 season, Barnsley were still in the Second Division, but went down to the Third Division at the end of that season. In 1965, Barnsley were relegated to the Football League Fourth Division for the first time, winning promotion three years later. They went down to the Fourth Division again in 1972, and this time stayed down for seven seasons, finally returning to the Third Division in 1979. Two years later, they went up again and quickly established themselves as a decent Second Division side throughout the 1980s, although they still failed to clinch that elusive First Division place, despite the introduction of the play-offs in the second half of the decade, which gave teams finishing as low as fifth and eventually sixth the chance of winning promotion.[11]

Division One and the Premier League

Manager Danny Wilson guided Barnsley to the Premier League in 1996–97.
Manager Danny Wilson guided Barnsley to the Premier League in 1996–97.

For the 1994–95 season, Barnsley turned to midfielder Danny Wilson to manage the club. His first season brought a sixth-place finish in the First Division, which would normally have meant a play-off place, but a restructuring of the league meant that they missed out. They finished 10th a year later before finally emerging as serious promotion contenders in the 1996–97 season, finally clinching runners-up spot and automatic promotion and gaining the top flight place that they had spent 99 years trying to win. Barnsley lasted just one season in the Premier League but they did reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, defeating Manchester United in the fifth round. They also made their record signing that season with Gjorgji Hristov for £2 million. Wilson then departed to take over at Sheffield Wednesday, being succeeded as Barnsley manager by striker John Hendrie, who had been a key player in the promotion-winning team. Barnsley were the only team from outside the Premier League to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in the 1998–99 season, but only finished 13th in the league. Hendrie was then replaced as manager by Dave Bassett, who rejuvenated the team and took them to fourth place in 1999–2000. The team lost in the play-off final to Ipswich Town, the last play-off final at Wembley before the stadium was closed for redevelopment.[12]

Mixed fortunes in the 21st century

The team were relegated to the Second Division in 2002; administration threatened the existence of the club as Barnsley suffered greatly due to the ITV Digital crisis. A late purchase by Barnsley's then mayor, Peter Doyle, saved the club from folding. In 2006, the side won in the play-off final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, where they beat Swansea City 4–3 on penalties to earn promotion to the Championship. The manager at this time was Andy Ritchie, who was in his first season in charge after replacing Paul Hart. The team struggled in their first season back in the Championship. In November 2006, with Barnsley in the relegation zone, Ritchie was sacked in favour of Simon Davey, who managed to steer the team away from relegation in the second half of the season, and the eventually finished 20th. The following season, Barnsley reached the semi-final of the FA Cup, beating Premier League side Liverpool 2–1 at Anfield and defending champions Chelsea 1–0; the team lost 1–0 against fellow Championship side Cardiff City at Wembley in the semi-final. In October 2008, the club fielded the youngest player in the Football League's history when Reuben Noble-Lazarus came on against Ipswich Town aged 15 years and 45 days.[13]

Barnsley ended the 2011–12 season as one of only two football clubs to turn a profit in the Championship; they stayed up only because Portsmouth were given a 10-point deduction for going into administration. In 2016, Barnsley won the Football League Trophy after a 3–2 win against Oxford United.[14] They gained promotion to the Championship following a 3–1 win over Millwall in the play-off final later that season.[15] In September 2016, Barnsley were caught up in an ongoing scandal in English football, with assistant manager Tommy Wright alleged to have accepted "bungs" in exchange for working as an ambassador for a third-party player ownership consortium. Wright was initially suspended before being sacked by Barnsley.[16]

New ownership

Barnsley owners Chien Lee and Paul Conway at Oakwell
Barnsley owners Chien Lee and Paul Conway at Oakwell

In December 2017, Patrick Cryne and his family sold an 80% stake in the club to NewCity Capital's Chien Lee and Pacific Media Group's Paul Conway; they were joined by Indian investor Neerav Parekh and former baseball player Billy Beane, as part of the international investor consortium.[17][18] Barnsley were relegated to the third tier in 2017–18;[19] afterwards. the new owners used a data approach to identify talents, focusing on young players and team rebuilding.[20] The club appointed Daniel Stendel as head coach,[21] who played high pressing football; Barnsley were promoted back to the Championship the following season.[22] In the 2019–20 season, under new coach Gerhard Struber,[23] Barnsley avoided relegation from the Championship.[24] In 2020–21, under the management of Valérien Ismaël, Barnsley finished in fifth place and made it to the EFL Championship Play-offs for the first time in 24 years, with the youngest squad and one of the smallest budgets in the league.[25] The Wall Street Journal called Barnsley a "Moneyball experiment".[26]

Prior to the 2021–22 season, Markus Schopp was revealed as the new head coach.[27] In November 2021, Schopp was sacked after a run of seven straight defeats.[28] Three weeks later Poya Asbaghi was appointed as the new head coach.[29] Fortunes improved little as Barnsley were relegated from the 2021–22 EFL Championship following a 2–1 defeat against Huddersfield Town.[30] Asbaghi left the club by mutual consent shortly afterwards.[31]

In May 2022, it was revealed that Pacific Media Group did not actually own all the shares they claimed to own, and were simply a nominee for a group of investors who owned 20% of the club. As a result, the new ownership of the club is now understood to be split between Chien Lee the largest shareholder (31%), Indian businessman Neerav Parekh (21%), the five investors including and represented by Julie Anne Quay (20%), the Cryne family (20%) and Conway’s company Pacific Media Group (8%). Paul Conway, Chien Lee, Grace Hung and Dickson Lee left the board of Barnsley Football Club, and replaced by Jean Cryne and Julie Anne Quay.[32]


Main article: Oakwell

The stadium's name, Oakwell, originates from the well and oak tree that were on the site when first built. Oakwell is a multi-purpose sports development in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, used primarily by the club for playing its home fixtures, and its reserves. While the name 'Oakwell' generally refers to the main stadium, it also includes several neighbouring venues which form the facilities of the Barnsley academy – an indoor training pitch, a smaller stadium with seating on the south and west sides for around 2,200 spectators, and several training pitches used by the different Barnsley squads. Until 2003, the stadium and the vast amount of land that surrounds it was owned by Barnsley themselves; however, after falling into administration in 2002 the council purchased the main Oakwell Stadium to allow the club to pay its creditors and remain participants in the Football League.[33]


According to a survey, 'The League of Love and Hate' conducted in August 2019, Barnsley supporters named fellow Yorkshire clubs Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United and Leeds United as their biggest rivals, with Huddersfield Town and Rotherham United following.[5]

Colours and strip

Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
1976–1977 Litesome
1977–1979 Admiral
1979–1980 Umbro
1980–1981 Taits
1981–1984 Hayselden
1984–1986 Brooklands Hotel
1986–1988 Lowfields Sandal Bayern
1988–1989 Intersport Lyons Cakes
1989–1991 Beaver International Shaw Carpets
1991–1993 Gola Hayselden
1993–1994 Pelada
1994–1995 ORA
1995–2000 Admiral
2000–2001 Big Thing
2001–2002 iSoft
2002–2003 Red Flag
2003–2004 Vodka Kick
2004–2005 Koala
2005–2007 Jako Barnsley Building Society
2007–2008 Surridge Wake Smith
2008–2011 Lotto Barnsley Building Society
2011–2014 Nike C.K. Beckett
2014–2015 Avec
2015–2019 Puma
2019–2022 The Investment Room


Home strip

Barnsleys home shirt in the 1997–98 Premier League season
Barnsleys home shirt in the 1997–98 Premier League season

Barnsley have played their home games in red shirts for most of their history. The only exception to this is the period 1887–1901, where it is speculated that the team first wore blue shirts with claret arms, then circa 1890 the team wore chocolate and white stripes, before moving on to blue and white stripes around 1898. The team first wore red shirts in 1901.[34] Since this time, the team have worn red shirts often with a white trim, although in more recent times a black trim has sometimes been used. As with most football clubs the shirt design varies from season to season. One particular design that stands out is the 1989–90 season shirt which featured white stars on a red background and has been named as one of the worst shirts ever.[35] Manufacturers logos were added to the shirt in 1976–77, while sponsors were first added in the 1980–81 season.[citation needed]

Away strip

Barnsley's away shirt in the 1998–99 season
Barnsley's away shirt in the 1998–99 season

The club's away strip (used for away or cup fixtures where there is a clash of colours) differs from season to season but usually follows the design of the season's home strip with a variation on the colours. The most common colour for the away shirt has been white but many others have been used, including blue, yellow, black, ecru, dark green and even black and blue stripes. One notable away strip was the 2001–02 "Its just like watching Brazil" kit, where the team wore the colours of the five-time World Cup winners Brazil for their away games.[36]


Current squad

As of 4 August 2022[37]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK England ENG Jack Walton
2 DF England ENG Jordan Williams
4 MF Hungary HUN Callum Styles
5 DF England ENG Liam Kitching
6 DF Denmark DEN Mads Andersen (captain)
7 MF Scotland SCO Nicky Cadden
8 MF England ENG Herbie Kane
9 FW England ENG James Norwood
10 MF England ENG Josh Benson
11 FW Belgium BEL Aaron Leya Iseka
15 DF England ENG Jasper Moon
16 MF England ENG Luke Thomas
18 MF England ENG Joe Ackroyd
19 FW England ENG Aiden Marsh
No. Pos. Nation Player
20 GK New Zealand NZL Jamie Searle
21 DF Republic of Ireland IRL Conor McCarthy
22 MF Kenya KEN Clarke Oduor
23 MF Republic of Ireland IRL William Hondermarck
24 DF England ENG Robbie Cundy
27 FW Scotland SCO Jack Aitchison
30 DF Poland POL Michał Helik
32 DF England ENG Jason Sraha
33 MF England ENG Matty Wolfe
40 GK England ENG Bradley Collins
44 FW England ENG Devante Cole
48 MF Republic of Ireland IRL Luca Connell
FW Serbia SRB Slobodan Tedić (on loan from Manchester City)

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
58 FW Belgium BEL Obbi Oularé (on loan at RWD Molenbeek)


As of 4 July 2022[38]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
34 FW England ENG David Bremang
38 DF England ENG Jordan Helliwell
39 DF Israel ISR Amir Ariely
43 DF England ENG Charlie Winfield
45 DF England ENG Kareem Hassan-Smith
50 MF England ENG Will Lancaster
No. Pos. Nation Player
51 GK England ENG Kieran Flavell
52 FW Australia AUS Angus Chapman
53 DF England ENG Daniel Benson
56 MF England ENG Keegan Hartley
57 MF England ENG Harrison Nejman
- FW Lithuania LTU Tomas Kalinauskas


As of 4 July 2022[39]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
DF England ENG Matty Doyle
DF England ENG Alex Joof
DF England ENG Luis Lacey
DF England ENG Josh McKay
DF England ENG Kynan Murchison
DF England ENG Hayden Pickard
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF England ENG Theo Chapman
MF England ENG Charlie Hickingbottom
MF England ENG Jean Claude Makiessi
FW England ENG Alex Anaman
FW England ENG Mylan Benjamin
FW England ENG Josiah Dyer


As of May 2022.[40]

Ownership structure


First team staff

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Barnsley F.C. managers from 1898 to present

Player of the season

Year Winner
1970 England Johnny Evans
1971 England Les Lea
1972 England Barry Murphy
1973 England Eric Winstanley
1974 England Mick Butler
1975 Scotland Bobby Doyle
1976 England Kenny Brown
1977 England Brian Joicey
1978 Republic of Ireland Mick McCarthy
1979 Republic of Ireland Mick McCarthy
Year Winner
1980 Scotland Ronnie Glavin
1981 Republic of Ireland Mick McCarthy
1982 England Trevor Aylott
1983 Scotland Ronnie Glavin
1984 England Andy Rhodes
1985 England Paul Futcher
1986 England Clive Baker
1987 England Stuart Gray
1988 England Paul Cross
1989 England Paul Futcher
Year Winner
1990 England Steve Agnew
1991 England Brendan O'Connell
1992 England Mark Smith
1993 Northern Ireland Gary Fleming
1994 England Neil Redfearn
1995 Northern Ireland Danny Wilson
1996 Netherlands Arjan de Zeeuw
1997 Scotland John Hendrie
1998 England Ashley Ward
1999 England Craig Hignett
Year Winner
2000 England Chris Morgan
2001 England Kevin Miller
2002 England Bruce Dyer
2003 England Bruce Dyer
2004 England Antony Kay
2005 England Chris Shuker
2006 Republic of Ireland Nick Colgan
2007 England Brian Howard
2008 England Stephen Foster
2009 England Bobby Hassell
Year Winner
2010 Argentina Hugo Colace
2011 England Jason Shackell
2012 England Luke Steele
2013 England David Perkins
2014 England Chris O'Grady
2015 Republic of Ireland Conor Hourihane
2016 England Adam Hammill
2017 England Marc Roberts
2018 Scotland Oli McBurnie
2019 Jamaica Ethan Pinnock
Year Winner
2020 England Alex Mowatt
2021 Poland Michał Helik
2022 England Brad Collins

Source: Barnsley F.C.


Chart of table positions of Barnsley in the Football League
Chart of table positions of Barnsley in the Football League


Football League Championship and predecessors (tier 2)

Football League One and predecessors (tier 3)

Football League Two and predecessors (tier 4)


FA Cup

Football League Trophy


Club records

Barnsley have spent more seasons and played more games at the second level of English football than any other team.[44][45]


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