TODAY at 7pm, Barnsley FC agreed to loan Brian Howard to Sheffield United with a view to a permanent move when the transfer window opens.

As stated on Monday, this development follows confirmation by Brian Howard that he does not wish to discuss a new contract with the club and wishes to move on to a new football challenge. Further to our statement on Tuesday, the club has now received a formal response from Brian Howard's agent that their client does not wish to consider any alternative offers that might be put to him from other clubs and wishes only to join Sheffield United.

Given the intense amount of speculation about this matter, although unusual, it is appropriate to make a number of statements relating to this matter.

The club has agreed a loan fee of £200K for the services of Brian Howard and a further £300K will be paid when his transfer is completed in due course. Other improved conditional payments have been agreed based on Sheffield United's original offer, including sell-on arrangements. It has also been agreed between the clubs that Brian Howard will not play against Barnsley FC in the period of his loan to Sheffield United.

When Brian Howard signed on a free transfer from Swindon, he became the highest paid player at the club at that time. When he signed his last contract at the club on July 1, 2007, he became the highest paid player at the club at that time. In the event that Brian Howard had agreed to enter negotiations for a new contract, the Board were prepared to make him the highest paid player to-day.

There has been speculation that Barnsley FC had previously turned down offers from other clubs during the summer. This is categorically untrue. With the exception of two offers made this week, no other club throughout Brian Howard's entire career with Barnsley FC has ever made an offer for him.

There has also been speculation that the manager Simon Davey has had a fall-out with Brian. This is simply untrue. Simon has always had the highest regard for Brian as a player and a captain and has played him in every match this season until it was confirmed by the player directly that he was irrevocably committed to moving on.

Brian Howard has been an outstanding player for Barnsley FC over recent seasons and we wish him well for the future. However, the well-being of Barnsley FC going forward is always the top priority and we invite the fans to move forward and get behind the current team in our campaign in the Championship.
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Ian Wilkinson

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