To all of the first team squad at Barnsley Football Club, whether on permanent contracts or loan, I am writing to express my disappointment, anger and disgust at what have consistently been heartless, spineless and characterless performances across the season.

I have been a season ticket holder at this club for six years, and have lived in this town since birth. Of course, many of the supporters within the stands at Oakwell will have been attending games for much longer, and to those that continually pass on their hard earned cash to this club, in good times and bad, I can only salute.

I am not blinkered as a fan to think that this club should have a divine right to even have a place in the Championship, let alone challenge at the top end of the table as I’m sure all supporters would love. I am a realist. I know that we are not the richest club, and certainly not the most glamorous. We cannot afford the most expensive squad in the division, and clearly, that translates into being unable to afford players with the ability to challenge at the upper end of the table. However, what is inexcusable, is a set of players that cannot put in an honest 90 minutes’ worth of performance in a football match.

You are a privileged few, in a town where many can only dream of the kind of wages you continue to pick up every week, yet you appear to be inept at applying yourselves at your job. I honestly do not care if we cannot afford the kind of player that can carve defences open and score a hattrick every game, but what I do care about is when a set of players are blatant in their carelessness about this club, this town, and its inhabitants.

As I have said before, Barnsley is certainly not the most glamorous place on the earth (although I should note there are far worse), but whether you like this town or not, whether you feel connected to its people or not, you have a responsibility to them. What is more, within the situation we find ourselves in as a club, you have a responsibility for people’s jobs other than your own, and possibly have your own livelihood to think about.

Whether or not you care about the others that may lose their jobs, and the people that pay your wages, week in, week out, have you no pride in yourselves? Do you care so little about Barnsley as a town and as your employer, that you are quite willing to jog on to the next club that comes along that is foolish enough to part physical cash for your ineptitude? Do you not even care that in being relegated, you will know inside yourself that you personally could have done better?

As I have said before, I am a realist. I do not boo. I do not jeer. I attend every game I can, and travel from Lancaster at every opportunity to do so. Many fans will travel even more miles than I do to see their team. Of course I find myself in a very lucky position that I can afford to do so, as I know many are not so lucky to be able to afford to attend games, despite the fact that many of them will work ludicrous hours in a mere attempt to put food on their table; whilst you drive around in your fancy cars and trot around in your fancy boots despite the fact that you wouldn’t know what an honest days’ work was if hit you in gonads.

I know that we do not have a team with the passing ability of Barcelona, or the flair of Brazil, but this town deserves more. You as players at this club are central to the town, and should be representative of the hard working values and industriousness on which it is built. Instead you have no heart, no desire, and no pride.

To me, your ability is irrelevant. I have seen many players at Oakwell who are not as naturally gifted as some of you, but by no means are they the worst that have ever played for this club, as they at least had some pride in their work. Indeed I do not speak to all of you in that dressing room, as I believe that some of you do care, and it is quite obvious who those individuals are, as they will come over to signal their appreciation for the support, win, lose or draw. In fact, in the case of Stephen Dawson, I would like to extend an apology on the behalf of the fans who personally abused you, as you were not responsible for the performance on that day, and at least came to take your medicine and thank those who put food on your table.

As I have said, I do not boo, I do not jeer, and I most certainly do not give up. I will be at Oakwell for every game I possibly can, and travel to all the away games I can reach, as will many of our dedicated fans. If our fate is to be relegation, then so be it, but at least, please, restore some pride into this club.

I wish you all the best for the rest of the season, and cling onto the very hope that despite all that has occurred, there is a chance of staying up this season. But that will only happen if you give an honest account of yourselves, which is all we ask for.


A very disappointed supporter

Edit: as a note, I do not hide behind this post. I am more than open to debate with anyone and welcome it. I don't take for granted that people will disagree with me, and do not think what I say is necessarily gospel. If you wish to debate what I've said, please get in touch through the comments below, or my Twitter: @MichaelRoach55

Thanks to those who have read and retweeted this, and also thanks for your support!
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