The return of Championship football will have been met with delight by most sports fans but, for Barnsley supporters, there will be mixed feelings. Rooted to the bottom of the table, the club looks to have avoided a temporary reprieve that may have come into effect had the 2019/20 season been declared null and void.

A relegation scrap will now recommence until such time as The Tykes are mathematically stranded in the drop zone. With that in mind, the club has already started to look towards the following campaign which may well start in League One.

Barnsley’s Chances

It’s not impossible for Barnsley to escape relegation but it does seem unlikely that they will survive. As the bottom of the table side, Gerhard Struber’s men are a short odds on bet to be relegated, according to current football betting markets.

One small piece of encouragement lies in the fact that second from bottom Luton Town were the hot favourites to go down. With nine games to go, following the break, there are 27 points to play for, but The Tykes are seven points from safety and that gap resembles a chasm at this late stage of the campaign.

Banking Bailout

It was reported at the start of June that Barnsley had proposed that a special, one-off payment be made to any club that suffers relegation from the Championship at the end of 2019/20. Failing that, calls remain for relegation to be scrapped altogether. The report goes on to claim that the size of the parachute payment should be equivalent to that of one year’s television revenue. The concerns are shared by other clubs such as Queens Park Rangers, and this is one way in which Barnsley FC are preparing for the new campaign.

Playing Personnel

With the summer transfer window yet to open, there is little in the way of reports relating to potential arrivals and departures at Oakwell. One piece of confirmed news relates to the Under 18s where Rudi Pache has signed a new contract. The 17-year-old had stepped up to the Under 23s and was playing an impressive role for Martin Devaney before injury struck.

Pache is receiving glowing reports and, if Barnsley were to find themselves in League One next season, the defender could be set for a first-team debut.

Any talk beyond that confirmed story is mere speculation but Tykes fans will certainly be interested in the future of Killian Ludewig. A loan signing from Red Bull Salzburg, the German Under 18 International defender made nine appearances for Barnsley prior to the break.

Gerhard Struber knows the player well as a former player and coach at Red Bull and, as long as the club keeps its faith with the man who was appointed in November 2019, the chances of Ludewig playing at Oakwell next season are strong.

For the moment, it’s all about trying to survive but, clearly Barnsley are already making plans for next season. Those plans are, however, very much dependent on the remaining games of 2019/20.
For anyone out there who has had any training in the art of business negotiation, the power of silence is one of the golden rules. The ability to remind yourself to simply ‘shut up’ at key points in a conversation forces the opposite party to fill the empty space for you. Often, giving away key information that might ultimately help you to close the deal.

Well, what’s the deal with the fans of Barnsley Football Club?

The owners have shown shocking regard to the supporters in regard to their feedback of late. Whilst it’s appreciated that the club will remain prudent in their activities, to ensure that our club is both profitable and secure, we don’t appear to have an Evangelist who is inspiring us to reach a medium or long term goal. Instead we simply get a positive report that the players have trained well and are ready for the next game.

In that case, it is for us (the fans) to fill the vacuum of silence. It doesn’t sound positive. 

12 months ago, it was an altogether different sound. The Reds were on the march to possible promotion, with a team that could blossom in England’s second division. Nobody expected anything more than survival this term. Now we look like a team who will struggle in League One (the third tier).

STFU for now. Hoping for more noise at the other side of the table.