Gerhard Struber hopes Barnsley’s relegation battle can be settled on the pitch and not in the courtroom. 

Co-owner Paul Conway has said the Reds are considering legal action if they are relegated but Birmingham City, Derby County or Sheffield Wednesday are allowed to start next season in the Championship with points deductions.  The Reds are understood to be one of several clubs who want teams to be punished this season for breaches of financial fair play rules.  Wednesday and the others were under threat of being docked points before the charges were dropped in March, but independent disciplinary hearings and appeals are underway. 

If those clubs were docked the nine or 12 points that had been mooted, then they may have joined the Reds in a relegation fight and increased the chances of Championship football at Oakwell next season.  

Head coach Struber told the Chronicle: “I have a responsiblity for my philosophy on the field. I hope we are successful on the field and not because of other clubs with financial fair play.” 

Speaking to sports website The Athletic, co-owner Conway said: “People seem to think little old Barnsley will follow the rules and not make a fuss. If we’ve been wronged as a result of the league not following its own rules, then it stands to reason that we’d go against the league and its TV money and ask them to pay us the difference in revenue. We think that’s fair and we hope it will benefit other clubs who follow the rules and try to develop young talent.

In Text Promo Image

“I’m an American and, in American sports, we self-regulate — if someone breaks the rules, they are cheating the rest of us and we take action. We went through this two years ago, when we were five minutes from staying up on the last day only for Bolton to win and go above us.  Everyone knew they were cheating the system and were hundreds of millions in debt. We decided not to do anything about it then but our attitude has changed. Relegation to League One cost us about £7 million in revenue.  If something like that happens again, we’ll make a claim and we think we’ll have a strong case.  “We’re not asking for a change in the rules. We are asking for the rules to be followed.”

Belgian club KV Oostende confirmed this week that Conway and fellow Reds co-owner Chien Lee were part of the consortium that has bought them.  Former Barnsley chief executive Gauthier Ganaye is being linked with a  move there.