Barnsley FC owner Paul Conway has heavily criticised the Home Office for the delay of visas for incoming Reds employees this summer – calling it ‘amateur hour’ and ‘a joke’ while saying the government favour big Premier League clubs.
The Reds have waited weeks for new Belgian strikers Obbi Oulare and Aaron Leya Iseka to be given visas, while similar issues have delayed the arrival of new chief executive Khaled Al-Ahmad.
Conway said: "We don't speak up much in the press but we do when things aren't right for Barnsley and English football – teams cheating, lack of rule enforcement. This is our next issue.
"Both of these players were cleared to play but, since we're in this post-Brexit bureaucracy, we don't know if we will get the visa in a couple of days, a week or a month. We send a player to Denmark, they get the visa the next day. Both players were approved to play in England weeks ago and we're caught the bureaucracy of the home office not having a standard procedure.
"Obbi had to wait in Belgium for 18 days. It's a joke, it's ludicrous. I don't understand this country. This is a big business and we pay a lot of money here in taxes.
"We have three sets of lawyers working on this and the Belgian government helping. Manchester United and Chelsea get players remarkably quickly, probably because they have better relationships with the Home Office than Barnsley.
"We should have a fixed procedure that, once you have all the paper work ready, you get the visa in a certain amount of days. It's something we're going to work on because foreign recruiting is a big part of Barnsley FC. There is definitely favouritism for bigger clubs. It has to be fixed."
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