Club Finally Release Statement on Robins

14 May 2011 10:55
But manager's future still very much in doubt Barnsley Football Club has finally released its own statement on the future of manager Mark Robins. On Thursday it was reported Robins had seen his contract terminated after a dispute with the board over transfer budgets. It now appears Robins has not been fired, but is set to leave the club after being told that Barnsley, like all Football League clubs, must cut costs to ensure they break even. The statement on reads: “Last week Barnsley Football Club's Board met with First Team Manager Mark Robins to discuss the Football League's proposals on football finance currently being considered by all Championship clubs. It is well documented that debt levels in the Championship are unacceptably high and unless clubs take significant action to change course the projected accumulated operating losses and resulting debt levels will treble over the next five years. Compounding the problem is the reduction of television revenue that clubs will receive commencing from the 2012/13 season (a reduction of £700K+). Pressure is being placed on all Championship clubs to work towards a break-even position. The Senior Management Team of the Football League has called a mandatory meeting of all Chairmen/ Chief Executive Officers of Championship Clubs for 19th May 2011 to discuss a paper already circulated. That paper includes proposals for the implementation of a break-even test and possible sanctions for those Championship clubs that fail the test in the future, which include player registration embargoes, a competition tax (by which clubs that fail the test pay into a pool for distribution to clubs that do not) and/or a simple fine system based on the amount by which a club fails the test.   The Barnsley FC Board has decided in principle that it supports the Football League in its efforts to require clubs to break-even, subject to the final details of the proposals and sanctions. It should be noted that the Barnsley FC accounts for the year about to end i.e. May 2011 would pass the break-even test as currently drafted by the Football League based on current TV-based revenues. It is in this context that Mark Robins attended the Board meeting last week to discuss ideas for our club to break-even going forward, particularly in light of reductions to future TV revenue from the 2012/13 season. The Board were of the view that: The club should reduce its use of high cost loan players in favour of recruiting players with development value; The club should review its current scouting arrangements and recruitment approach, including recruitment into the academy; The club should invest further in academy and scholar coaching for the best prospects; The cost and organisation structure of the club should be reviewed with a view to freeing up resources and cost to fund the above plans. These approaches are being followed by most Championship Clubs in the current economic climate. Mark Robins' response to the above proposals was that he needed time to consider the implications of the change of approach and whether he could work with it. After discussion the Board felt obliged to advise Mark that under the circumstances it was necessary for the club to mitigate its position by invoking the clause in his contract fixing the amount of compensation due to be paid should Mark Robins choose to leave, which appeared most likely from the discussion. The Board is aware of the speculation in the media regarding Mark Robins being on manager shortlists for other clubs, but to-date our club has not been approached. We are happy with Mark Robins as our manager and hope he will decide to stay and help us implement the changes needed to move our club forward on the playing field and within the constraints imposed by the Football League.   Footnote: Barnsley FC does not usually enter into discussion relating to the contractual matters of its staff, but has made this comment on the basis that the content disclosed has already been put in the public domain by others.”  If Robins does leave the club it will mean that Barnsley will be looking for their 10th permanent manager in 13 years. Last weekend 41 year old Robins became only the fifth manager since Danny Wilson to complete a full season in charge of the club, and if he leaves, it will mean NO manager has managed two full seasons in charge since Wilson left in 1998 after four years at the helm.