Barnsley On The Money(ball)

Barnsley’s anticipated takeover is edging ever closer to completion and could be signed and sealed by the end of next week.

As revealed in mid August a consortium led by Chinese billionaire and Nice owner Chien Lee are interested in buying current owner Patrick Cryne’s shares as he battles with terminal cancer. Now it seems the deal is almost over the line and it will be fronted by the man who invented the Moneyball concept Billy Beane.

Back in 2002, Beane who was general manager of the American baseball side Oakland Athletics based his club’s signings on analytical, evidence based statistics rather than a scouting network and despite their disadvantaged revenue situation (their wage bill was $44m compared to the New York Yankees $125m) he guided them to the play-offs in 2002 and 2003.

The success of this policy meant it was turned into a movie called Moneyball in 2013 and Beane was played by A-lister Brad Pitt. This concept interests Barnsley as they have initiated a similar policy of signing young up and coming players from the lower leagues for modest fees and then selling them on to higher Championship and Premier League outfits for a handsome profit.

Now this consortium which also includes American businessman Paul Conway are all but ready to pay £20m for Cryne’s 98% stake and Beane will have a seat on the board.