Barnsley's Chinese takeover by Chien Lee could have taken a step closer after chairman Maurice Watkins today stepped down from his position in charge.
Former Manchester United director Watkins has been the chairman at Oakwell since 2013, hired by owner Patrick Cryne to oversee day-to-day duties of the club.
During Watkins time at the helm Barnsley have suffered relegation to League One and been promoted back to the Championship whilst also securing the Johnstones Paint Trophy.
Just under a fortnight ago it was revealed that Barnsley were in talks with Chinese billionaire Chien Lee over a takeover of the club, with Cryne retaining a small amount and now this looks like it may have moved forward significantly with Watkins stepping down which would allow Lee to appoint his own man before completing his purchase.
The club is yet to confirm or deny this with only Watkins stating today:
"It was just over four years ago that the owner Patrick Cryne asked me to become chairman of the board of directors. I have now decided the time is right to move on and I wish the club, the players, the fans, and the board every success for the future."