Barnsley co-chairman Paul Conway has revealed that he is keen to open talks with a number of Scottish clubs about a potential takeover.
Conway previously missed out on a deal for Scottish Championship Partick Thistle last year as a result of rules set up by the SFA to prevent dual ownership, with Conway also holding a stake in Swiss side FC Thun, alongside his stake in Barnsley.
However, with the financial problems that a number of clubs are now facing as a result of the current postponement of matches across the majority of the World, it is now thought that the SFA could be willing to relax those rules on dual ownership, something which appears to have caught the attention of Conway.
Speaking to the Daily Mail about the possibility of a fresh move for a team in Scotland following that update, Conway said: “We want to take this opportunity in the current environment to say to clubs in Scotland, we are open for business.
“We are hearing there might be more flexibility with regard to dual ownership, which might be a good thing during this difficult period for clubs.
“We can move fast for the right opportunity in the Scottish league and we are open to creative deals.”
Explaining the approach he intends to take with any club he may do a deal for, Conway continued: “We would look to bring the same methods we employ with our other clubs such as Barnsley – which is a young team, data-led, balancing a budget sensibly.
“We would look to run a club as a proper business. To that end, we have told the SFA and the league to feel free to get the word out that we are open to conversations with Scottish clubs.”
Indeed, it seems Conway is already making moves with regards to securing a deal for a club north of the border, as he went on to claim: “We have already reached out to a couple of clubs that we know offering any assistance that they might need.
“We are awaiting a response on that and for that reason, I won’t name any names. But we are open for business and it’s a market we feel we can be helpful in.”
The report also states that Conway is interested in a move to take over Belgian top-flight side Oostende at some point in the future.
As things stand, Barnsley are currently bottom of the Championship table, seven points from safety with nine games of the season still to be played at some point.
This is an interesting one.
Given the possibility – however small it may be in this case – of a conflict of interest between two teams owned by Conway, you can understand why the SFA may be hesitant about agreeing to allow to dual ownership of clubs.
However, with things the way they are at the minute, you feel it is more important for these clubs to secure the funds they need to keep themselves in business in these hugely difficult circumstances, in whatever way they can.
As a result, it does seem as though Conway’s comments here could prove something of a boost for Scottish football, given the boost it ought to give one of their clubs in the current circumstances, should a take over be completed.