Neil Goulding’s View: Barnsley’s decision to sack Danny Wilson doesn’t add up for me

Danny Wilson and former assistant Chris Hutchings
Danny Wilson and former assistant Chris Hutchings

The search for a new Barnsley manager has started, but when will the club ever find any consistency?

Wilson became the seventh managerial casualty at Oakwell in the last decade when he was sent packing earlier today. And while the results might have not been great this season, it was the emphatic - and, for me, rather puzzling - main reason which chief executive Ben Mansford offered for Wilson’s departure.

Mansford said Barnsley were forced to make the decision with fans “voting with their feet, and attendances... dropping” recently.

“Ultimately,” he added, “it puts pressure on. Football is a results business and, while some of the performances haven’t been unacceptable, when you look at where we are, we felt a change had to be made.”


Wilson Sacking: Potential candidates to take over at Oakwell

Joy and despair for Danny Wilson in South Yorkshire

REACTION: Barnsley fans air their views on the club’s decision

So because attendances have been dipping, Wilson had to go? And because the books are not balancing, it was time to sack a manager who had been brought in to build for the future?

And the timing. Why now, when the club were - only two matches ago - just five points off the play-off places before successive defeats? Dismissing any manager is clearly never an easy job, but I’ve never heard a chief executive attribute the club’s decision to “business” and “financial” reasons.

Relegation from the Championship has hit Barnsley hard in the pocket, which is understandable.

But attendances are down across the country and common sense tell us that bad results will see fewer people attending. But has the drop been that significant that Wilson had to go, not even halfway through his tenure?

League One is tough this season, but then League One has always been tough and with no new manager (apparently) lined-up, why was Wilson relieved of his duties at such an important stage of the season? However, I can’t say I’m surprised, although I do have sympathy for Wilson. He was building a good young squad at Oakwell.. But sacking a manager for “business” reasons doesn’t sit comfortably with me.

And I’d imagine it doesn’t sit comfortably with a lot of Barnsley fans who hold Wilson in high esteem.