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Former Man United director could join Reds board

Friday 26th October 2012
Maurice Watkins

A top sports lawyer is being lined up as a director of Barnsley Football Club, a source close to the club told the Chronicle.


Former Manchester United director Maurice Watkins – a close friend of Reds owner Patrick Cryne – could be drafted in if the proposed takeover does not happen.


Talks with the consortium that is aiming to buy the club reached an advanced stage last week but last night the club remained tight-lipped on any potential takeover. The Chronicle contacted directors Barry Taylor and Don Rowing but both were unable to shed any light on the bid and Cryne was unavailable.


The club remains for sale but Cryne will only sell to a party that has the club’s best interests at heart.It is understood Cryne is still weighing up his options regarding the sale. He is believed to want £1million  along with the £6million he has invested into the club should it reach the Premier League. A potential buyer would also have to prove they can cover the club’s £2million overdraft.


Sources close to the club revealed that Watkins – who was in the home directors’ box for Tuesday night’s game against Crystal Palace – could soon be given a role at Oakwell.Watkins was appointed as a director at Old Trafford on the same day as Bobby Charlton in 1984. He stepped down earlier this year.He is chairman of the Superleague and is a director of Lancashire Cricket Club.Recognised as one of the best sports lawyers in the country, Watkins has represented the FA and the Premier League throughout the world. He was awarded a CBE in 2011 for his services to charity.Watkins is a joint senior partner of Brabners Chaffe Street LLP solicitors but was unavailable for comment when the Chronicle tried to reach him at his Manchester office yesterday.