Barnet: Football League ratifies move to The Hive

Barnet's Hive training ground

The Football League has granted permission for Barnet to relocate to The Hive for the start of next season.

The Bees will leave Underhill, which has been their home since 1907, to move to the complex in Edgware, which is currently their training ground.

Last year the club announced that this season would be their last at Underhill because of lease issues.

"We have reached a point where we had to move on," Barnet chairman Tony Kleanthous told BBC London 94.9.

"We've been working on trying to resolve our issues with the lease [at Underhill] with Barnet Council for the 20 years I have been there."

A small stadium currently stands at the Camrose Avenue facility, which the club intend to increase to a capacity of 5,100, with 3,500 seated.

"The Hive was developed as a training facility and we train there along with running a category two academy," Kleanthous said.

"It was always meant to be a training venue. The stadium that is on the site was originally designed to be used for youth and ladies matches.

"We are just extending that to incorporate the first team until we can find another place to build a proper new home."

An agreement with Harrow Council will allow the club a 10-year stay, but Kleanthous says their aim is to find a more permanent home.

"We've got a tenure of 10 years but hopefully it won't be that long," he continued.

Brazil striker Neymar
Brazil trained at The Hive ahead of their friendly against England

Barnet hope to build a new 10,000-seater stadium when they have identified a new site and obtained the necessary planning permission.

"We want to be able to create just as good a quality first-team ground for our club," said Kleanthous.

"That means a nice stadium somewhere, preferably in the Borough of Barnet - but I'm not sure if we'll be able to go back there.

"It will depend on the supporters being able to convince the council that we are worth supporting."

Kleanthous criticised Barnet Council for failing to come to an agreement on a deal for the club to remain at Underhill.

"We have a very strange council in Barnet," he added.

"It's more of a fiefdom and an unusual place and they have an unusual way of looking at things.

"Despite the marketing, social and economic benefits of having a football club - especially one that bears the name of the borough - they don't seem to value the asset that we are."

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