Barnet resolve to leave Underhill and find a new ground

Underhill, home of Barnet FC
Underhill has been Barnet's home for more than a century

Barnet chairman Tony Kleanthous insists there is no future for the League Two club at Underhill.

They have been in talks with Barnet Council about the lease at Underhill but frustration at a lack of progress has led them to pursue other options.

Kleanthous told BBC London 94.9: "They [Barnet Council] will politically tell you all the right things and how much they support the club.

"But in reality they make our lives a misery so that we end up walking away."

The club have explored other options and Kleanthous believes ground share will be the most viable short term solution.

"We have great relationships with all the other clubs, so we may ground share in the short term," he said.

No future for Barnet at Underhill - Kleanthous

Looking further ahead, Barnet have already built a £11million training centre in Harrow and have gained planning permission for a stadium on the 44-acre site.

"We can start talking to them about that and start accelerating that option. This is all very fresh for us. Things are moving very quickly," Kleanthous added.

However, in a statement, the Leader of Barnet Council, Richard Cornelius, disputed the club's claims.

He said: "I just don't recognise this version of events. We have already offered Mr Kleanthous a 15-year extension to his lease at a cost of £7,000 a year.

"That would let him run the ground safely at its current capacity. The club has also been offered a licence for vehicles to use Priory Grove for a nominal fee whilst the club's Underhill land is used as a football stadium."

Barnet v Northampton
Barnet (in amber) could be playing at a new ground in the years to come

The club has provision for access at the southern end of the stadium under a lease with the local cricket club, which expires in 12 months' time.

Kleanthous said: "We own the cricket club next to us which is the land in question. The lease said we are entitled to a 125-year extension. The council have been refusing to do that. They have been doing everything they can to stop us."

According to the club, the vehicle licence being offered by the council will allow only staff to pass through the road, not spectators.

Underhill has been Barnet's home for the past 104 years but Kleanthous confirmed that even if a solution could be reached, it would only be temporary and the club would still look to make their home elsewhere.

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