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Barnet new stadium: Club Chairman unveils new plans to move back home

Barnet Football Club have unveiled plans to move away from The Hive and build a new stadium back in Barnet. The club originally moved to the Hive in 2013 after an emotional goodbye to Underhill Stadium, where the club had played for more than 100 years.

The move was controversial at the time as it moved the club away from the Barnet area and into the neighbouring Harrow. However, the plans unveiled today by Chairman, Anthony Kleanthous, have revealed that the club plans to move back to Barnet in the very near future.

The Hive
Could Barnet leave The Hive already? – Photo by Icon Sport

Barnet new stadium: Kleanthous can't wait to make the move

Speaking about the Barnet new stadium plans, Kleanthous said he was looking forward to ending the club's ten-year “exile” from Barnet. He added:

“Our initial three-year tenure at The Hive was extended indefinitely by Harrow Council but I always felt that if it were possible, then Barnet FC should return to the home from where it took its identity.

“During the long months of COVID, I busied myself with trying to find a way to bring the Club back home and met with Barnet Council to ask for their support in locating a suitable site on which I could build a new stadium. I undertook to fund the full cost of construction so that we could progress without any funding delays.

“After months of searching, it became clear that the best site was the one we originally identified at South Underhill and so we asked our architect to revisit these proposals.

“Along with the smaller 6,000 – 8,000 capacity stadium, there are two Multi Use Games Areas, a circulation and recreational zone for pupils, a formal pitch for training and playing purposes on Barnet Playing Fields, and a school drop-off zone for pupils which will help alleviate the morning rush hour traffic problems in the area.”

Barnet new stadium
Concept art of Barnet's new stadium – Photo by Barnet FC

Barnet new stadium: The next steps

According to the plans, the new stadium will be based just metres away from where the old Underhill Stadium once stood. That has now been transformed into a secondary school but for Barnet fans, this is as close to a return “home” as they are going to get and the news has been well-received.

A Barnet FC podcast host, Aydogn Mehmet, was interviewed by the BBC earlier today and said that a move back to Underhill was “what all the fans wanted” and that the news was “like a defibrillator” in that it will effectively breathe new life into a dying club.

The plans aren't a guarantee at this point, though. To make these plans a reality, Anthony Kleanthous has detailed what needs to happen next. He said:

“We have instructed WSP Planning Consultancy to commence the pre-application process. Sean McGrath from WSP will be heading the project and engaging directly with Barnet Council and their Planning Officers in the pre-planning process in order to finalise an application.”

Kleanthous added that a further update would come by the end of the month and that he hoped the plans would receive the full backing of fans, residents and local council to “bring the club back to where it belongs.”


Andy Delaney

Andy is a freelance sports writer with ten years of experience covering major sporting events across Europe. He has also been a season ticket holder at Old Trafford since 2008 and has visited over 40 football stadiums in the United Kingdom and abroad following the Reds.

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