Barnet chairman Tony Kleanthous stresses the Bees will not change their name or badge in the near future

Times Series: Barnet chairman Tony Kleanthous Barnet chairman Tony Kleanthous

Barnet chairman Tony Kleanthous acknowledges Barnet could change their name and badge in the future but stressed any decision will not be soon and would involve the Bees fans.

The club will be leaving Underhill, their home for 105 years, and are relocating to the Hive training complex in Edgware after next season.

A move out of the borough of Barnet has raised several questions over the Bees future and in a question and answer session on the club’s website, Kleanthous stated: “Let me be clear to those who do have concerns such as these (changing the name and badge), the move is temporary so there is no need to change anything.

“However as previously stated, when we find a new permanent home, fans may wish to reconsider this point depending on where we may end up.

“If we get to this stage then I would like to get our fans’ opinions as this is something that you (the fans) should all have a say in.”

He continued: “If I wanted the move to be permanent then that’s exactly what I would have requested from Harrow Council in the first place instead of asking for temporary permission.

“Despite the dreamt up conspiracy theories you may have heard from a couple of the more political members of the Trust or read on unofficial message boards, I am still looking for a permanent home and there is no plan to stay at the Hive beyond this initial ten-year period.

“Ultimately, whether we return to the Borough of Barnet depends on whether Barnet Council want to support the club, but I certainly wouldn’t hold my breath under the current administration. We don’t want to lose you as a supporter so I hope you will reconsider your position once we resolve the transport issues.”

The chairman was also queried on the future of the Underhill site and what its future would hold.

He answered: “We need to maximize the value of the Underhill site but I haven’t given any consideration lately as to the best way of doing this.

“The last discussion I had in this regard was a few months ago when I had a request to use the site for a school, which the council opposed, so I don’t expect much change at Underhill for at least a year or two. In the meantime, we will continue to use the stadium, where appropriate, for secondary matches although I can foresee some difficulty with this as Barnet Council are not exactly easy to work with.

“I’m sure the usual rumour will do the rounds again so, for the record, I have never met or discussed the Underhill site with Tesco. But let me be crystal clear here, the site is owned by the Barnet FC group - so the more we can get for the site the better for our team.”

Kleanthous added it isn’t possible to build a new stadium on the Underhill site because it is too small but indicated should the club receive any money for the location, it would be reinvested into the club.

“The change in emphasis at the Football League means investment needs to be used to create sustainability and not just to provide a big transfer budget with insufficient funds to meet future wages, this is effectively what happened to Portsmouth and we do not want to tread that path.

“This is why we are building our whole club infrastructure rather than aiming for short term unsustainable success like we had in the early 90s when our club almost went out of existence.”

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