BARNET FC say they are “very relaxed” about plans put forward by Saracens today to redevelop Copthall stadium.

Today the Premiership rugby side announced ambitious £10m plans to take over the stadium site and turn it into a “world class” venue as their home venue.

In 2001 Barnet had a planning application for a 10,000 seater stadium on the same site thrown out by the Deputy Prime Minister after fierce opposition from many local residents.

Chairman Tony Kleanthous reacted angrily last month after finding out about the Saracens plans from the Times Series, accusing the council of forcing them out of the borough.

However, a statement on the club's website said they had been told by council leader Lynne Hillan she had just one meeting with a Saracens representative and had asked her assistant to set up a meeting with Barnet about them.

It added: “We have to accept what the leader has told us- that she has had one meeting with a representative of Saracens and fully supports Barnet's wish for a new site for a stadium, with Copthall the preferred option.

“We have not been notified of any Saracens proposals.”

However, Saracens chairman Nigel Wray said they would now be meeting with the council on an “ongoing basis”.

He added: “I do not think it affects us at all. They will have their chats with Barnet Council. It's important not to comment on someone else's business.

“It's down to the council and Barnet FC to discuss that. We're just discussing a proposal which I think is best for us and the community.”

Mr Wray said the club hoped to be in the stadium for the start of next season, in September, which he admitted was an “ambitious timescale” but was relaxed about potential local opposition.

He said: “I think it's clear there are substantial differences between this proposal and the proposal 10 years ago.

“That will be a matter for the council and a matter we will address in planning.”

Councillor Lynne Hillan said: “We are keen to receive any proposal for the future of Barnet Copthall that will develop this community sports facility and enhance the stadium’s athletics provision.

“We have had very early talks with Saracens and the idea of supporting top flight sport in the borough, while improving facilities for other sports, is obviously appealing.

“However, I’d like to stress that no deal has been done and that, as the local planning authority, the Council would consider with any application entirely on its planning merits”.