BARNET FC may be forced to leave Underhill, its home for more than 100 years.

Barnet Council's licensing department was apparently unable to assure the club that it will be licensed to operate at the ground for the whole of the 2012-13 season.

However, the Bees will be applying to the Football League for permission to possibly play at least half of the next campaign at Underhill.

In a statement on the club's website, chairman Tony Kleanthous said: "Barnet FC's days at Underhill look to be numbered."

He said: "The club will be applying to the Football League for permission hopefully to be allowed to play at least half next season at Underhill after the London Borough of Barnet licensing department were unable to provide assurances that Barnet will have a licence to operate at the ground for the whole of the 2012-13 season."

Mr Kleanthous claims "unresolved differences" with Barnet Council will see the club having to reduce its presence at the stadium.

He adds that, according to the council, the club has no right for vehicles to access Priory Grove, the road behind the east terrace leading to South Underhill and the club offices and car park.

He continues: "The refusal of councillors and officials at the town hall over a period of years to deal with the issues at Underhill, the club's home for more than 100 years, make it very unlikely the club can continue to operate at the stadium with such limited pedestrian-only access to the south.

"Barnet FC has written to the council on many occasions in the last few years to impress upon them the importance that these issues were properly and fairly resolved by, at the latest, the start of this season."

Mr Kleanthous added that he personally attended the recent meeting of the LBB Safety Advisory Group, which comprises representatives of the Football Licensing Authority, the council, the police and the emergency services, to seek confirmation of whether a licence would be granted for continued use of the stadium after December 2012.

He said: "We have spent some £2 million on ground improvements in the past few years, including a new south stand, floodlights, turnstiles, car park and so on. We certainly had not anticipated being forced to vacate the site at such short notice.

"I'm very irritated because I allowed myself to believe the council's assurances and excuses over the delays in resolving this issue but the contrasting treatment between us and Saracens has opened my eyes."

"When plans emerged last season for Saracens RFC to relocate to Copthall, the council asked Barnet FC not to object to the planning and promised to deal with the outstanding issues and find an alternative site for the football club.

"The issues were never resolved and the club has since been told yet again that no site is available to them.

"The rugby club were then offered the Copthall site for free, while Barnet FC was being asked a ridiculously high price for a lease on the small cricket club land, which embraces the car park.

"People on the council side have spoken about their commitment to Barnet FC and have said the council have no site for the club to build a stadium on.

"Yet they have given a free site to a rugby club which has no connection with the borough of Barnet and turned their backs on its own community club which has been in the area for more than 100 years."

The Times Series is awaiting a response from Barnet Council.