Feb 12 2013 by Ian Proctor, Harrow Observer
FANS will be able to watch professional football in Harrow from August after football bosses sanctioned Barnet FC’s relocation from the neighbouring borough.
The Football League board agreed on Thursday the fourth division club can use their training ground at The Hive Football Centre - which opened as a Football Centre of Excellence in 2010 at Prince Edward Playing Fields in Camrose Avenue, Edgware - as its home stadium from the 2013/14 season onwards.
The decision was the last administrative hurdle for the team, known as The Bees, to leave their stadium of more than a century, Underhill, in Barnet, after negotiations with their landlords collapsed.
Barnet FC chairman Tony Kleanthous said: “We waited until the last possible minute before applying to the League as I was not prepared to take this action until we had exhausted all avenues with Barnet Council.
“I have kept the Supporters’ Trust fully appraised of the discussions and, at their request, even the last minute intervention of Barnet MP and cabinet minister Theresa Villiers was unable to sway this intransigent council.
“There can be no better statement of our intent and with the new facilities at The Hive and extra investment in the squad we are looking forward to the future. So let’s all get behind the team, the move and the club.”
Landlords Harrow Council’s cabinet committee modified the club’s lease in July 2012 to allow league matches to be played at The Hive for an initial 10 years.
Barnet FC, managed by former Dutch international and Champions League winner Edgar Davids, will now see through the existing 2008 planning permission to develop stands on three sides of the main pitch at The Hive, and is, according to a statement, “finalising negotiations” with London Underground to construct a new 2,500 seat stand adjacent to the railway line on the west side of the ground.
The capacity will be 5,100, of which 3,500 are seats, and there are 350 parking spaces.
n Barnet FC will post updates on the stadium work at www.barnetfc.com.