Jul 27 2012 By Matt Lewis
SUPPORTERS Club president Nick Du Gard is arranging a meeting between a Harrow councillor and Wealdstone fans after Barnet were given the green light to play at Prince Edward Playing Fields (PEPF).
The Stones spent 10 years and an estimated £300,000 on the Camrose Avenue site before the Ryman Premier club’s progress was brought to a halt by their development partner going into liquidation in 2004.
League Two Barnet snapped up the tender on the stadium when Harrow Council put it up for sale two years later and were finally given approval to play their games at the ground in 2013/14 at a cabinet meeting on Thursday last week.
Portfolio holder for planning and regeneration, Keith Ferry, was at the meeting with Du Gard and has extended an offer to explain the council’s decision to the club’s fans at a meeting in the near future.
“I don’t think the verdict [on PEPF] was any surprise,” said Du Gard.
“There was an interesting response from Keith Ferry, who is trying to help the clubs in the borough. He said he would be prepared to address our supporters and I’m determined to take up that kind offer.
“We’re looking at what kind of form that meeting would take - whether he would come and talk to our committee or perhaps a special meeting. I am hoping to extend an invitation to him in the next few weeks.”
The council’s approval means that the Bees would now be allowed to play 30 matches a year, as of the 2013/14 season on the site for up to 10 years, the shortest lease permitted for a football league club.
However, Wealdstone still retain the right to groundshare at PEPF with the League Two club and Du Gard wants to explore all avenues with the lease on their current Grosvenor Vale home set to expire in 2018.
“I think it is important that Wealdstone fans understand where Harrow Council is coming from in all of this and what their position is,” added Du Gard. “Irrespective of what happens with the Vale in Ruislip, we are a Harrow-based club and we need to understand what the council can do to help us.
“Tony Kleanthous [Barnet chairman] says he wants to champion the small club. We [as supporters] want to understand from our own board of directors what Barnet mean by that. We will certainly be asking our club whether they are going to ask that question of Barnet.”