We carry on where we left off…the last ‘CHAIRMAN’S Q&A’ provided you with some in depth answers to your most probing questions. The next part can be found below and Barnet FC’s very own Tony Kleanthous gives his very own Chairman’s view:
SUPPORTER 10 – Ed Beesley
What keeps you as Chairman of Barnet?
All the crap the council is putting you through, the years of anguish fighting final day relegations and the disappointment of losing quality players before they reach their prime.. I am thrilled that at this time of financial hardship you have stood by the club, looking at Portsmouth, Scarborough and Rangers shows what could happen to the club if you left!
Looking forward to the Hive in 2013.
Chairman – That’s a question my wife keeps asking! I can’t begin to tell you how the stress has affected me over the years particularly on a match day where I can be sometimes be so preoccupied with events that I may walk straight past and not even notice individuals or even say “Hello”! The battles on behalf of the club have worn me down over the years but I won’t give up until I achieve the ambitions that I first set out when I became Chairman in 1994. My goal was to build a new stadium, training facility and Academy for the club and this was all transparently spelled out, to universal acceptance, in the two “Working Together” documents published by the club in 2002 and 2006. We have been working towards a long term strategy and our goals and ideals have stood firm whilst we have laboured to establish ourselves as a fully professional football club.
SUPPORTER 11 – Richard Boden
Why Tony after the final game of last season did you assure Mark Hughes that he had a future at Barnet and that his contract was going to be renewed?
Whilst football is fickle, I thought our club would treat our players better than this.
Chairman – Are you sure he was told that in those words?! If I were a Manager I would sign Mark without a blink of an eye, but he is a very experienced player and ultimately knows that this is a decision for our new Head Coach. He was a very hard-working and honest servant for the club and he would be the first to tell you that he would not want to be under a Manager who didn’t support him fully. His combative style did not quite fit with the new playing philosophy we have introduced and so it made sense for both parties to move on. He leaves with our thanks and very best wishes. We have since made a significant number of signings over the summer and hopefully you would have seen this change in style of play during our pre-season friendlies. It will take a little time for the team to properly gel together and we are still strengthening the squad but our coach has money available for at least a couple more good, quality signings so we will need to be a little patient whilst everything takes shape.
SUPPORTER 12 – Charlotte Gosling
1. When we move to the hive are we going to change out name to Barnet and Harrow FC like the Daggers did when they moved boroughs?
2. On the subject of an experienced goal keeper. No disrespect to Sam or Liam, they are both good- but not quite got the experience we need. As we released our back room staff, and Dean Brill’s departure was probably money related, could the experience GK position and GK coach wage be combined, and deano share the jobs? working with sam and liam to improve?
Chairman – 1/ [See answer for Colan Ash (Supporter 9)]. If it is an avenue that our supporters would be interested in then I would take it into consideration but it is not in our plans right now. Changing the name would be a very big step indeed and I don’t think we need to waste time and energy on this issue at this time.
2/ Paul Fairclough decided at the end of the season to retain the young, talented players but let the senior ones go so that a new Head Coach can shape and mould the squad with their own signings – this may mean yet another Goalkeeper! All signings are, ultimately, money-related but Dean’s package was within the clubs pay structure so he could have been signed by Mark Robson if he wanted to. I cannot speak for Dean, but from my view he was a good servant to the club and I don’t think he’s at that stage in his career where he will be thinking about coaching just yet!
SUPPORTER 13 – Robert Shutler
Please ask the Chairman whether he thinks the League will accept the Hive as Barnet’s new ground bearing in mind its present crowd capacity, etc.
Chairman – The Football League criteria for stadia in League 2 has been reduced to a minimum 5,000 capacity, including 2,000 covered seats. With this in mind I can assure you The Hive will meet this criteria.
SUPPORTER 14 – Sam Zokay
Thanks for answering our questions.
One of the main reasons we have needed a new stadium for all these years is to boost our commercial revenues such that we are on a more equal financial footing with our rivals. To what extent will moving in to the temporary stadium at The Hive go towards bridging this gap (ultimately allowing us to spend more on the team)?
Chairman – This is a very good question and easy for me to answer. Apart from the minimum things you would expect at a stadium like some toilets, a bit of food, changing rooms, Directors and Players Lounges etc., we have nothing commercial at Underhill whatsoever. Absolutely nothing! We work from temporary cabins and although we have some limited planning permission to build on the car park, this is part of the Cricket Club land and the Council won’t renew the lease or allow us to build anything there anyway. In fact, since the announcement of our departure the Council has only offered us a six month extension on the current lease for the crumbling Pavilion Bar and that’s it!
At The Hive, in addition to the usual requirements, we have banqueting for over 500 guests; Sponsors’ Hospitality for 200; a Supporters’ Bar and restaurant with a capacity of 560; parking for 350 cars and 10 coaches; as well as a café, crèche, gym etc. and everything is new, not 100 years old! The possibilities for The Hive make it a very exciting time to be a Bee!
SUPPORTER 15 – Margaret Cranfield
I can see a lot of positives for the club in a move to Harrow, but getting there is going to be a major problem for fans. As it would take three public transport buses to get from Underhill to the Hive, have you any plans to run club buses, say from Barnet Odeon to the Hive and back on match days? I think if so, and you could say so, it would help fans to be more positive about the move.
All the best for a new season where we won’t be in terror of relegation at the end of it!!
Chairman – This is a topic that I can see cropping up a lot, but it is one I am happy and confident in addressing. We hope to run shuttle buses from Underhill to The Hive to make the journey as hassle free as possible for all our loyal supporters as I believe transport is the number one issue and we must get it right.