Chairman Tony Kleanthous gives his view on a number of key issues surrounding Barnet FC
Having returned from Cyprus recently, I am aware that there are a number of issues at Barnet Football Club that need to be addressed and communicated to our supporters.
PR & MEDIA
Since the sad passing of Dennis Signy, I believe the club has fallen short in its attempts to deliver the required standard of communication to our supporters, and whilst Dennis was unwell I did not feel it was appropriate to begin seeking his replacement. However, it is now a priority to recruit someone for this position and this process has now begun so we hope to make an announcement in the coming weeks.
With regard to the team, I fully understand the supporters’ frustrations with the way we have started the season. However, I have absolute confidence that we will turn things around after having watched us play at Bradford and Aldershot, and on Saturday against Rotherham. It is clear to me that the performances are steadily improving although we could still do with more experience and strength in the side which we are working on.
Mark Robson is a highly capable Head Coach and he has assembled a squad with some very talented young players, but they need some support and I am here to provide that support. The signings of John Oster and Collins John are examples of the calibre of players we are now bringing to the club and we hope to announce a couple more new signings soon.
The Hive is becoming very successful for Barnet FC and is a major reason for our ability to attract players who have played at a higher level. We also have the added benefit of turnover from The Hive adding revenue to the club which, under league rules, allows us to invest 55% back into the team. So those supporters using the coffee shop, gym and bar are directly helping to strengthen the team.
'AFC BARNET' AND THE SUPPORTERS’ TRUST
I have heard rumours that some fans are thinking of forming a new club named ‘AFC Barnet’ and that even directors of our own Supporters’ Trust may have some involvement in this. This seems a very strange reaction from those who claim to be supporters of Barnet FC and I am led to understand the primary reason for this is our proposed relocation to The Hive. I have to say I am staggered that any supporter of our little football club would even consider being involved with another club.
We are Barnet FC and I have always said that Barnet FC should be playing in the Borough of Barnet. Surely the whole purpose of a Supporters’ Trust is to help the club fight for its right to have a home in its own town. It is about time we stopped the ridiculous squabbling and all got behind what should be a consistent, loud, concerted, vociferous and organised campaign to make Barnet Council understand that they will not force us out of our home... unless you all want to start supporting a rugby club!
Another issue which I have commented on repeatedly concerns the speculation about changing the club’s name which I feel is a rumour intended to divert supporters’ attention from the serious issue of finding a new home in Barnet. I have stressed many times that I have no plans to change the name, but I have not ruled it out completely, simply because I never rule anything out completely. Such a change would only ever be with the will of the supporters so let’s not waste time on this pointless debate.
FRIENDS OF BARNET FOOTBALL CLUB
Lastly, I understand some supporters have set up a group called Friends of Barnet Football Club. I understand they want to promote more social gatherings for our supporters and I think this is a fantastic idea. I and the club will be pleased to do what we can to support this wonderful initiative so please get in touch. Well done to all concerned – it is at times like this that the club needs its friends.
Now let’s get behind the team together – come on you Bees!