Tag: Barnet

Of Snow, Wind, Rain, Ice & Men

We’re well past the initial point at which the weather has started to play merry havoc with the football season, and it was most likely this – a rash of cancellations following the latest round of storms and high winds – combined with New Year’s Day hangovers which combined to give BT Sport a record high television audience for its live match last week between Luton Town and Barnet at Kenilworth Road. An audience of almost 350,000 people tuned into watch the Conference Premier match, a figure that represents a plenty decent return for the fifth level of the English League system and which hints at the possibility that rumours of the death of all football in England below the Premier League continue to be somewhat exaggerated – for now, at least. Still, though, it would be nice to think that the size of the television audience for this match might not have completely been for prosaic reasons such as those outlined above. There was something magnificently joyful about about watching twenty-two players splashing around on a pitch that resembled an ice skating rink after a power cut, coming to terms with the fact that gravity can have a most curious effect when water gets factored into the equation. The quicker thinking players soon realised that on such a pitch, the best way the deliver the ball forward is...

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Tony Kleanthous Locks Horns With The Local Authorities… Again

Following relegation from the Football League at the end of last season, Barnet Football Club has made a reasonable start to life back in the non-league game in the Conference National. With thirteen matches of the new season played the club sits in tenth place in the table, a position which may be slightly misleading, considering that its points tally leaves it just three points off a place in the play-offs. The current drama at the club, however, is all coming away from the pitch as owner Tony Kleanthous, who has started to come to resemble a man who could start an argument in an empty room so long as that room was a council chamber, locks horns with another North London local authority. There was a sense of weary resignation about the club’s departure from Underhill, the ground that it had called home since 1907, at the end of last season. A dispute over access to part of the ground with the local council was the reason given as being the straw that broke the camel’s back for staying there, but the club’s departure from the London Borough of Barnet to the London Borough of Harrow doesn’t appear to have eased the difficulties that the club is having with local authorities. Having said that, however, it would seem that it has taken only a few months for Kleanthous...

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100 Owners: No.99 – Stan Flashman (Barnet)

There was always something inherently contradictory about Stan Flashman. He is, perhaps, best┬áremembered as the “King Of The Touts” (often with the prefix “Self-Styled” attached to it), but when he craved respectability he would rebrand himself as a “Ticket Broker.” Ultimately, though, he himself stated that he didn’t care what he was called as long as the money was right. As the owner of Barnet Football Club, he was at first the man that saved a club that had been sinking into a quicksand of doldrums over the years prior to his arrival at the club. He would also, however, go on to become the man that nearly killed the club after it had achieved its holy grail of arriving in the Football League for the first time. In the mid-1980s, many of the crises that afflicted the top end of professional football were mirrored in miniature in the non-league game. Hooliganism had become a risk and crowds were down. The formation of the Alliance Premier League in 1979 had been with intention of unifying the top of the non-league game with the aim of securing an automatic promotion and relegation place with the Football League. It’s early years, however, had only been a mixed success. Crowds had fallen as elsewhere and the league itself seemed overly concerned with gimmicks, such as introducing a “no offside from free kicks”...

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Barnet Prepare To Leave Underhill

After one hundred and four years, the end now seems to be nigh for Underhill, the home of Barnet Football Club. An official statement on the clubs website this afternoon confirmed that “The stark reality is that as a consequence of unresolved ground differences with the council, Barnet FC face the prospect of a reduced footprint next season and an end to their 100 plus years residence of their spiritual home”, bringing to an end any reasonable doubt over the fact that wherever the club does end up playing in either its short or long term future, it won’t be at the place that it has called home since 1907. Yet the club’s statement on the matter is perhaps as curious for what it doesn’t include as for what it does, because when it comes to specific details on the subject of where the club actually will be playing next season, Barnet Football Club remains a little coy, and this is with a year before they would have to move into somewhere else. We covered the latest instalment in Barnet Football Club’s fractious relationship with its local council at the beginning of last month, but the timing of the resurfacing of this issue and the question of if or why the council is behaving with such hostility towards the club means that it is a question that should probably...

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