Tag: Barnet

Kleanthous & Barnet FC vs The Local Council

As the crowd of just over 1,700 filed out of Underhill after a six-three home defeat at the hands of Burton Albion last weekend, supporters of Barnet Football Club had little option but to face up to the prospect of another difficult season in League Two again this year. The club is in second from bottom place in the Football League with only Plymouth Argyle below them, and with Plymouth now having finally exited administration and Barnet having lost seven of their last eight matches, a club which has maintained its League Two status by the skin of its teeth for the last couple of seasons will be looking nervously at the trapdoor which is threatening to open up below it again. It is perhaps unsurprising that the grumbling of the support in the direction of manager Lawrie Sanchez has become louder over the last few weeks as his team has continued to struggle, but Barnet don’t only face issues on the pitch. This year has seen a souring of the club’s already fractious relationship with its local council to the point of breaking, with recent public statements from the club’s chairman, Tony Kleanthous, effectively accusing the London Borough of Barnet council of no longer wanting the football club on its doorstep. Barnet have played at Underhill since 1907 but in recent years their ground, which sits adjacent to green belt...

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Lincoln City’s Relegation Opens Up Some Very Old Wounds

The final day of the Football League season inevitably brings shredded nerves, and yesterday brought an unfolding drama with a hint of familiarity to it at the bottom of League Two, with Lincoln City and Barnet playing to avoid relegation into the Football Conference. Lincoln started the day two points ahead of Barnet, but with an inferior goal difference. In short, they needed a win from their match against Aldershot Town to guarantee their survival for another season. If they failed to win, they would still keep their heads above water if Barnet failed to beat Port Vale in their match at Underhill. Two hours later, we had our answer. Barnet, who survived relegation on the last day of last season, beat Port Vale thanks to a single penalty, while Lincoln City lost three-nil at home to Aldershot Town and, therefore, fell out of the Football League. Lincoln’s slide down the table had been one of the most alarming seen in any division this season. They had looked comfortable a couple of months ago, but failed to win any of their final eleven matches while, over the same period of time, Barnet picked up seventeen points. While the survival instinct kicked in at Barnet, Lincoln’s rudderless end to the season saw them sleepwalk out of the Football League. The irony in all of this is striking, as Lincoln City...

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End Of Season Crowd Trouble Blues – Part One

What to make, then, of the events at Kenilworth Road this afternoon? On the one hand, there are plenty of plenty of supporters of other clubs in the Blue Square Premier that seem to hold the viewpoint that serious crowd trouble at a Luton match has been something that has been waiting to happen for some considerable time. However, although finding more precise documentary evidence for this is obviously difficult, the links between the extreme end of the club’s support and various unsavoury political organisations has been noted elsewhere on plenty of occasions and talk of minor disturbances at Luton matches this season has not been uncommon. Was it a major surprise that there should be significant crowd trouble after a Luton home defeat in a play-off match? The unfortunate answer to this is no, probably not. Still, however, even if there were hundreds of people involved in scenes that cannot be condoned in any way whatsoever (and the predictable claims and counterclaims about what happened this afternoon will undoubtedly go into overdrive over the next few days), the picture is less clear-cut than simply being a matter of shouting for massive points deductions, fines or throwing the club out of football altogether. There will be many thousands of Luton supporters – far more than were involved in any trouble this afternoon – that will have been appalled by...

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Keith Alexander: 1956-2010

At the time of writing, England are about to kick off against Egypt in their first friendly match of 2010. This is football as a peculiar mix of Hollywood and pantomime, a story that often seems to have very little to do with what goes on during the matches themselves. It’s a world that frequently feels alien. Away from this, however, there is a whole other world of football going on, a world in which people give up their youth, their other aspirations, relationships and families because they believe in the game. Often away from the spotlight and the wilder excesses of the game, the people that inhabit this world are often easily dismissed as “journeymen”, but they are crucial to our narrative of football. We lost one of them last night. Neither Keith Alexander’s playing career nor his managerial career scaled, as some might put it, the heights. As a player, he spent fourteen years in non-league football before going on to enjoy something of an Indian summer in the Football League with Grimsby Town and Mansfield Town, whilst winning a handful of caps at international level for St Lucia. It was not, however, his playing career that marks out his significance in the game, rather the managerial career that followed it, a managerial career that lasted from 1993 until right up until his death at the tragically...

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Barnet Facing The Inevitable?

May 5th 2001 is one of the more memorable days in Football League history for at least the supporters of two small clubs. On the last day of the season in what is now called League Two saw two sides draped in history, Barnet and Torquay United embroiled in a winner takes all relegation match. Barnet stood just a point behind Torquay United as the two clubs met at Barnet’s Underhill stadium on the final day of the season, with the winner retaining their place in the Football League. Three early goals from Jason Rees, Kevin Hill, and David Graham gave Torquay United an unassailable lead – even a second half fightback couldn’t prevent Barnet slipping back into the Football Conference after a 3-2 defeat. A good friend of mine, who saw his Torquay side victorious on the day, has called the day the best of his life and has spoken at length of his admiration for Barnet and their supporters at Underhill. He also recalled the two sets of supporters embracing and swapping shirts at the end of the match, to mark the historic occasion. While Torquay went on to gain promotion to League One a few years later, Barnet battled away in the Conference, a relegation that many would debate re-vitalised the club’s fortunes. Crowds began to rise again, and after a succession of new managers Paul...

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