What is the latest with Barnet’s plan to leave The Hive?

After finishing second in the National League in 2023/2024, Barnet will be looking for promotion the following season. While the Bees were never realistically in contention to dethrone runaway league champions Chesterfield, they were the favourites to win the National League play-offs.

Hive expectations

That dream came crashing down against Solihull Moors, who defeated them 4-0 at home in the play-off semifinal at The Hive. The outcome sent shockwaves across the National League, as Barnet had finished ten points ahead of The Moors and had just defeated them at Damson Park in the fifth round of the FA Trophy.

While the play-offs are intended to give teams further down the table a fighting chance, being flattened to the extent they were was a harsh conclusion to a promising season for Barnet.

Furthermore, another season outside of the English Football League (EFL) will undoubtedly postpone Barnet’s ambitions to leave The Hive. However, as the Bees prepare to play in the National League for the eighth straight season, the cause could be more about status than economics.

Barnet’s healthy financial situation

Despite failing to achieve promotion, Barnet has the financial resources to see their building plans through to completion. This is, after all, an EFL club in waiting, with significant endorsements already in place.

This is seen in a front-of-shirt partnership with personal healthcare provider TIC Health. Furthermore, the club benefits from wealthy owners as well as revenue generated by agreements between the National League and title sponsors such as Unibet and 32Red, both of which are online casinos that appear prominently on kingcasinobonus’ list of the top bonus providers in the United Kingdom.

While these are significant advertising arrangements with well-known brands, the larger point is that the team has the cash flow and resources to begin breaking ground on a new stadium.

Barnet Council’s objections

Rather, the local council has objected to Barnet’s proposals. You can only imagine that if the Bees had the status of an EFL team, the council would have been more inclined to negotiate.

In any case, the foreboding comments made by the borough’s decision-makers will not be warmly received by Barnet’s supporters.

Indeed, it is a particularly serious issue for supporters, as the Bees have been based in Harrow since 2013, having left Underhill Stadium. The team had previously been situated at Underhill Stadium since 1907, but a disagreement with the council led to the Bees flying to Harrow to play at The Hive, which is 25 minutes outside of Barnet. The site was shortly demolished, and a school was constructed in its stead.

This move sparked outrage among fans, who were struggling with a sense of identity. This is why the announcement of a possible return to their hometown borough in February 2024 was met with such enthusiasm.

The planned site would be a homecoming in every sense, since the new stadium will be built just a few metres from where the Underhill Stadium originally stood. As previously stated, since Barnet CEO Anthony Kleanthous made the proposal, Barnet Council has poured cold water on the concept, advising the team to be realistic about its location.

The council specifically expressed worries about the impact a new stadium would have on neighboring highways, as well as environmental concerns about building on a greenbelt area.

Reading between the lines, the council is stating that planning permission is highly unlikely to be given.

Give and take

If the club is to reach its full potential, it will require some aid from the council, which must recognize the good impact of having the Bees closer to home.

Of course, a nomadic existence does not have to spell the end of the National League’s promotion dreams, but it may mean a longer stay in England’s fifth division after being demoted in 2018.



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