Bring Barnet Back: Fans raise funds in bid to build new stadium inside London borough

Bring Barnet Back: Fans raise funds in bid to build new stadium inside London borough

Barnet fans have thrown their support behind a growing campaign to help return the club to its home borough.

The Bees last month announced plans to build a new stadium just metres from their original Underhill ground, where they played until moving to The Hive in 2013.

But the plans were dealt a significant early blow after the local council said the project was "highly unlikely to be acceptable because it is on green belt land".

A Crowdfunder campaign has now been launched by a group of supporters pushing the Bring Barnet Back movement. An initial £500 target was surpassed in a matter of minutes and £2,000 was raised within a day.

That total is now approaching £5,000, with all funds going towards promotion online and in the local community.

"We knew from the moment of the announcement we had to make a stand," says Charlie Cassen, a Barnet fan leading the campaign.

"There's never been another situation in the history of the club where every single fan, staff member and player have had the same vision."

It is predicted that Barnet’s attendance figures could double if a new stadium gets the go-ahead, with the move out of the borough a decade ago resulting in a significant number of fans boycotting ever since.

“It became a bit of a dying club,” Cassen admits.

“The Hive is not where we belong. Barnet need to be playing in Barnet.”

A large Bring Barnet Back banner will be unveiled at tomorrow's National League match against Solihull, but there is an emphasis too on gaining backing outside of the club. Posters are up around the borough, with plans for advertising on public transport.

Barnet's proposals estimate the local economy will receive a £1million-a-year boost should the club return.

"There's so many boarded up shops in Barnet, so many businesses have failed," Cassen says.

"The town isn't what it used to be. Pubs and cafes used to be heaving on match days - that money kept them afloat."

The council and club remain in talks over the stadium plans, with an application yet to be submitted.

Barnet chairman Tony Kleanthous hoped to move ahead of the 2026-27 season, but the proposed South Underhill site could prove problematic.

A spokesperson for Barnet Council said: "We fully appreciate and understand the passion of Barnet FC's fans to see their club return to its home borough.

"However, their proposed site at Underhill is not workable. Our green spaces are precious, and we are committed to protecting them. National planning rules also prevent development on the green belt."

Cassen, though, remains hopeful a positive case can be presented. He says: "If we have this campaign showing the council how much better the town will be, it's going to be really difficult to turn down."