Date: 29th July 2007 at 10:26am
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Tony Kleanthous will spent £11 million on a first team training facilities.

The work will begin on the Price Edward Playing Field in Harrow following a year of negotiations with the borough…if only it were that easy with Barnet’s council!

Kleanthous described the deal as a ‘exciting challenge’ as Barnet embark on an important stage in their development and desire to get modern facilities – most publicised being a new stadium.

Kleanthous told Barnet’s website: ‘The officers and councillors of the London Borough of Harrow have been extremely supportive and helpful throughout and we are grateful to them for their efforts.’

Barnet’s squad have moved from one location to another over the last few seasons, failing to find a permanent place to train, but by next year they should have a good training facility to undergo match preparations. The size of land that is to be redeveloped is the size of four pitches, meaning the players will have plenty of space for their training.

The Price Edward Playing Field lies beside two stadiums – Wealdstone FC’s 5,000-seater which has recently been built as well as a 1,000 capacity ground for youth and reserve games where the Barnet players will play, as well as Barnet Ladies who are in the second-top division of women’s professional football.

In addition to the training facilities, there is good news for the long-term future of the club with a Centre of Excellence to be built on the land so that Barnet will have its own youth academy to bring up youngsters.

‘The Prince Edward Playing Fields will provide a home and hub for all of Barnet FC’s footballing activities and means we will have one of the best football development centres in North London,’ Kleanthous added.

Paul Fairclough describes the academy as the ‘life-blood’ of a lower-league club, with Barnet having successes in defender Ismail Yakubu being a fine example of the success an academy can have. Barnet’s youth centre, however, was taken away when the club were relegated a few seasons ago meaning the club have had to link up with a separate academy, Protec, to give them good young players to join the first team squad.