Barnet chairman hails groundshare with rugby league side London Broncos
By Dev Trehan. Last Updated: 07/01/14 1:44pm
The Hive: The new home of the London Broncos for the next two seasons
Barnet FC chairman Tony Kleanthous says he felt compelled to save London Broncos when he realised the club were on the verge of administration.
The future of the Broncos had been in doubt when they were unable to find a new home after ending their eight-year stay at the Twickenham Stoop, home of rugby union side Harlequins.
They have since agreed a two-year deal to play at Barnet's Hive stadium, putting an end to fears they would not be able to fulfil their Super League fixtures and could enter administration.
Kleanthous insists the deal benefits both parties and is the latest indication that The Hive - used by national football teams including Brazil and Germany ahead of friendlies against England - is fast-becoming a premium sporting destination.
"They had no home and we had to save them," Kleanthous told skysports.com. "They were homeless and they had nowhere to go.
"For us, we had to find a way to come to an arrangement that could work for them and us because it would have been a shame to lose a London club.
"I never really watched rugby league until they (Broncos) came here and showed some interest. I started watching a couple of games and it's a really exciting sport so there is no reason really why it can't go well.
"The Hive is an international sporting destination there's no doubt about that," he continued. "The fact is, whichever way you look at it, teams from all over the world are coming here to train here to play here and to be involved on this site.
"You hear the name of The Hive all over the world now and it's good to now have London Broncos here. It's wonderful - I'm really pleased to see them here. I think it's big news for the borough of Harrow and big news for The Hive."
The Broncos are tasked with rebuilding their squad before playing at their new home, with 16 players having departed during the off-season amidst the uncertainty regarding the club's future.
Kleanthous refused to rule out the prospect of Broncos staying at Barnet's 5,176 capacity stadium long-term, insisting the move is a chance for them to finally settle and grow their fanbase.
"We've invested heavily in facilities and from what I've seen they've invested heavily in their team," he said.
"What they have now is an opportunity here to actually build a home and a support base. You can't be consistently nomadic you need to have a home.
"They have an opportunity now to lay down some roots and really build a proper future it's up to them now to take that opportunity."