Q&A with Tony K

Last updated : 14 December 2004 By Bm91



Do you think that trumpets and drums on the east terrace help improve the atmosphere?


When played properly instruments really boost the atmosphere, but I don't like to listen to just a load of banging for the sake of it.


One day, sadly, you will step down as Chairman. How would you expect to successfully manage the transition to ensure all your good work is continued and not wasted.


This is not an easy question to answer as we are constantly refining and streamlining the operation of the club so that no role is completely dependant on an individual. Whoever takes over as Chairman will probably want to do things in their own way, and would be fully entitled to do so, although I hope they will not wish to tinker for the sake of it.


Dear Tony. You may have noticed the recent discussions on this board regarding fish. It seems that many Bees fans like their fish, particularly on a match day. What's your favourite fish dish, and have you asked that the players include fish as part of their training diet?


Many thanks. Well, after our last home game it can only be Roache. What a great time to score! .


How does our playing budget compare with our rivals? And has Fairclough got room in the budget to sign players if he needs to (in case of injuries etc)?


The individual playing budgets are set by the Conference and are strictly confidential. My understanding is that we have a better-than-average budget but there are a couple of clubs with a lot more money at their disposal than us. Ultimately, your budget will proportionately rise in line with increases in commercial income, which we have very little opportunity to exploit, and match day attendances, which you can judge for yourselves. Our current budget is fully utilised as a consequence of our policy of rewarding successful players with new better contracts in order to maintain the nucleus of the current playing squad. We have also rewarded a number of the young players with small contracts for the magnificent job they have done when Paul has relied upon them because of injuries and suspensions.


Dear Tony, I have noticed there is a lot of space behind the south stand if we go up would it be possible to built a bigger stand there?


During our league days the whole of the area to the South was utilised to reach the required minimum capacity criteria. We would have to do this again if we were fortunate enough to acquire Football League Membership!


Where have you been recently? I saw a photo of you at a match recently and you looked terrible. Your hair is curling at the ends and touching your jacket collar. Did I do something to offend you? Yes, I know I grumbled at the size of your last tip and that was unkind of me as 20p is always useful with Christmas coming up. Or was it that argument we had about your request for a "Steve Percy".It is still my opinion that that is a style that simply wouldn't suit you. I am immensely hurt by your neglect of me and I am thinking of taking your photo down from the salon wall unless you book another appointment pretty d a m n quick.


The 20p was intended for the parking meter and you kept it. Consequently my car was towed away and my hair curled with anger. I don't know what a "Steve Percy" is but it sounds rude.


Dear Tony, I would like to start by saying what I hope doesn't need to be said, a huge thanks for your contributions over years which go well beyond the call of duty, your continued civility, intelligence and relative patience with a ridiculous political system, and your unwavering enthusiasm and friendliness towards the fans and staff at the club. I would just like to ask about your current ambitions for the club, in the light of the latest setbacks regarding the ground situation. Do you still feel that the proposed capacity for South Underhill is the reasonable amount bearing in mind the relatively poor attendances for a table-topping total-football playing Bees side, and where do you see the club in five years time, whether or not we go up this year?


The stadium at South Underhill was designed to maximise the facilities beneath the stands as well as incorporating other users such as St. John and the Scouts. The capacity brief was 8-10,000 and it came out at about 9,200. The minimum requirement for league football has now been reduced to 5,000 and The Taylor Report says you must not build a new stadium to the minimum. The inspector at the Copthall Inquiry confirmed that 10,000 would be about right but as long as you have the land available for future expansion then I suppose 6-8,000 would be adequate for our current needs.


I don't think the club would have had a future if the council had won the recent court case. The council are desperate to make money out of our site and will do anything to force us out and make a quick buck from a development. This is already happening at Hendon FC and it will be interesting to see how much of the £10 million for Claremont Road is actually invested for the clubs benefit. There are clauses in the Underhill contract which basically state that if the club stays in the borough then 100% of the money from Underhill must go into a new stadium for the club but if we leave the borough then the council get 60% of the money. The 60% clause expires in ten years after which the club would get all the proceeds and this is the clause the council took us to court to try to change. The council also get the money if the club goes bust so they are now actively pursuing us for costs and generally making our lives a misery, in the hope that I will get fed up and then the club would collapse. I don't think supporters realise the battle still going on in the background and what a great chance we have of winning if everybody would just unite against them along with Janet and the KBA who have been magnificent.


What was your initial reaction when MArtin Allen told you he was leaving? And what were your feelings when Adrian Whitbred and Damian Doyle told you they were following suit? Many Thanks.


I was stunned! We all new that Martin was applying for other jobs and his tenure with us would be short, but his timing could not have been worse. There are ways to do things and once Martin had made up his mind, my only request of him was that he and Brentford handle matters in a properly dignified manner. This was not to be and, with the subsequent developing animosity, it was clear that the departures of Adrian and Damien would follow. I still get fed up with the constant lies and personal attacks I have had to endure, but I suppose this is the only way he is able to justify his actions.


Personally I had some great moments working with them and I would prefer to remember those.


Do you think our current barnet team is the best you have seen during you time at Barnet?


Absolutely, they behave respectfully and as a team both on and off the field. I can honestly say they are a credit to this club and I am proud of every single one of them.


Isn't the Club losing revenue by not having a merchandise/souvenir outlet actually at the ground and open matchdays.Surely many fans route to and from a match do not take them past the club shop in the High Street? PS.Can the club colours go back to the original'amber',rather than the current 'muddy orange' ?


Quite the opposite in fact, the costs of operating a sales outlet at the ground far outweigh the takings. If we can find an efficient and cost effective way of running a match day operation at the ground then of course we will do. A lot of supporters have suggested using volunteers, but this is not really a sensible long term solution for obvious reasons.


What is our original amber?
 I have investigated the issue at length and seen a number of old shirts in various different shades of yellow/gold/orange. Also, when purchasing small quantities of merchandise you normally get a choice between a standard yellow or a standard orange and over the years we seem to have merchandise with a bit of each. We had to start from scratch and decided that black/yellow was too much like Watford, black/gold like Wolves or Hull, but no club had black/orange& now known as OUR black/amber.


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