Maccabi League stung by Bees' action

The Hive, also known as Barnet FC’s Centre of Excellence, has been like a home from home for Maccabi football clubs in London over the past three years, but that will change from next season after the League 2 club agreed to house a series of Academy teams.

Located in Edgware, millions of pounds were pumped into the state-of-the-art venue and it made fair-weather footballers feel like kings for a day, with top-class pitches, changing facilities and car parking making the Sunday morning experience a real pleasure.

Like all clubs, Barnet need the money but the decision has left several MSFL clubs searching for a new ground as the grass pitches are no longer available.

When I talked to Maccabi Masters chairman Stuart Lustigman earlier this week, he said: “One would like to think the Hive would be available for grassroots football, but that’s no longer the case. I’m disappointed as several teams have lost their home and I think it really demonstrates that Maccabi and Jewish football should have a home of its own.”

The Masters League will continue to use The Hive’s 3G pitches, while Faithfold A and Temple Fortune have also clinched 3G bookings at a venue that seven Maccabi teams use as a midweek training base.

Fortune chairman Nigel Kyte said: “I’d give the surface 10 out of 10. I really cannot comprehend anyone not wishing to play football on it. I’ve refereed on lots of grass pitches and the 3G at The Hive is the best pitch by a long way.”

Lustigman believes the founders of the new JCC building on the Finchley Road have missed a trick. He said: “It would’ve been nice if the new JCC was set up in a location that could’ve housed football and brought the wider community together.”

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Last updated: 7:19pm, August 16 2012