Former Brighton chairman offers shares to supporters

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DICK Knight, who was Brighton & Hove Albion chairman from 1997 to 2009 and led the club back from the brink of oblivion and into their magnificent new home, is using his autobiography, Mad Man, to offer Albion fans the shares that helped save the club.

He said: “I promised when I took over Brighton & Hove Albion from Bill Archer in 1997 that no one person would ever own and exercise complete control of the club again. Through a combination of economic force majeure and Tony Bloom’s generosity, over 90 per cent of the club is now owned by one person.

“My concern is that the ordinary fan should still have a voice at the club Annual General Meeting and be able to voice their concerns, if they have any. They would have the right to do this if they were shareholders. I want to make sure that the club is always answerable to the fans, so I would like to make my shares available to you.

“These shares have a unique place in the Albion’s history of course, being the ones that actually saved the club.”

Supporters will be able to write to Dick using an ‘Expression of Interest’ form within the book if they are interested in becoming an Albion shareholder.

Mad Man tells how Dick gave the kiss of life to the club he supported as a boy and his 12-year journey to bring the Albion home and build a state-of-the-art stadium, and reveals fascinating experiences from his life in football and advertising. That includes the strange tale of Bill Shankly’s pyjamas; how Dick helped Premier League chief Richard Scudamore break into football; Robbie Savage’s escapades in a Brighton hotel and the inspiration behind his famous ‘Hello Boys!’ Wonderbra ad.

Knight will be touring around Sussex to talk to fans about his time in charge of the Albion.

There will be a book talk, Q&A and signing at each venue (£8 a ticket). He will be heading to Burgess Hill (Martlets Hall, November 14, 7pm); Worthing (Connaught Theatre, November 17, 3pm); Shoreham (Ropetackle Arts Centre, November 18, 7pm); Lewes (Pelham House Hotel; November 20; 7pm) and Eastbourne (Winter Gardens; November 28; 7pm).

To buy a copy of the book, visit www.visionsp.co.uk