Harty on... The worth of the Premier League

FIGURES released at the start of the week say it all – promotion to the Premier League for the Albion will earn the club £120 million in television and gate revenue and generate a staggering £60 million to the local economy of Brighton and Hove for each season they are in the top flight.

This is a far cry from 18 years ago when the Goldstone Ground was sold for a little over £7million, again highlighting how both the Albion and football in general has evolved in that relatively short space of time.

But perhaps a timely reminder before the Albion embark on their play-off adventure is the arrival of Wolverhampton Wanderers to the Amex this Saturday lunchtime for the last league fixture of the season.

Wolves have lived the Premiership dream, not once but twice, yet unless a pattern of results that would put a Far Eastern betting cartel to shame happen on Saturday, by mid-afternoon the team made world famous by the likes of Billy Wright and Stan Cullis will suffer the ignominy of back-to-back relegations.

They will find themselves playing in what will always be Division 3 in my eyes, whatever the ad men like to call it, and, alongside the other Sussex club Crawley Town.

Wolves have the fan base and the supposed rich benefactor, but made the classic error of sacking a decent, experienced manager at the wrong time with no credible replacement.

Mick McCarthy, who is now safely mid-table with previously relegation-threatened Ipswich Town, is a decent, stand-up bloke so probably takes no joy in seeing what has become of his former club.

Tony Bloom is far too shrewd and clued up to ever make the kind of errors the Wolves board have, but as the Albion embark on possibly the most exciting three weeks or so in the club’s history, they will learn from Wolves and others over the years about what not to do when up with the big boys.

For the record, I believe whoever we play in the play-offs come 5pm or later if extra-time is played, on May 27, the Albion will be a Premiership club, then the fun will really begin . . .

Good luck to Worthing Raiders Rugby Club for this Saturday’s upcoming last-day-of-the-season showdown away at Henley RFC, with the winners clearly taking all.

A large number of local rugby fans will be making their way up to Oxfordshire in the hope, that on Saturday teatime, the Raiders will return home to Sussex with the league championship along with the all-important promotion that comes with it.

I have never made a secret of the admiration I have for the drive and the ambition that everyone has at Roundstone Lane both on and off the field, and the success that they will, hopefully, find this weekend is nothing more than they all deserve.