Why it's make-or-break for Brighton
If anyone had said back in July 1995, when it emerged that the Albion had sold the Goldstone Stadium for just over Â£7m, that 21 years later the club would be posting operating losses of Â£26m, you would have had them locked up for their own good.
But the latest set of accounts state exactly this, and are another indication of how football has evolved in the past couple of decades, not necessarily for the better.
Albion chief executive Paul Barber recently revealed at a fans’ forum in Horsham that new figures released show the average weekly wage in the Championship is a reported £12,000 a week, while in the Premiership it rises to £80,000.
Sobering facts, but with the amount of TV money knocking about in the top-flight still not unobtainable for the Albion, it means the stark realisation is that it really is paramount the Seagulls get promoted this season.
There’s no doubt since the move to the Amex the club has been rejuvenated, but there will always be a degree of ‘floating’ support. With fans paying more than they have ever done to watch the team in the history of the club, there has to be a cut-off point when the honeymoon period will be over for the more casual supporter.
With the Premier League globally the hottest ticket in town, promotion to the top flight will further boost the excitement and anticipation of the supporters.
It really is a make-or-break season for the Albion, and without wishing to get carried away, in my opinion it’s very much ‘make’.
In Chris Hughton the club possibly has its most effective and talented manager.
The squad looks strong, and with the possible addition of some major acquisitions in the January, strong enough to withstand any issues surrounding injuries and suspensions that ultimately cost promotion last season.
At the time of going to press, Albion sit top of the Championship.
Closest rivals Newcastle travelled to Wigan Athletic last night, with another TV date for Brighton this Saturday as they travel to Birmigham City, with a 5.30pm kick-off time.
After the disappointment of last season, to be where we are now is testament Hughton and his squad.
Meanwhile over at Worthing, it’s been one of the most exciting weeks in the club’s history.
A 2-1 victory at two-divisions-higher National League outfit Dagenham & Redbridge in the FA Trophy represented the best result against higher-placed opposition since Worthing were formed.
The draw for the second round on Monday threw up a mouthwatering home tie with National League side Sutton United.
With Albion playing away at Preston when the tie is due to take place on Saturday, January 14, a large crowd looks on the cards at Woodside Road for what could be a classic cup tie.
If it’s anything like Tuesday’s 5-3 home victory over Staines Town, supporters won’t be disappointed.
For the 400 or so spectators that were in attendance at Woodside Road for that one, the 90 minutes offered up eight goals, a missed penalty, a red card.
Next up is a long-trip to Lowestoft in the Ryman League Premier on Saturday.
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