Harty on the Albion and Pompey

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Clearly, all that glisters is not gold because, despite an amazing first season at the Amex, figures released show that the Albion lost £8million in the first year at their new stadium.

In simple terms, every time someone sat in a seat at the ground and watched a game, chairman and club benefactor Tony Bloom subsidised them to the tune of £15.

And, if you take into account that Brighton, having been on the precipice of disaster not that long ago, are one of best-supported teams outside the Premier League and on the crest of a wave, it paints a worrying picture for football in general.

Fellow Championship club Bristol City announced a shortfall of £18million. Just how a club of that size, with apparent ambitions to move stadia, gets back in the black is the £18million pound question in itself.

Ultimately, clubs like the Albion and City aspire to get to the dizzy heights of the Premier League. But, is the quest for the top flight and life in it and, ultimately, after it, all it’s cracked up to be?

Domestic football is littered with casualties who chased the dream and crashed and burned.

Swindon, Bradford, Barnsley, Coventry and Charlton have all enjoyed time in the top flight but suffered as a result of it. Coventry now find themselves facing the real prospect of finding somewhere else to play as they can’t afford the rent at the state-of-the-art Ricoh.

But, the all-time classic case, or should that be tragedy, is Portsmouth. Having lived the Premier League dream, with two FA Cup final appearances thrown in, the club finds itself one off the bottom of League One – Division 3 in old money.

They face a 10-point deduction next month as a result of coming out of administration, and almost certain relegation to the bottom division, five years after winning the FA Cup.

Such is the gravity of the situation, fans and club insiders have almost mentally prepared themselves for another relegation next season, providing the club stays in existence.

That will find them playing non-league football. They could even find themselves playing Whitehawk in a league fixture – something no one could have comprehended the day Sol Campbell lifted the FA Cup.