Tag: Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton & Hove Albion Make A Statement Of Intent

What a difference twelve months makes. Although their new stadium at Falmer was already well under way this time last year, optimism surrounding Brighton & Hove Albion this time last year was cautious to say the least. The League One contenders looked tough, and one final year at Withdean, where a lack of atmosphere came as an unwanted free gift with the very design of the ground, made promotion feel like a stretch too far. Skip forward twelve months, and this feels like a club reborn. Promotion felt inevitable very early on, and the team didn’t just win the league title – they won it in style, the best team in the division by a comfortable distance. Manager Gus Poyet has established himself as a real contender for a lengthy and successful career. Falmer is now The American Express Community Stadium and has over 18,000 tickets already sold for the new season in a summer when predictions for season ticket sales elsewhere have fallen somewhere between sluggish and apocalyptic. Today, though, came the icing on the cake for supporters of the club with the news that the club has signed Craig Mackail-Smith from Peterborough United for a fee of £2.5 million which will likely rise to around £3.25 million with various add-ons. There are several strands to this signing which make it particularly notable. Firstly, there is the calibre...

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Those We Have Lost: The Goldstone Ground, Brighton & Hove Albion

Today’s entry in this on-running series comes from Mark Chalcraft, who can otherwise be found at the very splendid 2nd Yellow football site. His subject is one that is rather close to one or two of us that already write for Twohundredpercent – Brighton & Hove Albion’s Goldstone Ground. This summer is a poignant one for Brighton & Hove Albion, as much as any other in their history.  Winning the League One title has been a cause for great celebration and joy, but it’s the move to the shiny, wonderful new Amex Community Stadium that has brought added significance to 2011 for a club that has been living in temporary accommodation for over a decade.  The club’s farewell to the ramshackle Withdean Stadium was a party, with success on the pitch matched with a bright financial future. Compare this with the scenes on April 26th 1997, and you realise just what an arduous journey the club and it’s fans have had to undertake. This was the date of the final ever game at the old Goldstone Ground, Albion’s home of ninety-five years and the unwilling victim of Bill Archer, Greg Stanley and David Bellotti’s asset strip.  It was an emotional day in so many ways.  Anchored to the bottom of Division Three and staring a future as a non-league club full in the face, Stuart Storer’s goal, the last...

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To Be Reborn At Falmer: Home In Style For Brighton

As they have done on so many occasions already this season, they cut it fine. At home against a Dagenham & Redbridge team that is fighting tooth and nail against relegation, Brighton & Hove Albion still managed to fall a goal behind before winning a thrilling match by four goals to three. It has been that sort of season for the club. There have been times when they have looked out of sorts, but they came out on top last night as they have done on so many other occasions this season. They are, deservedly, the first club in the top four divisions of English football to be promoted. Yet this, perhaps, isn’t the biggest story to have come from Brighton & Hove Albion this season. The big story for the club was always going to be their move to the American Express Community Stadium this summer, a move that has taken the club fourteen years to realise and was borne from events that almost caused its death during the middle of the 1990s. It has been a long and tortuous journey since those dark days, including a couple of grim years in exile at Gillingham and a protracted battle to get a new ground built that they could truly call home, but the feeling of vindication for all of those years has surely never felt as strong as...

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Match Of The Midweek: Dagenham & Redbridge 0-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

So near, yet so far. Brighton & Hove Albion travel to North-East London to play Dagenham & Redbridge in a league match for the first time this evening with the scent of promotion heavy in the air. That Gus Poyet’s team has been the stand-out team in League One this season is inarguable, but in recent weeks they have started to give the impression of being a team that is starting, just starting, to run on empty. They keep on winning – Saturday’s 2-1 win against Swindon Town at Withdean was their seventh in a row – but their performances have become somewhat scrappy in recent weeks. While this deterioration may be a cause for concern in some respects for their supporters, others may interpret it in a more positive light. Brighton have been a little lucky in recent weeks, but that can be even more valuable in the long term than playing well. With a fourteen point gap between the Seagulls and third-placed Peterborough United, the finishing line is almost in sight. Dagenham & Redbridge, however, will provide a stern test this evening. It seems difficult to believe that, just four years ago, they were a non-league club (the most visible remaining remnant of which, their Victoria Road ground, remains a non-league ground at heart in spite having had a smart new stand built at one end of...

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Poles Apart Yet Fans United: Plymouth Argyle And Brighton & Hove Albion Recall Old Bonds

As Brighton & Hove Albion and Plymouth Argyle took the pitch for their League One match last night, the immediate prognosis for the two clubs couldn’t have looked more different. While Plymouth have just been deducted ten points (which has sent them plummetting to the bottom of the table) and are set to enter into administration unless they can find a new buyer in the next couple of weeks, Brighton are sitting pretty at the top of the table and are set to move into their 22,000 capacity new stadium at Falmer during the summer. On the pitch the two clubs’ differing fortunes were concisely played out as Albion won by four goals to nil, but the match was particularly notable as being an opportunity to thank one particular Plymouth supporter for a suggestion which inspired a very unique protest when it was Brighton that were the club in a state of crisis. The asset-stripping of Brighton & Hove Albion during the mid-1990s was one of English football’s most shaming episodes of the decades. As David Bellotti and Bill Archer systematically ran the club into the ground and evicted it from The Goldstone Ground, the authorities stood idly by. Supporters of other clubs, however, were appalled by what was going on at Brighton and this was articulated by one Richard Vaughan, a fourteen year-old supporter of Plymouth Argyle, on...

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