Barber Lays Out Future Vision For Brighton & Hove Albion
For many Brighton fans the last decade must seem like a blur. What started with promotion to the Championship then carried on with the opening of a brand new training facility and the historic Amex Stadium, ended, fittingly, with the club enjoying its third season in the Premier League.
Behind a lot of the good work has been one man – chief executive and vice-chairman Paul Barber. Brought to the club from Vancouver Whitecaps of the MLS, Barber has helped to transform the club on and off the pitch.
But now they’re in the top flight, what next? Following a guest speaker session with students at UCFB, Barber told us: “Certainly I’d like to see for us to stay in the Premier League and continue to work towards our long-term vision which is to be a top ten Premier League club.”
He admits that it will be difficult – the Premier League is notoriously competitive – but remains optimistic about their chances. In a message students could learn from, Barber added: “Hopefully we’re strong enough and resilient enough to overcome those challenges – and there will be some – because professional sport is full of them. There’s no guarantee that just because you’ve made it to the Premier League after a lot of hard work that you’re going be able to stay there forever.”
Now in their third season in the top flight, Brighton have racked up memorable wins against the likes of Manchester United and Tottenham at the Amex, and reached last season’s FA Cup semi-finals. Now for the club it’s about growing their profile around the world through the shop window of the Premier League.
Barber said: “The global profile that comes with playing in the Premier League is invaluable to our club, but also for our commercial partners American Express and Nike. It’s also great for the city because it helps the economy – hotel rooms get booked, restaurants get busy and a range of different businesses come to the city who might not otherwise have come.”
He finished: “The global profile, as well as national, are very powerful attributes for us to be a part of.”