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Barber: Wider community feeling effects of shutdown

Paul Barber has reflected on the impact the absence of football is having not just on Albion but businesses in Sussex.

By Bruce Talbot • 25 April 2020

It is nearly two months since the Seagulls were last in action at the Amex and if the current season is completed it will almost certainly be behind closed doors.

But it’s not just Albion’s bottom line which has taken a hit, according to the club’s chief executive.

“We are fortunate in that we have a generous owner in Tony Bloom who has invested a huge amount in the club over the years including £300 m in infrastructure alone. We are fortunate that he is able to sustain this for a reasonable time," said Barber. 

“But any business that is not seeing money coming in, or a much smaller amount of money coming in, while the costs are the same is going to hurt badly and the longer this goes on some clubs could face very significant issues.

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Press Conference: Potter and Barber

"It is a difficult time for everyone. We are not the only industry suffering and our club generates so much income for other businesses in this city.

“If we are not having matches and bringing thousands of people into the city every fortnight, the restaurants bars and transport infrastructure suffer.

"That is why we have been so keen to work with the PFA to try and agree the necessary wage reductions and deferrals because it is clubs that employ players and it is important we have 91 professional clubs still in existence when this is over because they are the organisations that employ footballers.”

Barber thinks the impact of coronavirus may also be felt at least the next two transfer windows.

“The best players want to play for the best clubs in the best leagues and therefore there will be a surge in demand for certain players when the market normalises or even before that, if those clubs have the money and want to make the move. But it is really difficult to second-guess the market.”

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