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BARBER HAILS TEAM EFFORT, BUT NO REST YET!

6 July 2015



Brighton & Hove Albion chief executive Paul Barber has hailed the work of the club's recruitment team so far this summer, but says they won't be resting on their laurels just yet, as there is still plenty of work to be done ahead of the new season.

The Seagulls chief said, "In a competitive transfer market, it's very important to identify multiple options and to do your homework early and thoroughly so when the right opportunities arise, you're in the best position you can be to get deals done.

"A lot of work goes into not just looking at a player over a long period of time, but also the background of the player, their family situation, and whether we think they can settle well in a city like Brighton & Hove. This preparation all helps to get transfers done and minimises the risks of a new signing not working out.

"Unfortunately, there are no guarantees in the transfer market and it's impossible to secure every target; unlike the winter transfer window, this is a much longer window effectively extending over several months and it's not always easy to get things done quickly. Clubs, players and agents often like to keep their options open for as long as possible. Competition is rife for the best players.

"We're pleased with the progress we've made, but we've still got a lot more work to do. We knew at the start of the transfer window that it was important to bring in our new players as early as possible, partly to help Chris in his pre-season preparations and partly to help the players settle." 

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Barber has praised the role of new head of recruitment Paul Winstanley, who's played a crucial role since taking on the responsibility last December - and the many backroom staff, who help with player recruitment.

"Paul has been doing a great job. He has been working around the clock, as everyone is in the club during this time of year, to get our deals done. This involves a lot of time on the phone, in meetings, and travelling.

"He's got a great relationship with the manager, and equally good relationships with myself and the chairman. We all work very well together. We know each other's strengths, so we try to play to those. To be effective in the transfer window, you need a real team effort.

"And it's not just the names that the fans are familiar with who contribute to the team effort: there are many other people hidden behind the scenes - from our analysts to the scouts and to other key backroom staff such as our player liaison team - who all do a great job helping the players, their partners, and families to settle as quickly as possible.

"It is a massive team effort when new players come to sign for the club and we've now got these fantastic assets such as the Amex and our new training facilities at Lancing, which give us a real advantage when players come to see the club for the first time.

"Potential signings are always well aware of our ambitions, and also what Tony [Bloom] has done for the club over the past half decade or so, but when they actually see the reality of the infrastructure we have here, it definitely adds to our ability to sell the football club."

Meanwhile, Barber has also echoed the sentiments of manager Chris Hughton, with regard to the need for a strong squad to cope with the demands of the division, adding, "The Championship remains a very tough league and the key to success is a squad with depth and consistency.

"Some teams have secured promotion with a relatively small squad, but they’ve been lucky enough to have a consistent 18 on the team sheet week in, week out. Other clubs have got promoted with a much bigger, deeper squad that has enabled them to get over injuries and suspensions, when and if they arise.

"We're looking to have the best-possible squad in the best-possible shape for the opening game of the season. That’s something we've been aiming for from before Chris arrived and most certainly during the time Chris has been here. It's a case of so far so good in the way it's coming together."

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