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Fixture News

BARBER DELIGHTED WITH MAN CITY OPENER

16 June 2017

Paul Hazlewood
Albion's chief executive Paul Barber.

Brighton & Hove Albion chief executive Paul Barber expressed his excitement to welcome Premier League giants Manchester City to the Amex on the opening day of the season, following the release of the club’s 2017/18 fixture list.

The Seagulls will come up against Pep Guardiola’s team in their first-ever Premier League game, and Barber is looking forward to watching the Seagulls come up against some of the world’s best footballing talent.

He said, “We’re absolutely delighted, to not only have a home game for our first Premier League fixture, but to also play one of the world’s top sides.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming Manchester City and all that they come with.
20 years ago we were a kick or two from going out of the Football League, and here we are, two decades later, opening up our Premier League account against Manchester City - which is just wonderful.”

Barber was speaking to the media at the Amex yesterday, where in the stadium's Heineken Lounge at a specially arranged fixtures breakfast, Albion supporters were given envelopes containing the club’s 2017/18 Premier League schedule.

“Yesterday morning was the reality (of reaching the Premier League) for many of our staff and fans because the excitement at the stadium when Manchester City was announced as our opening fixture, was fantastic.

“We got sent the fixtures at 7.30am, so we had an hour and a half to digest them before they were officially made public and the fans heard the news - and it was a really incredible 90 minutes.

“You look down the fixtures list, look for those groups of games and think ‘that’s going to be difficult’, but then the closer you look you quickly come to the conclusion that it’s all going to be difficult!

“In their own way, each fixture has its own significant challenges, not least because even the so-called smaller clubs are looking at us as a smaller club and thinking ‘that’s our opportunity’.

“But it’s such a great feeling for so many people, not just across the football club, but across the whole city. We’re really looking forward to being part of the Premier League.”

Barber analysed Albion’s fixture list further, and he is under no illusions as to how difficult the club’s first season in the Premier League will be.

“There are some very tough games. To end the season, there’s an away fixture against our friends up the M23 - Crystal Palace - and then Tottenham at home, a tough trip to Burnley, and then Manchester United and Liverpool to follow that.

“We’ve also got so many southern fixtures for a change - Watford, Bournemouth, Southampton, West Ham, Palace, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham - compared to what we’ve become used to in the Championship.

“But there are no easy games in the Premier League. It’s a well-used cliche but the reality is that we’re now playing in the best league in the world against some of the best teams and players in the world.”