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BARBER'S PREMIER LEAGUE REALISATION

19 June 2017

Paul Hazlewood
Albion's chief executive Paul Barber.

Brighton & Hove Albion chief executive Paul Barber says the reality of reaching England’s top division became clear at the Premier League's Annual General Meeting - which he attended with chairman Tony Bloom.

The pair were presented with Albion’s Premier League shareholder certificate at the meeting - which was held in Harrogate - and Barber reflected on a special day that officially announced the club’s arrival in the top flight.

He said, “They organised the room alphabetically and we saw our name and logo sat next to Arsenal, and for me, that’s when it became real.

“Literally across the table from us was Chelsea, and then Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham were on the other side - and you suddenly think ‘wow’.

“We are at the level that the club has aspired to and it was really special. I looked at Tony and he looked back at me, and we said ‘wow, we’re here!’.

“We put our papers down and Richard Scudamore welcomed us as a newly-promoted team, everyone gave us a round of applause and then the next minute - we’re all rivals.

“We spent our first meeting listening, watching, learning and observing. But that was the moment the first whistle was blown.”

Barber stressed the importance of remaining realistic as the Seagulls look to secure safety in their debut Premier League season, but highlighted the club’s long-term ambitions.

“We haven't come here for one season, we want to be part of the Premier League for many years to come. We’ve got to set our targets and look to get as many points as we possibly can.

“Over the last couple of years, we’ve got very used to winning football matches, and we know that next season it’s going to be much tougher to do that.

“But we’re realistic about who we are, where we are and what we’ve got to do to stay where we are. However, it’s going to be very exciting.”


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