Barber: We Believe in the Dream

Paul Barber says the opportunity for clubs like Albion to reach the Premier League's top ten and challenge for a European place should never be taken away.

By Bruce Talbot • 22 April 2021

By Paul Hazlewood
Albion chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber.

The club’s chief executive and deputy chairman was reacting to the news that the proposed European Super League had collapsed under the weight of protest from the football and political world on Tuesday, while Albion were making their point on the pitch by holding Chelsea – one of the six English clubs who pulled out – to a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge.

He said, “We all love football because of the wins and the losses, the titles and the cups and even the relegations, they add to that narrative we have grown up with.

“Someone once said to me ‘you don’t enjoy the highs (in football) until you have experienced the lows’ and that is absolutely true. Who is to say there isn’t another Leicester City out there or another West Ham - a club that has come from the bottom six last season to a potential Champions League place this season.

“Trying to take away that dream for those clubs and more importantly the fans of those clubs was really extraordinary.

“I also think we have a collective responsibility for the game as a whole and when you take different decisions in a football club it is not just like any other business, where you are looking to maximise the benefit for your business.

“We thrive on being a collective and we have responsibilities way beyond our own clubs and our own league extending across the football pyramid and through our communities. If we forget that we do so at our peril.”

The club’s stated ambition is to be a top ten Premier League club and a top-four WSL side: “We believe in the dream and Tony Bloom has done for a very long time as our fans know and we want to pursue that dream.

“We haven’t finished yet. We have been lucky enough to stay in the Premier League for four seasons and we are going to do our best to stay for a fifth. But beyond that we want to push ourselves even harder and we don’t want the dream of a potential European spot at some stage in the future to be taken away from us.”