European football can have positive impact on the city

“A club saved by the voices of its fans will be singing in Europe next season and we also get to welcome teams and new fans to our city.”

By Bruce Talbot • 03 June 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Albion's success has attracted more interest in fans around the world.

Steve Bassam, a former leader of Brighton & Hove City council, has congratulated the club on its achievement of securing European football for the first time and outlined the positive impact that and our record-breaking achievements this season will have on the city.

Lord Bassam, who is now a Labour peer in the House of Lords, is a passionate Albion fan and played a major supportive role when the club built the Amex and moved to the stadium in 2011.

“The club and the city are in a good place to reap the benefits from the on-pitch success story,” he said. “Local businesses, our tourist and hospitality sector, the club’s supply chain, the jobs they create and the enthusiasm the club is generating linked to a strong social purpose could usher in a brilliant opportunity for the city to grasp.

“A club saved by the voices of its fans will be singing in Europe next season and we also get to welcome teams and new fans to our city.”

The club undertook a study they undertook in 2019 which revealed that the economic impact on our first two years in the Premier League was worth £212m to the local economy. Who knows what the figure is now, but it is sure to be much higher.

Taking into account the housing development at New Monks Farm next to the American Express Elite Performance Centre in Lancing, the club now supports 3500 jobs, 90% of which are local to Sussex.

By Kyle Hemsley
The Amex will stage European football for the first time next season.

Lord Bassam added, “Getting to the Europa League will add to that impact and represents a massive opportunity for both the club and City.

“It isn’t just away fans who will visit for the games that will give local hotels and hospitality providers a significant boost.

“Taken together with the destination branding internationally, the TV and player exposure, merchandising and the monetisation of the club’s name it will give Brighton and Hove a huge lift. Even before the Europa League starts, the Premier League Summer Series will greatly raise the club’s profile in the USA, which is the Premier League’s fastest-growing market, with the three games against Chelsea, Brentford and Newcastle set to attract crowds of up to 70,000 and massive media exposure.”

Councillor Ty Goddard, lead for business support & growth on Brighton Council, added: “One additional spin-off will be new levels of interest in the city’s two universities. The stadium location already draws in student interest, not least as a source of employment.

“There’s even a possibility that fans’ favourites Piglet Pies and Harvey’s Best will end up as global brands off the back of Albion’s success!

“Also, players from South America, Spain, Europe and Japan thrown together with an Italian manager has added to the sense that Albion are now a global club with a growing international fan base. Diversity is a strength on and off the field.”