While we appreciate this is something which is hugely popular with our younger supporters, the sheer volume of interest has made it dangerous, both at the Amex and the training ground.
In recent weeks we have witnessed dangerous overcrowding while at Lancing we have seen supporters stepping in front of cars.
In addition, players have also been subject to abuse from fans, when they have been unable to stop to sign autographs or pose for selfies, which is not acceptable.
Furthermore, we are seeing an increasing number of repeat requests, from the same individuals, on a weekly basis with a large number then being sold for a profit on auction websites.
This practice devalues the club-signed merchandise we provide to the Brighton & Hove Albion Foundation, and the many club and Premier League charity partners who benefit from this as a source of fundraising.
From today, all players have been instructed by the club not to sign or pose for selfies when arriving or leaving the stadium or training ground – as it is no longer safe to do so.
Instead, we will be offering a number of spaces for our junior season-ticket holders and MyAlbion+ junior members at every home matchday to come to the stadium early for enhanced selfie and autograph opportunities with the squad in a safe environment as the players arrive.
A number of our junior members have been selected at random and invited to this Saturday’s game against West Ham United.
Next week we will write to members with further details on how to register their interest ahead of the match with Newcastle United. Please note members will be limited to attend one such session per season.
We fully appreciate this will come as a disappointment to many genuine autograph hunters and a number of our young fans who enjoy this as part of their matchday, but supporter safety is a number one priority and furthermore we feel an enhanced opportunity will make home matchdays even more special for those young fans selected.
There will also be additional opportunities at the popular member open days and organised supporter events at the Amex throughout the season.