Listen to Paul Barber on the Official BHAFC Podcast

Chief executive and deputy chairman's interview is in two parts.

By Charlie Hanson • 16 April 2024

Paul Barber is the latest guest on The Official Brighton & Hove Albion podcast.

The chief executive and deputy chairman’s interview has been split into two parts, with the first released on Tuesday and the second coming out on Thursday.

Paul extended his contract with the club until 2030 earlier this month and discussed with podcast hosts Paul Hayward and Glenn Murray the thought process behind that decision.

“I’ve been here 12 years now and Tony and I are always looking as far into the future as we can, to not only extend our vision and evolve our vision but to create as much stability as we can,” Barber explained. “He’s going nowhere which is great and we talked about what my future looks like, and we agreed that if I could and wanted to there was the opportunity to commit to the club until 2030.

“I’ve always been guided by people in football that you pick your owner over the club and we’ve got a great owner, we’ve also got a great club. So as a chief executive it was an easy decision to stay for another six seasons.

“We want to be a regular top ten club, we want to compete in Europe again, we’d love to win a trophy. But we know we’re not alone in all of those aspirations. We know there are clubs slightly below us, around us and even clubs in the EFL who want to replicate what we’ve done.

“So the one thing we’re all agreed on is we can’t afford to stand still, we’ve got to keep looking forward, we’ve got to keep looking for ways to improve not just on the pitch but off it as well. We can’t be self-satisfied with what has been achieved so far.

“There’s a plan and there are no ceilings to what we can achieve.”

By Paul Hazlewood
Paul Barber alongside Tony Bloom.

Albion finished last season in a club record sixth in the Premier League, while they also reached the semi-finals of the Emirates FA Cup.

Replicating a top-six finish this campaign will be tought, and Barber understanding of the newfound expectations of the club.

“We started this season winning five of our opening six league games, we won five of our eight games in Europe – it hasn’t been a bad season," he added. "[We reached the] last 16 of the Europa League and FA Cup, I don’t think we’ve been out of the top ten of the Premier League all season.

“And yet, you do hear one or two whinges out there which is understandable because expectations do go up and Roberto [De Zerbi] is driving us every week to improve. It’s not just coming from fans, it’s coming internally as well.

By Paul Hazlewood
Albion qualified for European competition for the first time this season.

“But we’re realistic. We’re in the toughest league in the world, we’re coming up against some of the biggest clubs in the world with the biggest budgets in the world. It’s not easy.

“There have been times during the season where we’ve had 14 of our 25 first team players injured for four, five games or more. Solly March has been out a long time, Kaoru Mitoma has been out for a while now and these are players who are critical to the way we play.

“A lot of goals have been lost with those injuries, a lot of stability has been lost, but more importantly Roberto’s ability to refresh the starting line-up at critical times has been impacted and that hurts you. It hurts any team, but it’s certainly hurt us.”