Brighton & Hove Albion F.C.

Brighton & Hove Albion
Full name Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club
Nickname(s) The Seagulls
The Albion
Founded 24 June 1901 (1901-06-24)
Ground The Amex
Ground Capacity 30,750
Chairman Tony Bloom
Manager Chris Hughton
League Championship
2015–16 Championship, 3rd
Website Club home page

Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club /ˈbrtən ən ˈhv/ is a professional association football club based in the city of Brighton & Hove, East Sussex, England. It is often referred to simply as Brighton. They currently play in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system, hosting games at the 30,750-capacity Falmer Stadium, known for sponsorship purposes as the American Express Community Stadium, or simply the Amex.

The team is nicknamed the "Seagulls" or "Albion". The team has historically played in blue and white stripes, though this changed to all white briefly in the 1970s and again to plain blue during the club's most successful spell in the 1980s.[1] Crystal Palace is considered the club's main rival, although the grounds are 40 miles apart.[2][3]

Founded in 1901, Brighton played their early professional football in the Southern League before being elected to the Football League in 1920. The club enjoyed greatest prominence between 1979 and 1983 when they played in the First Division and reached the 1983 FA Cup Final, losing to Manchester United after a replay.[4] They were relegated from the top division in the same season. Mismanagement brought Brighton close to relegation from the Football League to the Conference which they narrowly avoided in 1997 and 1998. A boardroom takeover saved Brighton from liquidation, and following successive promotions they returned to the second tier of English football in 2002 and have played in the second and third tiers ever since.


Former Brighton chairman Dick Knight who ultimately saved the club

Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. were founded in 1901 and 19 years later, in 1920, they were elected to the Football League's new Third Division — having previously been members of the Southern League. In the Southern League they won their only national honour to date, the FA Charity Shield, which at that time was contested by the champions of the Southern League, and the Football League, by defeating Football League Champions Aston Villa in 1910.[5]

Mike Bamber was the chairman of Brighton from October 1972 until 1983. He famously brought Brian Clough to the club in 1973 and later appointed former England player Alan Mullery as manager. Brighton's life as a Football League club had brought little in the way of success and headlines until 1979, when, under Mullery's management, they were promoted to the First Division as Second Division runners-up. The 1982/83 season saw a wildly inconsistent start for the club, with victories over Arsenal and Manchester United mixed in with heavy defeats. Manager Mike Bailey eventually lost his job at the start of December 1982. Jimmy Melia took over as manager, but was unable to turn the situation around and Brighton were relegated in 1983, having finished in bottom place.

Despite their relegation, that season Brighton reached their first (and only to date) FA Cup final and drew 2–2 with Manchester United in the first match. Brighton's goals were scored by Gordon Smith and Gary Stevens. This was the final that featured the "miss" by Gordon Smith with virtually the last kick of the game in extra time, prompting the BBC commentator John Motson to utter the well known phrase "...and Smith must score". However, Smith's kick was actually saved by the Manchester United goalkeeper, Gary Bailey. In the replay, Manchester United won 4–0.

In 1996, the club's financial situation was becoming increasingly precarious and the club's directors had come to a decision that the Goldstone Ground would have to be sold to pay off some of the club's huge debts. Manager Jimmy Case was sacked after a terrible start to 1996–97 saw Brighton stuck the bottom of the league by a considerable margin – they seemed certain to be relegated from the Football League just 14 years after they had almost won the FA Cup. The club's directors, who appeared to have little concern about the on-field fortunes of the club, appointed a relative unknown in Steve Gritt, the former joint manager of Charlton Athletic, in hope of performing a miracle survival. Brighton's league form steadily improved under Gritt, although their improving chances of survival were put under further threat by a two-point deduction imposed as punishment for a pitch invasion by fans who were protesting against the sale of the Goldstone ground. A lifelong fan named Dick Knight took control of the club in 1997 having led the fan pressure to oust the previous board following their sale of the club's Goldstone Ground to property developers.

Former player Kerry Mayo

By the last day of the season, after being 13 points adrift at one stage, they were off the bottom of the table and had to play the team directly below them, Hereford United — the game was in their hands. If Brighton won or drew, they would be safe. Brighton defender Kerry Mayo scored an own goal in the first half and it looked as though their 77-year league career was over. But a late goal from Robbie Reinelt saved the day, Brighton retained their league status on goal difference, and Hereford's 25-year league run was instead over.

The sale of the Goldstone ground went through in 1997, leading to Brighton having to play some 70 miles away at Gillingham's Priestfield stadium for two seasons. Micky Adams was appointed Brighton's manager in 1999. For the start of the 1999–2000 season the Seagulls secured a lease to play home games at Withdean Stadium, a converted athletics track in Brighton owned by the local council. In February 2000 Brighton signed a little known forward on loan from Bristol Rovers called Bobby Zamora. Zamora made an instant impact, scoring in his debut, the 1–1 home draw with Plymouth.

2000–01 was Brighton's first successful season for 13 years. They were crowned champions of Division Three and promoted to Division Two, where they made an excellent start and looked good bets for a second successive promotion. Adams left in October 2001 to work as Dave Bassett's assistant at Leicester, being replaced by former Leicester manager Peter Taylor. The transition proved to be a plus point for Brighton, who maintained their good form and ended the season as Division Two champions – winning a second successive promotion. Just five years after almost succumbing to the double threat of losing their Football League status and going out of business completely, Brighton were one division away from the Premier League.

During May 2009, Knight was replaced as chairman at Brighton by Tony Bloom, who had successfully secured £93 million funding for the new Falmer Stadium and secured 75% shareholding at the club.[6]


Brighton fans at Falmer Stadium during the first league game at the stadium against Doncaster Rovers

For many years Brighton and Hove Albion were based at the Goldstone Ground in Hove, until the board of directors decided to sell the stadium. The sale, implemented by majority shareholder Bill Archer and his chief executive David Bellotti, proved controversial, and the move provoked widespread protests against the board. The club received little if any money from this sale.[7]

In their last season at the Goldstone, 1996–97, the Seagulls were in danger of relegation from the Football League. They won their final game at the Goldstone against Doncaster Rovers,[8] setting up a winner-takes-all relegation game at Hereford United, who were level on points with the Seagulls. Brighton drew 1–1, and Hereford were relegated to the Football Conference on goals scored.[9]

For two years, from 1997–99, the club shared Priestfield Stadium, the ground of Gillingham, before returning to Brighton to play at Withdean Stadium. This is not predominantly a football ground, having been used for athletics throughout most of its history, and previously as a zoo.[10]

Because of the cost of the public enquiry into planning permission for a new stadium, rent on Withdean Stadium, fees paid to use Gillingham's Priestfield Stadium, and a general running deficit due to the low ticket sales inherent with a small ground, the club had an accumulated deficit of £9.5 million in 2004. The board of directors paid £7 million of this; the other £2.5 million had to be raised from the operations of the club. In an effort to achieve this, a fund-raising appeal known as the Alive and Kicking Fund was started, with everything from nude Christmas Cards featuring the players to a CD single being released to raise cash. On 9 January 2005 this fund-raising single 'Tom Hark' went straight in at number 17 in the UK chart, gaining it national airplay on BBC Radio 1.[11]

On 28 October 2005 the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister announced that the application for Falmer had been successful, much to the joy and relief of all the fans. Lewes District Council contested John Prescott's decision to approve planning permission for Falmer, forcing a judicial review. This was based on a minor error in Prescott's original approval which neglected to state that some car parking for the stadium is in the Lewes district as opposed to the Brighton & Hove unitary authority. This caused further delay. Once the judicial review ruled in favour of the stadium, Lewes District Council said that it would not launch any further appeals.

Building of Falmer Stadium started in December 2008. On 31 May 2011 the club officially completed the handover and was given the keys to the stadium with an initial capacity of 22,374 seats, signifying the end of 12 years without a home. During January 2012, the club submitted an application to Brighton and Hove City council to increase the stadium capacity by a further 8,000 seats as well as to add additional corporate boxes, new television facilities and a luxury suite.[12] This was granted unanimously by Brighton & Hove City Council's planning committee on 25 April 2012. The stadium was then expanded to 27,250 for the start of the 2012–13 season and then further to 27,750 during December 2012 before reaching 30,750 during May 2013.


Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Finland GK Niki Mäenpää
2 Spain DF Bruno (Captain)
3 Cameroon DF Gaëtan Bong
4 Germany DF Uwe Hünemeier
5 England DF Lewis Dunk
6 England MF Dale Stephens
7 Israel MF Beram Kayal
8 Czech Republic MF Jiří Skalák
9 England FW Sam Baldock
10 Israel FW Tomer Hemed
11 France MF Anthony Knockaert
12 Belgium DF Sébastien Pocognoli (on loan from West Brom)
13 England GK David Stockdale
No. Position Player
14 England MF Steve Sidwell
15 Scotland MF Jamie Murphy
16 Denmark GK Casper Ankergren
17 England FW Glenn Murray (on loan from Bournemouth)
18 England DF Connor Goldson
19 Ghana FW Elvis Manu
20 England MF Solly March
21 Northern Ireland MF Oliver Norwood
22 Republic of Ireland DF Shane Duffy
23 England DF Liam Rosenior
24 England MF Rohan Ince
29 Republic of Ireland MF Richie Towell
30 Democratic Republic of the Congo MF Kazenga LuaLua

Development squad and youth team

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
31 Spain GK Robert Sanchez
32 Republic of Ireland MF Jayson Molumby
33 England MF Jesse Starkey [13]
34 Kenya FW Jonah Ayunga
35 England MF Connor Tighe
36 Republic of Ireland MF Dessie Hutchinson
37 England DF Ben Barclay
38 England MF Joe Ward [14]
40 England DF George Cox
42 England DF Rob Hunt
43 England DF Ben White
No. Position Player
44 Canada DF Sam Adekugbe (on loan from Vancouver Whitecaps)
45 Republic of Ireland DF Tom Cadman
46 England FW James Tilley
47 Scotland FW Jack Harper
48 Northern Ireland DF Ben Hall
49 England DF Tyler Hornby-Forbes
51 England MF Will Collar
Norway MF Henrik Rørvik Bjørdal
England FW Jason Davis
Finland FW Vahid Hambo

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
41 England GK Bailey Vose (on loan at Concord Rangers)
Republic of Ireland DF Dylan Barnett (on loan at Bognor Regis Town)
Republic of Ireland DF Thomas Byrne (on loan at Bognor Regis Town until January 2017)
England DF Tom Dallison (on loan at Cambridge United until 8 January 2017)
No. Position Player
England MF Jake Forster-Caskey (on loan at Rotherham United until 30 June 2017)
England FW Jordan Maguire-Drew (on loan at Dagenham & Redbridge until 8 January 2017)
England FW Chris O'Grady (on loan at Burton Albion until 30 June 2017)
England GK Christian Walton (on loan at Luton Town until 30 June 2017)


    See Soccerbase for full managerial history

    Current management team

    Position Name
    Manager Chris Hughton
    Assistant manager Paul Trollope
    First team coach Paul Nevin
    Goalkeeping coach Ben Roberts
    Youth team goalkeeping coach Casper Ankergren
    Academy manager John Morling
    Development squad coach Simon Rusk
    Youth team manager Ian Buckman
    Youth team coach Vic Bragg
    Head of medical services Adam Brett
    Club doctor Dr. Stephen Lewis
    Sports scientist Martin Springham
    Assistant physio Paul Watson
    Assistant physio Sam Blanchard
    Fitness coach Thomas Barnden


    Club officials

    Position Staff
    Chairman Tony Bloom
    Chief executive Paul Barber
    Directors Ray Bloom
    Derek Chapman
    Robert Comer
    Adam Franks
    Marc Sugarman
    Peter Godfrey
    Executive director Martin Perry
    Finance director David Jones
    Life president Dick Knight
    Club secretary Derek Allan

    Source: Who's Who


    Brighton & Hove Albion's historic league position



    Winners (3) 1957–58, 2001–02, 2010–11
    Winners (2) 1964–65, 2000–01
    Winners (1) 1909–10


    Winners (1): 1910
    Winners: (2) 1959–60, 1960–61[note 1]

    Shirt sponsors and manufacturers

    Season(s) Shirt manufacturer Main sponsor Secondary sponsor Home stadium
    1902–1971 B&HA n/a n/a Goldstone Ground, Hove
    1971–1974 Bukta
    1974–1975 Admiral
    1975–1977 Umbro/Bukta/B&HA
    1977–1980 Bukta
    1980–1983 Adidas British Caledonian Airways
    1983–1986 Phoenix Brewery
    1986–1987 NOBO
    1987–1989 Spall
    1989–1991 Sports Express
    1991–1993 Ribero TSB Bank
    1993–1994 Sandtex
    1994–1997 Admiral
    1997–1998 Superleague Priestfield, Gillingham
    1998–1999 Donatello
    1999–2008 Erreà Skint Withdean
    2008–2011 IT First
    2011–2013 Donatello Falmer Stadium
    2013–2014 American Express n/a
    2014– Nike

    See also


    1. shared with Chichester City in 1960–61
    1. "Brighton & Hove Albion". Historical Football Kits. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
    2. "Club Rivalries Uncovered Results" (PDF). FootballFanCensus. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
    3. Burnton, Simon (2011) How Brighton v Crystal Palace grew into an unlikely rivalry, The Guardian, 27 September (Accessed Dec 2012)
    4. "1983 FA Cup Final". Retrieved 6 September 2011.
    5. Brighton & Hove Albion Talk Football. Retrieved 9 August 2011
    6. Stadium Funding Secured, Brighton & Hove Albion F.C., 18 May 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2009
    7. "Club in Crisis – Brighton". Club in Crisis. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
    8. "WELCOME – BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION". Doncaster Rovers F.C. 16 May 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
    9. "WE ARE STAYING UP". YouTube. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
    10. "Withdean Stadium". Royal Pavilion & Brighton Museums. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
    11. "Brighton fans single makes top 20". BBC. 10 January 2005. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
    12. "Albion's £36 million plans to push for Premiership". The Argus. 2 January 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
    13. "Starkey signs". Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. 26 August 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
    14. "Ward joins development squad". Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. 3 June 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
    15. "R.U.R. Cup Final Results – Sussex County Football Association". Retrieved 11 November 2012.

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