10 things that mean supporting Brighton & Hove Albion will never be the same again – as The Seagulls end 97 years of Football League membership
1) Every Saturday from next August until May, the Albion will feature on Match Of The Day #motd. An Albion top flight league match hasn’t featured on the show since the home game against Manchester City on May 7th 1983.
2) During Albion’s last top-flight stint two players were capped for England. Peter Ward in 1980 and Steve Foster including a World Cup appearance in 1982. Lewis Dunk and David Stockdale must be the favourites to achieve the modern day accolade.
3) In 1998 we were excited when a story appeared on the top page of Ceefax (press hold) that related to the Albion receiving compensation from Aston Villa then a bigger club, for poaching youth team player Gareth Barry. On Monday Brighton & Hove Albion were the last item on the main BBC evening news. As news of their wonderful promotion was confirmed.
4) Albion tried very hard to get out of the Football League 20 years ago. Steve Gritt and his men just failing to get relagated to oblivion on the last day of 1996/97 season against Hereford.
5) Summer transfer speculation could involve the possibility of Lionel Messi or Christiano Ronaldo visiting what is essentially East Moulscoombe. With rumours the big two Manchester clubs are to make a close season swoop for the modern day superstars.
6) Expect to see ticket touts in sun hats and very old school tattoos selling everything from match tickets to half and half scarves every other Saturday (or Sunday) at Brighton Station.
7) Those stalwart fans who supported the Albion through the Gillingham and Withdean years will have to share the Seagulls with everyone else in the City. Many of whom have been disinterested in the Albion for 33 and a half years.
8) Believe it or not the clamour for tickets for the Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal home fixture tickets has already started. Those locals who forgot Brighton & Hove had its own team for many years, needing to realise the sky isn’t the limit. 30,500 is.
9) Between now and July the Albion are likely to spend tens of millions of pounds on a single player. The almost unnoticed club record £3m fee for Glenn Murray likely to be catorgorically eclipsed.
10) Celebrity fans and MP’s will declare their undying love for the Seagulls. Both Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas and Hove member Peter Kyle leaping on the Twitter bandwagon just before 5pm yesterday. Maybe, Zoella or Super Hans will wax lyrical about the Gillingham years soon!