Brighton & Hove Albion: From begging for forty quid to turning down £40 million

Posted On 26 Jun 2021 at 10:17 am

As the Ben White saga trundles on, with Arsenal saying it’s as good as done and Albion saying something quite different, it’s important to look back around 18 years.

Back in late 2002 Albion were desperate to permanently sign a young Steve Sidwell – from Arsenal. Sidwell was briefly on loan to the Seagulls from November 2002 to early January 2003.

The then chairman and eternal saviour of the club, Dick Knight, and his fellow directors, couldn’t stretch to Arsenal’s asking price – so a group of fans started what became known as the ‘Forty Notes Fund’.

This was a way of helping the club financially to facilitate Sidwell’s and other potential signings.

Eventually, Sidwell went to Reading in late January 2003. The Berkshire club were then a far higher-placed, more successful and attractive proposition for a young ambitious player than Albion. How times change.

However, the Seagulls board of directors were hugely grateful for the funds and the money accumulated.

This eventually helped towards facilitating the loan signing of goalkeeper and current Albion goalkeeping coach Ben Roberts.

Fast forward those 18 years and it’s almost astonishing the club are now in a position to turn down and play hardball over 40 million quid.

  1. Fishwife, 49 Reply

    That was during the period when players had “Skint” emblazoned across their shirts. Good times, good times…

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