‘Brighton show what a well-run club can achieve’

3 minute read

Ahead of the start of the 2023/24 Premier League in only a few days, the League’s Chief Executive Richard Masters is looking forward to another season of excitement.

“That’s the great thing about the Premier League: you don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Masters at the Premier League’s Season Launch. “We’re just looking for another competitive and compelling season with lots of stories on and off the pitch to keep people interested.

“And I’m sure it’s going to deliver again this season.”

‘It’s going to be competitive’

Manchester City last season became only the second team to win three consecutive Premier League titles, but Masters is not concerned about a dominance by one team, citing the challenge from Arsenal, who led the table for a record 248 days last season, before being pipped by the holders.

“Obviously, City won the Premier League again to complete the Treble, but they were pushed all the way by Arsenal,” says Masters. “We don’t care who wins as long as it’s competitive.

“We’ve got three clubs in Europe this season who are either going in for the first time or returning, like Newcastle United and Aston Villa, after a long period out of Europe.

“So we know the European spots are going to be competitive.

“The three promoted clubs last season [Fulham, AFC Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest] all stayed up. Let’s see how Luton, Burnley and Sheffield United do this season.

“So there are loads of interesting storylines for people to follow.”

‘Brighton a fantastic success story’

The Season Launch took place in the south-coast city of Brighton, whose club, Brighton & Hove Albion, have enjoyed a meteoric rise.

In little more than a decade, Brighton have gone from going homeless, kicked out of their Goldstone Ground home, having to play in the local Withdean athletics stadium in the lower leagues, to becoming a Premier League force with a state-of-the-art American Express Stadium.

Brighton fans

Brighton’s sixth-place finish last season was their highest ever in the Premier League and earned them qualification for UEFA competition for the first time.

Masters says Brighton’s rise shows the opportunities that exist in the English football pyramid for well-run clubs.

“I remember being at the Withdean many years ago,” says Masters. “In between the Goldstone and the current stadium, the future of the club looked pretty precarious, then in League One a decade ago.

“Now look at them, their fantastic success story in terms of turning aspiration into achievement. It’s what the English pyramid delivers. If you do a good job on and off the pitch, you’ll get your rewards and European football is there to be had if you get it right.”

And such success is limited not only to the club. Brighton shows how it can have an impact on the wider city and surrounding area, as a new economic report has outlined.

The report finds Brighton contributed £595million to the local economy during 2022/23, which included £327m of direct income, £26m spent by visitors, £20m spent on goods and services in Brighton & Hove by club employees and a further £222m of brand and media value to the local economy, which greatly increases the city’s profile around the world.

The report added that qualification for Europe will add up a further £80m to this season’s total.

An independent assessment has revealed the incredible economic impact of the team’s achievements on the city. 📊 #BHAFC

— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) August 8, 2023

‘Putting Brighton on global map’

“Brighton is on the global map via the Premier League,” says Masters, pictured above with Brighton CEO Paul Barber and club ambassador and former forward Bobby Zamora.

“Brighton and Hove, the city, is on in a billion homes around the world every weekend between August and May every year, so it gives the community a whole lift.

“Brighton have just commissioned an economic impact study that says the club provided £600million of economic benefit during the 2022/23 season, supporting over 2,000 jobs, with a further £80m predicted to come in via the European journey they’re about to go on, and 50,000 visitors from around the globe coming to the city to see football matches.

“They have had a huge impact on the local community here and it’s a really exciting time for the club and the whole city, which is set to continue.”