Albion smash transfer record on Dutch International Davy Pröpper

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Brighton and Hove Albion have smashed their transfer record on Dutch International, Davy Pröpper. The 25 year old midfielder joins until 2021 for a fee believed to be in the region of £10,000,000.

Pröpper played 34 games in the Eredivisie for PSV Eindhoven last season. In the process, he helped the Brabant based club finish 3rd and qualify for the Europa League with 6 goals and 7 assists to his name.

Pröpper has experience playing across the spine of the team, either in a deeper role or in more advanced positions behind the striker.

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Davy has both Champions League and Europa League experience under his belt. He played Bayern Munich and Albion’s recent visitors Atletico Madrid last season, but was unable to help PSV qualify to the knockout stages.

Chris Hughton said: “He’s a strong competitor as a central midfielder and will complement our existing midfield players, and he is also a really good age at 25. We are absolutely delighted to welcome him to the club.”

This signing will add more depth to Albion’s midfield and gives Chris Hughton more valuable options due to Pröpper’s versatility in playing more defensively or behind the striker.

Pröpper will be available for Brighton’s opening fixture against Manchester City on Saturday 12th. What do you think of Brighton’s new signing?

The Price of Football: Is £45 for home tickets a fair price for the average fan? #bhafc

In a recent article published on the official club website, the ticket price for ‘Category A’ games was revealed. To see the Albion face the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal – fans will have to fork out at least £45 for the cheapest match day ticket. When you factor this in with the £7 pie and a pint ‘deal’ and various other expenses such as train travel, the cost of seeing Brighton play could be upwards of £55.

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BHAFC fans

Last season, adult season tickets were around £495 for 23 matches at the AMEX. This made an average cost of £21.50 per game (a fair price in my opinion) along with free travel via bus or train which is a massive bonus. This year, season ticket prices have increased by £20 to £515. Supporters will end up paying an average of £27.10 for each of the 19 Premier League home matches Brighton will play.

It seems illogical to me that the club deem it necessary to increase ticket prices. All it will do is price out families and lower-income fans.

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Sunderland received £99.9 million in broadcasting rights for finishing 20th last season.

Last season the team that finished 20th (Sunderland) received £99.9 million due to the lucrative TV rights deal funded by Sky, BT and many other broadcasters. This increase in revenue will make up a gigantic portion of the club’s revenue. In fact, it is a 100x more than the mere £980,000 Brighton earned in the entire 2016/17 season from TV money.

My question is, why can’t the club keep prices as low as possible? Revenue from match day tickets isn’t crucial anymore due to the guaranteed £100+ million the club will recieve regardless of where they finish in the 2017/18 season.

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Other clubs have rewarded fan loyalty and ensured that Premier League Football has not stopped fans from seeing the team they love.  Huddersfield Town have set adult prices at £199 (which averages at £10.50 per game). A loyalty scheme also ensures that Terrier’s fans who have had a season ticket since 2009/10 will have to pay a measly £100 for the 19 Premier League home games.

This sort of pricing is what the modern game needs. Bayern Munich charge only £12 to see their team play at the Allianz Arena. This is astonishing considering the German giants only received £40 million in TV money in the 2015/16 season.

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The price of Premier League football isn’t a necessity or major revenue stream for participating clubs. It is, in my opinion, a way of exploiting fans. Because at the end of the day, the demand for Premier League football is extremely high, so if one fan can’t afford to pay £45 for a ‘Category A’ fixture, there will always be someone who can.

I can’t wait for this upcoming season, but I would like fans to be shown more respect rather than be cashed in.

 

Home Start Could Be Key For Albion’s Survival Hopes

Starting their inaugural campaign with a home fixture would be great news for Chris Hughton’s Premier League new boys. Fans of many clubs will be highly anticipating the 9am release of the 2017/18 Premier League Fixtures tomorrow.

 

Ideally for Brighton – a home fixture to mark the first ever Premier League game in the Seagulls’ 116 year history would be fantastic. Not only will it be great motivation for the players standing in front of a packed AMEX, it could be a great foundation for a good early run of form for the Seagulls.

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Bruno will be the first ever Brighton player to captain the Seagulls in the Premier League.

Many people are hoping for a fixture against a big side like Manchester United. This would be amazing, but then again, it would almost certainly result in a loss. Personally, I would prefer a fixture at home to the likes of Swansea, Watford or Bournemouth.

Brighton were humbled 4-0 at the hands of Arsenal the last time they got promoted to the top flight back in 1979.

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The Brighton side that played in their first season in the first division in the 1979/80 season. Credit: Seagulls TV

A win against a side who are also likely to be battling against relegation would be monumental for the campaign.

Whoever Brighton are pitted up against, lets remember the hard work that has got us to the Premier League. Get behind the team win, lose or draw.

By George Carden

A Year To Remember – A Fan’s Reflection on this Season

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Credit: Getty Images

Brighton can top off what has been a fairy-tale season for the Seagulls with a win against Bristol City this Saturday. 3 points would guarantee the title and put Chris Hughton’s table-toppers on a spectacular 95 points.

It seems like an eternity ago when we lost 2-0 to Newcastle in August and were sitting in 12th. This season has been filled with magical moments – Starting with the players touching tribute to Knockaert after his fathers passing, Glenn Murray’s last gasp header to win away at Birmingham, the 5-0 battering of Norwich, David Stockdale’s double penalty save against Sheffield Wednesday, Knockaert’s magical skills and goals, even the calm words of Chris Hughton (whatever the result). I can’t think of any negatives about this season.

Chris Hughton

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Where do I start about this man?

His humble and selfless attitude is something you rarely see in this modern game surrounded by over-flamboyant, egotistical maniacs. The likes of Antonio Conte, Jose Mourinho, and dare I say, even Gus Poyet (towards the end of his tenure at the club) are some of the names that spring to mind.

Hughton is arguably one of the most underrated managers in English football.

The former West Ham defender won the title with Newcastle in the 2009/10 season, took them to 11th in the Premier League and was sacked by controversial owner, Mike Ashley. Furthermore, he took Norwich to 11th in his first full season in the Premier League, a remarkable achievement. He was sacked after a poor run of form, but Norwich weren’t in the relegation zone at the time of his sacking.

He has taken Brighton from the brink of relegation to League 1 in 2014/15 and guided them above the likes of Newcastle and Aston Villa, who have spent a combined total of £120 million.

Chris Hughton is likely to get a fairer crack of the whip this time with Brighton. Tony Bloom is a sensible man. Even if Brighton got relegated in the 2017/18 season, I doubt Hughton would get sacked, he would be the best man to take Brighton straight back up.


The Players

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Credit: Jason Brown

What a great group of character Brighton have in their squad. We saw this with the promotion celebration with the likes of Sam Baldock crowd-surfing on a train going towards Brighton, Anthony Knockaert leading chants in West Street, even Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy clubbing in Brighton two days after the match!

This group of lads deserve this chance in the Premier League, whether some of them will make the step up is down to personal opinion, but I’m sure Hughton will give everyone the chance they have earnt to prove themselves at a higher level.

This squad will be sealed in history as the players who did the unthinkable and took the club who hadn’t been in the top flight for 34 years into the richest league in the world.


Tony Bloom

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Credit: James Marsh

The man behind it all. Raised as a Brighton fan, he has always had the club at heart, something we don’t have with many other chairmen these days – evidence of this can be seen with the unfortunate demise of Charlton and Leyton Orient.

He has funded the transfers, the stadium, training ground, and given constant support. He is finally getting his return on investment after taking over the club 8 years ago. He has taken the club to the next level and will always be considered a club legend.

Let’s not forget people behind the scenes such as Paul Barber and many others who have made the club into a tight cohesive financial unit.

Now the club most focus on hopefully winning the title, but most importantly, their first season in the Premier League. Everyone knows it will be tough, relegation will be a massive threat for Brighton, but all I can say is you would struggle to find someone better than Chris Hughton with his experience and Tony Bloom with his business credentials to take Brighton that extra step forward into becoming a secure Premier League club.

20 Years Ago, 90 League Positions Separated Newcastle and Brighton

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Hereford vs Brighton 1997 – Credit: http://www.wearebrighton.com

20 years ago, Brighton were languishing in the depths of the fourth tier of English Football. A famous match against Hereford United and subsequent equaliser from Robbie Reinelt ensured Brighton and Hove Albion’s safety. Meanwhile at the opposite end of the footballing pyramid, a Newcastle side led by Kevin Keegan, were gunning for the First Division title. They were pushed aside, 7 points behind a famous Manchester United side. 20 years ago, 90 league positions separated Brighton and Newcastle. Now it is just one.

It is amazing how much times have changed in 20 years. A club of Newcastle’s size shouldn’t be anywhere near the Championship. Brighton, who have spent a measly 4 years of their 116 year history in the top flight deserve this chance.

What do Brighton need to get promoted today?

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If Brighton beat Wigan today, Huddersfield have to find victory against Derby. Brighton can also draw but that would require Huddersfield to lose to Derby. A draw would leave Hughton’s side on 90 points with a +36 goal difference. If Huddersfield lose, the maximum they can acquire is 89 points with +5 goal difference.

The magic number for Brighton is 93 points (4 more points) which is a win and a draw. That will guarantee promotion to the Premier League even if Huddersfield were to win their last five games (leaving them on 92 points).

After that, it is between Brighton and Newcastle to battle it out for the title. However, both sets of supporters will find relief in having guaranteed promotion sealed first.

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It is surreal that 20 years of fighting, to save the club from relegation to the fifth tier of English football, to fight for planning permission for the AMEX, to comeback from back-to-back play off disappointments year after year, it has all boiled down to this day. This is the best time to be a Brighton fan. Let’s enjoy it.

Article by George Carden
Contact:
georgecarden99@gmail.com
Twitter: @George_Carden

Israel Ban a Chance for Hemed to Focus on Club Over Country

Tomer Hemed has been banned by coach, Elisha Levi, after publicly criticising him for not starting the striker in Israel’s 4-1 defeat to Spain. Hemed will miss fixtures against Moldova and Albania in June.

Whilst this disciplinary action may be frustrating for Hemed – it is a blessing for Brighton and Hove Albion. The Haifa born talisman has scored 7 goals in 15 starts for Brighton this season, and despite 14 frustrating appearances off the bench, has proven himself a valuable asset for the Seagulls over the course of the season.

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Credit: bbc.co.uk

Hemed has only featured for the full ninety minutes in five matches this season. In those games, he scored 4 goals and got 1 assist. The Seagulls could easily be third without his crucial goals in narrow victories against Cardiff and Burton.

Despite the limited game time, Hemed has worked hard and proven himself at every chance chance Hughton has given him. The striker has played 704 minutes in 2017, scoring 8 goals, this means he averages one goal every 88 minutes. When you compare this to Glenn Murray, who was brilliant up until December but has somewhat dropped off since January, the difference in form is remarkable. The English striker has scored 3 goals in 1064 minutes in 2017. That is one goal in every 354 minutes or 1 goal in every 4 games.

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Credit: zimbio.com

Back-to-back home matches against Blackburn and Birmingham between the 1st and 4th April are the perfect platform for Hemed to start and get another good run in the side – it would make perfect sense. Glenn Murray has looked fatigued in recent games, he is 33 after all, it is very rare a striker is able to keep performing at the top of their game week in, week out.

Last of all, as a Brighton fan, it is credit to how far we’ve come as a club that we have substitutes who are full internationals for their country. Who would have envisioned that fifteen years ago?

Article by George Carden
Contact:
georgecarden99@gmail.com
Twitter: @George_Carden

Brighton Still Well Equipped for Top Two Finish

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image courtesy of http://www.seagulls.co.uk

 

Brighton are still well equipped for a top two finish after spending four days recuperating in the province of Valencia on the east coast of Spain. Chris Hughton’s side suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Leeds due to a brace from former Albion loanee, Chris Wood.

Despite the defeat, the performance wasn’t as bad as it seemed. Both goals were avoidable thanks to shoddy defending from Lewis Dunk and Fikayo Tomori. At the other end, Brighton’s main men were not at their best, chances for Glenn Murray and Anthony Knockaert were wasted. On another day, the result could have been completely different. However, you can’t afford to dwell on mistakes at this stage of the season.

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The deserved break and three-day fitness camp should see players and management refreshed for the Blackburn match at the Amex on April Fools Day.

The first week of April sees Brighton face Blackburn and Birmingham City at home, as well as Holloway’s flying QPR side at Loftus Road on April 7. In the space of a week, Promotion could look more of a certainty than a dream. In the same week, Huddersfield have a straightforward match against Burton Albion, another home fixture against 8th placed Norwich, and an away match versus struggling Nottingham Forest.

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Photo: BHA Supporters Blog – QPR vs Brighton 2015/16

 

If Brighton are able to get 7 points out of those 3 games, they will be on 85 points.  Last season, Brighton were on 75 points after 40 games, they are 2 points better off with 2 less games currently. It shows how competitive the Championship has become at the top of the table. It is almost a certainty that more than 90 points will be needed for top two.

I would be much more worried if Brighton lost to Bristol City 4-0. However it can be said, all three top teams are dropping points at the moment. Newcastle have acquired 2 points out of a potential 9 in their last three games. Brighton and Huddersfield have 6 points out of a potential 9 in their last three games. The only team who have been undefeated for more than three games in the top six is Leeds. They are unbeaten in seven matches.

The end of another Championship season is drawing closer. Brighton are in a great position in terms of points tally and goal difference (+30 compared to Huddersfield’s +4 goal difference). If you told me that we would be on 77 points with eight games left and have a six point gap on third, I would have metaphorically bit your hand off!

 

Article by George Carden
Contact:
georgecarden99@gmail.com
Twitter: @George_Carden