IT cost a million pounds to bring Will Buckley to Brighton. Albion broke their club transfer record signing the 22-year-old from Watford. This amount is double that paid for Andy Ritchie, but as that was 30 years ago so perhaps it isn’t as much in real terms. It does, though, show Albion’s ambition as they prepare to move into the Championship at their new AMEX stadium at Falmer.
Buckley has signed a three-year deal. He comes to us via Rochdale where he made his debut as a 19-year-old and Watford where he played 33 games in the Championship last year, scoring four times. I’m not sure where manager Gus Poyet will play him. He is described as a 6ft winger who plays midfield with the option of playing as a second striker.
Clearly he is the type of player that Gus thinks will fit into his possession and passing team.
“He is very good running with the ball, he is fast and goes past people and he will bring something different. He is young but knows the division well, and he is a player I am really looking forward to working with and making him one of us.”
This signing follows that of Will Hoskins, the 25-year-old striker from Bristol Rovers. We do need new blood for the exciting season ahead, as top scorer Glenn Murray deserted us for Crystal Palace and influential midfielder Elliott Bennett is on his way too. It is another case of “In Gus we trust” to find the replacements with the potential to take the club forward.
A million pounds! I like to think I’ve helped, perhaps a bootlace worth. The season ticket direct debits, including mine, are going into the club now so the income stream is there. But bottom line is that Chairman Tony Bloom is continuing to bankroll the Seagulls. Unlike other clubs owned by wealthy individuals, Tony has true local pedigree. Granddad Harry was Vice-chairman of Brighton back in the 1970s and Uncle Ray has been a long term director. I think the club is in safe hands. It can’t be a bad thing that Tony’s degree from Manchester was in mathematics.
His plan is for Albion at the AMEX to be self-supporting. All the foundations are there now and with Poyet putting together a competitive championship side we are in for exciting times. It may be cricket and tennis at the moment but football returns very soon. We will be testing our new Seagulls side against Tottenham Hotspurs at the end of next month.