Albion chairman surprised by transfer fees this summer

Albion chairman Tony Bloom admits the transfer market has surprised him this summer after breaking the club's transfer record yesterday.

Tony Bloom. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Tony Bloom. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Brighton were promoted into the Premier League for the first time in their history in April and transfer fees have since escalated in the past few months, with Neymar's recent move to Paris St Germain for £198m the world record fee paid for a player.

Albion broke their transfer record to sign Dutch midfielder Davy Propper from PSV Eindhoven yesterday. The fee is undisclosed but higher than the reported £5.2m the Seagulls paid Valenica for goalkeeper Mathew Ryan earlier in the transfer window.

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When asked if he was surprised by the cost of players this transfer window, Bloom said: “Yeah I am surprised. I don’t get surprised by too much, but how much it is, how much clubs ask, I think it’s even a bit more when you are in the Premier League.

"But we get on with it. It’s the same for everyone. Our competitors in other Premier League teams are finding it very difficult, and all I can say is that we are extremely pleased with all the players that we have brought in.

"You are rarely going to get all the transfers you want before the first game of the season, but we have got a lot in and we are looking forward to the next few weeks and completing our squad.”

Does Bloom feel transfer fees have been over-inflated this summer? He said: “It is all relative. What does overvalued mean. I only value players compared to the value of other players as the market is the market.

"I might not like paying them but I have to get the best value out there with also the knowledge that sometimes you have to individually overpay if you need a particular type of player in the moment because we want to give ourselves in our budget the best possible chance of staying in the division. So it is balancing these things up.

"There is no doubt it is an inflated market but who is to say that it is not going to keep inflating in years to come. It has never stopped. I expected it to be some kind of inflation this season but I was not quite expecting this level and I think I am probably in the majority with that view."

Albion have signed five players this summer, with Propper joining Pascal Gross, Markus Suttner, Ryan and on-loan Izzy Brown in the squad.

Bloom said: "Now we are in the Premier League, we are recruiting and the players we have recruited so far we are very happy with and we have more work to be done.

"But we don’t want to be spending a huge amount of money. There is no guarantee that it will be successful and if you do go back down you are back in a situation of a lot of clubs who are really struggling after relegation.

"It is always getting that balance. Like I am sure every club trying to get value for money for every player you bring in, which in this particular window is not easy as the inflation on the transfer fees is quite sensational.

"There is always the choice about going within your budget for the best player, or the best value player.

"Obviously if you get somebody almost as good for half the price, then you will do that. So it is balancing those things up, and it is relative to each other and its relative to your squad and what you need, and as I said there are occasions when even compared to other players, you will perhaps in an individual situation pay slightly over the odds.

"It is not something I would normally do, but that is not an emotional decision, that’s looking at our individual situation at a point in time, and making a call at that time.”

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