Brighton balloon scandal is a load of hot air - just focus on Premier League survival

It will come as no surprise to readers that over the years I’ve crossed the line on more than one occasion.

Brighton and Hove Albion defender Shane Duffy was said to be involved in the 'balloon incident'
Brighton and Hove Albion defender Shane Duffy was said to be involved in the 'balloon incident'

In 1993, with the aid of a spurious press pass, I managed to gain entry to the winners enclosure at Ascot, and broke royal protocol and shook the hand of Her Majesty The Queen.

Then in October 2008, whilst on air, I made an inappropriate comment and was promptly dismissed by BBC Radio Sussex, although later re-instated.

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And just last year in June, fuelled by a combination of stress and Corona, I confronted someone who was part of an alleged attempt to sell a false story to the Sunday Mirror about my daughter Amy for £2,000.

In hindsight, two out of the three things I shouldn’t have done. But whilst every action always has a reaction, in the grand scheme of things my actions didn’t have a huge knock on effect.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for certain Albion players and their much publicised indiscretions during the club’s midwinter break to Tenerife.

It’s all about circumstances, just say four Liverpool players had been caught doing the self same thing on their break, would there have been the same furore?

With their current position as runaway leaders in the Premier League, almost certainly not.

The same might be said if the players of surprise package Sheffield United, the Seagulls upcoming opponents, had behaved in a similar way. But the bottom line is, whether we like it or not, the Albion are in a relegation battle, which if they were to end up finishing in the bottom three could have far reaching consequences right across the club.

At 55, and having supported the club actively for 47 of those years, I’ve known about far worse going on at the club than what happened in Tenerife, incidents that would have even made the legendary Oliver Reed blush.

But in context that wasn’t when there was £150 million of TV revenue on the agenda, yes the holier than thou soundbites from everyone up on the moral high ground have been predictable, but ultimately the players shouldn’t have done what they did, especially in light of the current trend of trial by social media.

But they did it, they’re human, they’ve made a mistake, as we all do in life, including those perched up on the aforementioned moral high ground, this is one ‘bus’ I don’t mind the Albion parking, so they can get back to the important job of attaining Premier League football next season.

And finally Tyson Fury takes on Deontay Wilder in Vegas this weekend, with all due respect to Anthony Joshua, the two greatest heavyweights of their generation.

On a par with the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ and the ‘Thrilla in Manila’, when the first bell sounds at the MGM Grand at 4.30am our time on Sunday, expect no quarter given from both men.


Having already embarked on one of the greatest professional and personal comebacks in the history of the noble art, I take Fury to win on a late stoppage, Rounds eight ,nine or 10. My alarm clock is already set!