Brighton donate food purchased for postponed Arsenal match to homeless charity

Albion have given food purchased for the hospitality lounges and retail kiosks, for the postponed match against Arsenal to the city’s homeless community.

Brighton and Hove Albion FC
Brighton and Hove Albion FC

The move comes after Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas called on communities not to forget food banks and homeless charities during the coronavirus crisis.

The club has donated all surplus fresh fruit and vegetables, diary products and sandwiches to Sussex Homeless Support, and a team from the organisation collected the food from the stadium today.

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It will be used to serve and provide food across various night shelters and soup kitchens in and around the Brighton & Hove area.

Albion will also pay staff who are unable to work due to the coronavirus, including more than six hundred regular casual staff who work for the club on matchdays.

Chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber agreed the measure with the club’s board of directors during an emergency conference call this afternoon, set up following the Premier League meeting earlier today.

Barber said: "“We have taken the decision as a club to continue paying the vast majority of our matchday staff for the remainder of the season, whether or not we play the five remaining Premier League games.

“We feel that is really important, whether we play the games in a full stadium, behind closed doors or at all, we want those staff to know they’ve got their pay coming to them."

The Premier League announced a suspension to the 2019/20 campaign until April 3 at the earliest. The Premier League says it intends to return on April 4, "subject to medical advice and conditions at the time".

Brighton's match with Arsenal was postponed on Friday night. Albion's match at Leicester in the suspension period had already been postponed due to Leicester's involvement in the FA Cup. The FA Cup quarter-finals scheduled for March 21 and 22 have also been postponed.

As it stands, Brighton will next play Manchester United on April 4 at the Amex. That game however has to be in serious doubt.

The sale of tickets for upcoming Premier League home and away games: including Liverpool and Manchester City at home and Southampton away have been postponed until further notice. Any supporter who purchased a ticket for the Arsenal home match have been advised the ticket is valid for the rescheduled match date.

Brighton also announced today Dick’s Bar, the ticket office and the store at the Amex is closed to personal callers until further notice.

A club statement read: "We are sorry for the inconvenience caused by these measures. The situation is changing at pace and we will of course keep our supporters up to date during this difficult time."