Brighton have been here before...relegation deja vu is upon us

In these unprecedented times, kicking off at 7.15pm on a Sunday night is a different experience, however relegation deja vu is not.

Graham Potter's team were well beaten at Leicester
Graham Potter's team were well beaten at Leicester

I’m no Mystic Meg, but unfortunately I’ve called every relegation the club has suffered since I started watching them in 1973.

To be fair, with only two points for a win back then, 47 years ago it was almost a ‘done deal’ by the time of my first visit on Easter Monday.

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On to 1983, and Jimmy Melia’s total ineptitude as a manager was disguised by an unlikely but unforgettable cup run to Wembley.

By 1987, Barry Lloyd had inherited an overpaid squad on the pitch, and the beginnings of a financial apocalypse off the field, after the patient briefly rallied the meltdown continued in earnest in 92.

By 1996 Jimmy Case’s team on the pitch played in front of a club in civil war, in 2003, Steve Coppell nearly oversaw the great escape, but with 12 straight defeats at the start of the season, the damage was already done (a la 72-73) and chairman Dick Knight acknowledged that Mark McGhee had lost the dressing room before the Albion left the Championship in 2006.

So there you have it, seven relegations and each time I, like most of the core support, unfortunately saw them coming, and for the record, readers even cast adrift at the bottom of the Football League in Dec 1996, I always knew the Albion would get out of it at Hereford, and I also predicted in this very column, that Micky Adams’s team wouldn’t go down in 2008 nor Chris Hughton in 2018 or 2019.

So back to the present day, as things stand the current squad, for all their attractive football, concede too many goals and don’t score enough at the other end, they are simply not ‘too good to go down’ but unfortunately not good enough to stay up.

Nothing less than six points from the next two games, at Fulham and Sunday at home to Sheffield United, will ease the pressure on Graham Potter.

Tony Bloom is not only a die-hard Albion, he’s also a ruthless multi-millionaire (approaching billionaire) businessman.

Like me he’s seen those relegations, he knows what a footballing iceberg looks like, pure and simply if things don’t improve expect a new manager in the next month or so.

Harsh, but this is not just sport it’s a a business.