'Our architects identified' – Brighton chief issues city centre stadium update amid Amex claim

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Brighton and Hove Albion chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber is keen to press ahead with a new purpose-built stadium for the women’s team.

Albion, who are eighth in the Women’s Super League table, currently play the majority of their home games at Crawley Town’s Broadfield Stadium.

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The Crawley stadium has helped Brighton compete in the highest tier of women’s football but it has made it tough to build a loyal fan base in Brighton.

Brighton Women currently play their home games at Crawley Town's Broadfield StadiumBrighton Women currently play their home games at Crawley Town's Broadfield Stadium
Brighton Women currently play their home games at Crawley Town's Broadfield Stadium

“That is our plan,” said Barber speaking to the Albion podcast. “As good as Crawley have been to us in getting our WSL team up and established we know that is not where our fans want us to play. We know it's not where our players want us to play. Crawley is a red stadium and we are a blue team. It just does not work for us in lots of ways.

“And also there is pressure on Crawley themselves. They have their own club, they play at a good level and they want their pitch to be as good as it can be and we add to that pressure and vice versa.”

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Barber is keen to get the project up and running – the first of its kind in Europe – but as yet they have not found the suitable plot in Brighton for the proposed 10,000 capacity stadium. They do have the support from Brighton & Hove Council but as yet, there is no sign of a time frame.

“We want to build our own stadium for our women's team,” Barber added. “There are lots of differences between stadiums designed for men's football with a predominantly male audience – not exclusively male obviously. Versus one designed for a women's team and a different audience. Our architects identified about 30 things you would design differently for a stadium for female athletes.

“In an ideal world and with Tony's backing and with local authority support, if we can find the right plot of land to build, we think that's the best option. And then in the future when we can start making modifications to the Amex. When the audience is big enough we would then hope to move both first teams into the Amex, which would be a great scenario.”

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