Brighton chief executive Paul Barber on why this season will be historical for the club

The 2018/19 season will be a historical one for Brighton & Hove Albion.

Paul Barber. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Paul Barber. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

For the first time, all of the club’s teams are playing at the highest level in their history.

The men’s senior team are preparing for their second season in the Premier League, the women’s side are in the top tier of the Women’s Super League and the under-23 team are in Premier League Division 1.

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On top of that, the club’s boys and girls academy teams are playing at their highest levels and so are the club’s disability sides.

The front of Albions club shop at the Amex. Picture by Paul Hazlewood/BHAFC

As much as fans mainly focus on the big stars on show in the Premier League, the club are equally proud of each and every one of their teams.

Speaking to the Brighton & Hove Independent, Seagulls chief executive Paul Barber said: “For the first time in 117 years, every one of our teams is going to be playing at its highest level.

“That’s the men’s senior team, the women’s senior team, the under-23 team, the boys’ academy is at category one level, the girls’ academy is at training centre one and all of our disability teams are playing at their highest levels.

“We’ve got the club to an incredible, historical season.

“It’s a massive boost for everyone and it’s vitally important because this is a community-based club.

“It was saved by the community. It was supported by the community in its hardest times and the name on the stadium ‘the American Express Community Stadium’ isn’t there by accident.

“It reflects what this club is about.”

Albion launched their new kit last month with players from all of their squads modelling the club’s new colours.

On the front of the club shop, players from every team are proudly pictured and Barber added: “This club means a lot to the city.

“The city is diverse, it’s got people from all walks of life and there are people here in the city that love their football regardless of whether they’re wheelchair bound, able bodied, young or old.

“And whether they have been born in the city or have come to the city for university and stayed or they’ve moved to the city because of their work or whatever has brought them here.

“We want our club to reflect that very diverse community. Just look at the shop front today for example.

“With the launch of the new kit, I think it’s the first time any Premier League club has used all of its different teams – including the wheelchair power team, the deaf team, the cerebral palsy team – to launch a new kit.

“It’s not just about the big stars which we see in the Premier League or the Women’s Super League.

“This is about the whole club and all of those teams mean a lot to us. They wear our colours, they wear our badge and they represent this community.

“That’s important.”