Brighton & Hove Albion's best years could be yet to come - Paul Barber

Brighton & Hove Albion deputy chairman Paul Barber believes the club's best years could be yet to come.

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

The Seagulls are currently in their second season in the Premier League and just their sixth in the top flight of English football.

Barber, Albion's chief executive, took on the added role of deputy chairman earlier this week. He has been with the club for six years and despite the chance to pursue opportunities at bigger clubs, he said he would be foolish to turn his back on Brighton now.

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Speaking to BBC Sussex this week, Barber said: "In this job if you're fortunate enough to be in a successful club for a period of time, opportunities do come your way.

"I've always been very happy at Brighton and have been very lucky to join the club at a really fantastic time in its history.

"We've had an amazing journey over the last few years, which has involved a lot of hard work from a lot of people. Having got to where we aimed to get to, our intention now is to stay where we are and that's going to involve a lot more hard work and I very much want to be part of that.

"This club has already had 117, 118 years of history and I think the best years potentially are yet to come.

"We've got a wonderful stadium, a fantastic training ground, we've got all of our teams playing at their highest level - the men, women, boys, girls.

"And we've got a chairman who loves the club and is a lifelong supporter who has backed us literally to the hilt.

"It would be foolish now to turn my back on all of that.

"The board have given me an opportunity to extend my own career and develop my own career in a slightly different role, albeit doing all the same things I've done over the last six and a half years.

"I'm really enjoying it, I like the city, the people have been fantastic to me in Brighton and Hove and across Sussex and I feel very grateful and very humble to be given this opportunity."

Barber added Brighton have progressed through some tough times to where the club is now and is excited by what is to come.

He said: "I want to see where we can take this football club. It's been an incredible journey, right the way back to the pre-Withdean days and all the troubles the club went through.

"Thankfully it was saved by fans, Dick (Knight) did a fantastic job in steering the club through some difficult times and then Martin Perry and more latterly Tony Bloom have taken it on to even bigger heights.

"I've been lucky to come in at a time when all of the hard work was done for me. Since I've been here, a lot of hard work has been done around me by a great team of people that I'm very grateful to.

"We've got some good years ahead and we're looking forward to them."