Exiled at Withdean track & field facility for the past 6 years, Brighton & Hove Albion will finally have their own stadium writes the Independent’s Andy Tiley.
Brighton’s manager, Mark McGhee, is determined to go down in club history as the man who led them into their new stadium. Despite fierce opposition from local residents, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has ruled the club’s new 23,000 capacity stadium can be built on the South Downs at Falmer.
The Seagulls hope to move from their 6,500-capacity temporary home at Withdean into their new home by 2008 after being without a home since the Goldstone Ground (above) was sold by the previous owners in 1997. They have been playing at the ill-suited Withdean since 1999 following a groundsharing spell at Gillingham.
There was a message of goodwill from Championship rivals Coventry City, where former Brighton manager Micky Adams, who led Albion for two and a half years, is now in charge.
“When I was Brighton manager we were groundsharing at Gillingham and the supporters were making 140-mile round trips just to watch their team play. The club have already done fantastically well to survive on gates of 6,000 at Withdean. But now the Premiership is not out of the equation, is it?”
The Seagulls chairman, Dick Knight, said: “This is the greatest home win ever in the club’s history. Brighton deserves a stadium and we’ve been very patient because it’s been the longest-running inquiry in football history.
“Never mind over the moon, we’re over Jupiter.”