Date: 24th March 2017 at 5:10pm
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Chief Executive Paul Barber has said that should Brighton achieve their aim of securing promotion to the Premier League this season, the club won’t go crazy in the transfer market, preferring instead to invest sensibly to continue our evolution without taking massive gambles and risks.

Speaking to theargus Barber said that making a profit in the top flight isn’t a ‘slam dunk’ despite the riches to be gained by the television deal as obviously costs increase in the top flight as well and Brighton’s aim would be to reduce our indebtedness on Chairman Tony Bloom and at least chip away at part of the £250million he has spent on the club to help secure our long term future and move us further towards a self sustaining nature.

With promotion worth around the £100million mark – a figure similar to the cumulative losses covered by Bloom in the Championship over the last six seasons – the watchword was very much ‘smart’ recruitment so every penny and pound counted.

‘All it would mean is we are fishing in a bigger pond, because we can afford to fish in a bigger pond. Clearly then some of those players in that pond previously out of reach in the Championship go into your reach. We are still going to be as smart as we possibly can to acquire those players at the best possible prices.’

Barber went on to say.

‘Partly because that is the way we operate, partly because it is the smart thing to do and partly because if we genuinely want to return something to Tony if we are lucky enough to be in the Premier League then we have got to be like that. One hundred million is a huge amount of money, but in the world of top level footballers it can disappear really quickly. We`ve seen this week Crystal Palace have recorded a loss. Other clubs in the Premier League will record losses from time to time.’

The aim with the money available in the top flight is to have a business that generates profit so you are in the position of reinvesting with less of a risk but of course to get to that point it takes a sensible business plan and investment in the first place.

‘It`s not a slam dunk that because you are in the Premier League you make a profit. You`ve still got to manage the club efficiently, you`ve still got to be prudent in the market, you`ve still got to be tough in your negotiating, you`ve still got to be smart in how you sell players to get the best possible price. All the things we have instilled in the club over the last half a decade apply in at least equal measure, if not greater measure, if you step up a level.’

With Brighton still battling for the title we do have a buffer on third placed Huddersfield so automatic promotion at least is a real aim after near misses in previous seasons and Barber knows what a blow it would be to ultimately miss out on again – especially after last season’s great disappointment right at the end of the campaign.

‘We`d have to go again, do it all over again. It would clearly be a challenge, for me, for Chris Hughton, for Tony to pick everyone up again, but we`ve done it once before. It wouldn`t be the end of the world. It would be a clear disappointment, but it would be something we`d just have to get on with. Clubs don`t have a right to play at the top level, they have to earn that right, then they have to earn the right to stay there and to stay there again.’

Adding that whatever we hope for and whatever ultimately happens, you can take nothing away from the campaign we’ve had so far, so it’s about ensuring that we make the most of that and end with success.

‘Chris and the players have done an amazing job this season and last and I believe have earned the right to have a crack, but there are many clubs in the division that will feel the same way. There are eight games to go – nine for a couple of teams – and this is still the most competitive league I think anywhere in Europe, if not the world.’

He ended by explaining.

‘There are no guarantees, no people here that are complacent, that think for a second the job is done. We`ve still got a long way to go, there will be more twists and turns. There may be more setbacks we have to recover from in the next eight games, more challenges than we can even perceive at the moment.’

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