Football may disappear from the Brighton area – Ray Bloom


In a 90 Minutes magazine article from 8th November 1990, Mark Lawford wrote this:

Football may disappear from the Brighton and Hove area entirely within the next four years as a result of the local League club’s decision to vacate the Goldstone Ground.

That was the verdict of commercial manager Ray Bloom as Brighton & Hove Albion unveiled plans for a new £18million, 25,000 all-seater stadium and multi-sports complex last week.

“Because of the Taylor report we would have to be in our new ground by the start of the 1994/95 season,” said Bloom,” and the ideal spot would be just off the new Brighton bypass at Waterhall.

“But as the whole future of the club rests on the urgent need to relocate, a site outside the Brighton or Hove area would provide a necessary alternative and cannot be ruled out.”

In-depth discussions with the two local councils have, as yet, failed to unearth a site for the new venture. But Sussex-based property developers Wyncote have already commissioned a detailed feasibility study into the exact cost and specifications of the new ground. Wyncote are also planning to build the stadium.

No decision has been made on the future of the Goldstone Ground itself, although since it is valued at £7-10million, its part in the overall deal is a large one; with current debts of £3million and a running deficit of £ 1,000 a day; the Seagulls are going to need all the money they can get.

It is envisaged that the new complex will create a centre of revenue for the club; an athletics track, outdoor allweather soccer pitches, squash courts and gymnasiums; and a restaurant, shopping facilities and even a cinema for the nonsporting.

But Bloom concluded that: “The club is at a crossroads, and unless the site is found quickly, the future is bleak.

“If we cannot fulfil safety obligations and we remain in one of the top two Divisions, then our place in the Football League will inevitably come under threat.

“Let there be no doubts. If we fail to prepare for the next century, we may not be here to enjoy it.” •

Later on in the season, there was this report on Saint and Greavsie:

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