Tag Archives: ron pavey

Number jacked

Nothing particularly unusual about this photo of Brighton’s match with Cambridge on New Year’s Day 1994, you may think:


However, it was at this match that Brighton became the first League club to abandon a squad numbering system and revert to the original 1-11 shirts. Squad numbers were optional under Football League regulations, with ten clubs utilising the system in the 1993/94 season.

As Ron Pavey, Albion secretary, said to Matchday magazine in March 1994:

‘It was one of the first things that Liam Brady suggested when he came to the Goldstone that we should revert to the traditional system. The squad numbering system was beginning to look very messy, with players’ numbers ranging up to 25, and it also caused chaos in our programme.’


That was the last we saw of squad numbering at the Goldstone. It was only a temporary reprieve for traditionalists, though, as by 1999-2000, it was back for the first season at Withdean.

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‘Splash it on’ with the Seagulls’ deodorant and aftershave

A few months’ ago, this blog carried a feature on Seagulls Talc.

Little did I know at the time, but it was quite frequently promoted in the matchday programme during the build-up to Christmas in the 1978/79 season as Albion sweated it out as they brought their promotion bid back on course.

For example, in the programme against West Ham in October 1979, it said:

Our players were photographed earlier in the week sampling the first ‘Sports’ splash-on deodorant and after shave and also talc which is now available bearing the official ‘Seagull’ motif. Beware of imitations. There is only one such product available officially endorsed by the club and it really is quite something. The complete pack as well as individual items are available from the Club shops.

An advert with this extraordinary photo was included:


Clearly, what was OK for Kevin Keegan and Henry Cooper (in the famous Brut advert) was also fine for Alan Mullery and co. The players left to right were Teddy Maybank, Peter Ward, Chris Cattlin (although the talc or deodorant seems to have made him look rather like Johan Cruyff!) and Gary Williams.

The advert informed fans that the products are “ideal Christmas presents or gifts on any occasion for the Seagull supporter.” They were available from the Seagulls Shops during match days and the promotions office during the week, as well as many local stockists.

For £3.74, you could get a Club Gift Set…


(Apologies for the blurriness of this and other product images. That’s just the steam coming out of the shower, I promise!)

For just £1.30, a bottle of the splash-it-on aftershave could be yours…


For just £1.04 and 99p each, how about the deodorant antiperspirant and, our old friend from the previous blog entry, the sport talc?



Finally, you could get the Club Gift Set of the Sport Talc and Sport Splash for £2.65. That’s a cool 36p more than if you’d bought them separately but at least it came in a lovely presentation box…


Buy one! Buy two! In fact, buy it all! The products were advertised as being ‘created exclusively and officially for Brighton and Hove Albion by Panache cosmetics, manufacturers of several leading brands of toiletries.’

This was backed up by the words of Ron Pavey, Commercial Manager, in the Peterborough programme in early November. He said:

“The new splash-it-on deodorant, Talc and after shave etc is now available with the distinctive Seagull motif and this is already in great demand and a pack containing the set makes an ideal Christmas gift.”

Yes, an ideal Christmas gift, although a fortnight later in the Millwall programme, Ron also began promoting some ‘beautiful fluffy toys at reasonable prices’ of (would you believe it?) long haired teddy bears, long haired rabbits, smurfs, spiders and dogs. Yes, I bet that struck fear into the hearts of Millwall players and supporters alike. If I ever find photos of said bargains, I’ll let you know.

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How Millard, Pavey & Mullery led The Goldstone Goldrush

At the Brighton v Millwall match today, there will be a full tribute to the life of Tony Millard, who sadly passed away last week.


I’m not sure which magazine this cutting is from, although it’s probably Shoot! It covers the increasingly lucrative commercial side of the game of the late 1970s, with Albion doing a much better job than Arsenal at the time!

As Brighton battle to win praise and points in their first season of First Division football, Alan Mullery’s other side are already top of their League! When it comes to making money for the club, commercial manager, Ron Pavey, and promotions expert, Tony Millard, have started a Goldstone Goldrush!

This season, the Seagulls’ financial team look set to earn £600,000 from lotteries, promotions, club shop sales, programmes, ground advertising and TV fees. And that puts them above huge clubs like Arsenal, in the money game.


“You’ve got to have it,” says manager Alan Mullery, “because you can’t get your revenue back through the gate. We were averaging gates of around 22,000 at home last season. Now, that will pay people’s wages, but it won’t put any money in the bank for you. So the commercial side is very important.

“For example, we have match ball sponsors for every League match. We’ll use 21 in a season and each ball costs about £35. If we had to pay for them, it would be expensive over a full season. It’s the same with boots. We’re sponsored by Puma. They supply us with about 250 pairs a year. That’s a big saving too.”

Mullery has seen Pavey and, more recently, Millard make great steps, since his arrival at the Goldstone in July, 1976.

“At that time, the club was taking around £800 a week, from all sources. Now, it’s over £500,000 a year. So, what they’ve done on the commercial side has been fantastic. All right, our success on the field has been a help and people don’t really want to advertise and bring money into a club if it’s not doing well. But they’ve put in a lot of hard work.

“Basically, they’re trying to help me. If they can bring money into the club, and I need to buy new players, it’s a boost for me. Since I’ve been here we’ve had a new pitch, built a new stand and spent £1,250,000 on players. There’s no way we could have done these things without the commercial side.”

In the 1970s, even the commercial aspect of the game had a certain naive  charm to it, unlike nowadays. The Seagull Lottery is held weekly every Monday at a different venue around the County. The second lottery was held at the Southdown Hotel in Worthing and together with Ron Pavey (commercial manager) and the lottery promoter Joan Shipp are vice-chairman Harry Bloom and players Peter O'Sullivan and Peter Grummitt.

In the 1970s, even the commercial aspect of the game had a certain naive charm to it. The Seagull Lottery was held weekly every Monday at a different venue around the county. The second one was held at the Southdown Hotel in Worthing. That contraption is a lottery drawing machine. Very hi-tech, I’m sure!

One of the biggest money-spinners at Brighton is the lottery system. The club runs two weekly lotteries and these produce a yearly profit in the region of £250,000. Ron Pavey is the mastermind behind this area of big business. When he joined the club, five years ago as commercial manager, Brighton were £200,000 in the red. Things have changed a little since then!

“I think we compare quite well with the bigger clubs in the First Division,” says Ron. “We’ve made quite a lot of progress and we’re learning all the time. Being a small club helps us in a way. There’s more of a family atmosphere here. We’ve got a good team, working closely together.

“Everyone who’s involved wants to do their best, because at hear, we’re all Brighton fans! And if we do a good job on the commercial side, we know it can only help the team.”

Tony Millard echoes that brand of positive thought: “Everyone knows football must be commercial to survive. All of us involved in the game love it. We all know football is the number one. But we also know it needs financial support and every aspect must be explored. There’s no doubt about that.

“People who suggest the game has become too commercial are burying their heads in the sand. The way we look at it, we need the support of companies outside the club and we intend to give them value for money. As far as we’re concerned, you’ve got to ride with the times.”

Brighton toured America last summer. Like most lovers of the game, Mullery was irritated by the commercial circus that surrounds every match in the States. He knows British fans don’t want their Saturday afternoons dressed up in gimmicks and candy floss. But Brighton are proving to the soccer world that it is possible to milk the commercial possibilities, without any loss of dignity or pride.

“before I came here, I remember reading about Brighton manager, Pat Saward, going along the seafront with a box, collecting for the Save Brighton Fund,” said Mullery, finally. “We’ve certainly come a long way since then.”

The special souvenir programme for the Brighton v Arsenal match, the Albion's debut in the First Division, in August 1979. Price 50p. Sponsored by Sussex Mutual Building Society.

The special souvenir programme for the Brighton v Arsenal match, the Albion’s debut in the First Division, in August 1979. Price 50p. Sponsored by Sussex Mutual Building Society. I wonder what became of them.

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Ron Pavey at the new Club Shop

Ron Pavey

Commercial manager Ron Pavey at the new Seagulls Shop with Sheree, one of the assistants.

In the article, taken from the programme of the Tottenham Milk Cup game from 1982/83, Ron says, ‘As far as the club shop goes, things could be a lot better. I don’t think people are geared to coming here to buy their Albion souvenirs. We’re coming up to Christmas and that’s always a busy time. I hope people remember that if they buy their presents from here, the profits go back into football.’

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