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Club say goodbye to match caterers
The Seagulls have dumped the award-winning caterers at the American Express Community Stadium after complaints from fans.
Brighton and Hove Albion ppointed Stoke-based company The Lindley Group as emergency caterers for the home game against Bolton Wanderers yesterday and on Tuesday evening against Bristol City.
The group will also look after corporate events including Christmas parties at the stadium in Falmer in the absence of Azure Catering, who is currently in talks with its lawyers over the possibility of taking legal action against the club.
Azure, which this month won the Best Match Day Catering award at the Football Business Awards, beating Chelsea and Aston Villa, was appointed to the £93million 20,000-seater stadium in January 2011.
The team was led by Elliott Moore, from Newhaven, who trained at City College Brighton & Hove.
But Paul Barber, chief execu tive at the football club, said the catering team has not met their expectations.
He said: “As with any venue, catering represents a very important element of the experience we provide and we have made it a high priority both for our matches and for all other events at the stadium.
“Listening to our customers, we work wherever it is possible and viable to do so with locally produced products and local suppliers, while striving for the highest possible levels of service, quality, and value for money for our fans and customers at all times.
“Since the stadium’s opening, we have attempted to meet these very important aims by working closely with a catering partner, Azure.
“Despite our best efforts, many customers do not feel that these aims have been met.
“With this in mind, we have decided to engage new caterers.”
Mr Barber added the club will be working hard to minimise any inconvenience to supporters until a new long term catering contract is in place.
A spokesman for Azure Catering said: “We are disappointed our contract to supply catering services to Brighton & Hove Albion FC has come to an end, particularly as we have only recently won independent awards and recognition for the quality of our catering work at the club.
“The matter is currently in the hands of our legal advisers and therefore it is not appropriate for us to add anything more at this juncture, other than we would like to wish the team and its supporters all the best for the remainder of the season.”