Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Seagulls chief executive determined to bring success
ALBION’S new chief executive says his new role is as big a challenge as he has faced in his distinguished career.
Paul Barber says he will hope to maintain the club’s momentum over recent years as they target the promised land of the Premier League.
The club’s “magnificent fan base” and close links to the community were significant incentives that attracted the highly-feted executive to come to the Seagulls.
He said that he was “delighted” and “humbled” to be at the club for his first day in charge and that he felt he would bring skills gained from working in the industry and knowledge of the game to the post.
For the last 14 years the 45-year-old has been in professional football with spells as commercial director at the Football Association, executive director at Tottenham Hotspur and chief executive at MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps.
Albion chairman Tony Bloom said he hoped Mr Barber would stay in the role for many years.
He said one of Mr Barber’s main assets would be to explore further potential commercial revenues both in the Championship and Premier League.
Mr Bloom said: “He brings a huge amount of experience from his previous roles, he’s a great man-manager, the rapport I had with him and he had with the board was very good.
“I just think he will be an extremely excellent appointment for Brighton both right now and for many years hopefully in the future.
“What the Amex brings, what the city of Brighton brings, what this football club brings, is the opportunity to use his commercial experience, his commercial skills to bring in new sponsors and partners to really increase the revenues of this football club.
“It’s far too early to be putting figures on it but I think we can get very good increases in the future.
“Obviously, if we can get to the Premier League there’s a lot of areas where revenues can increase but even in the Championship based here at the Amex I think there’s a lot of different areas we can go to and Paul has that expertise to generate those extra revenues.”
Mr Barber said there were a range of factors that brought him to the club.
He said: “The combination of Brighton’s ambition, the set-up here is of a very, very high quality, this is one of top stadiums in the country but significantly and most importantly the fan base.
“We are about making progress, a lot of progress has been made here over the last ten years and my job is to try to maintain that progress into the future.
“We have to put bums on seats, we have to ensure that our sponsorship inventory is sold, we have to develop our brand so that we can expand our business activity whether that is pop concerts with Fatboy Slim or soccer camps and clinics out in the community, we have to continually drive every opportunity to bring revenue into the football club.”
Mr Barber added that he would be speaking with staff and supporters to understand the football club.
For an in-depth interview with Mr Barber, see Sport.