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'Victory belongs to the fans of this great club'
Sports broadcaster and Albion fan Des Lynham on the historic decision and why the Government had no choice but to give in to fans’ pressure.
It simply had to be a yes. The city and the county needs a stadium of this magnitude. Albion are the only football league club for 50 miles and the potential to grow is absolutely huge.
Anyone could see that the Falmer location was not perfect but in terms of transport links and viability there is no alternative. If there was another site which would have worked I have no doubt the club would have gone for that.
It seems there will always be objectors to everything you try to do in life but a lot of the objections to the stadium have been terribly negative.
Those put forward by Lewes council were flimsy and many people in the district were disturbed by the amount of time and money the council spent fighting the plans.
Personally, I could never see what the problem was. I can remember the lovely atmosphere of going to Falmer village as a boy but there has been a motorway running straight through the place for years. It is far from an area of natural beauty and we can all see that. To argue otherwise seems folly.
Today’s victory belongs to the supporters and the people at the club who have worked so hard to realise this dream.
Dick Knight is probably the most popular chairman in the whole football league, and rightly so. What he and Martin Perry have done for the club is a fantastic achievement.
We need look no further than the community schemes the club is involved in and the potential now for those to expand even further. Similarly, the dedication of Paul Samrah and the Falmer For All campaign has been nothing short of brilliant. To keep fighting when all hope has seemed lost on numerous occasions is a testament to what this club means to the people of Sussex.
It has been a constant battle and I have nothing but the highest praise for those who have been on the front line all these years.
My own part has been fairly bureaucratic – delivering petitions to Downing Street and raising the national profile of the campaign wherever possible. Now, however, we have to look again to the future. Assuming there is no appeal, just getting the money together to build the thing is going to be a huge task. It is an awful lot of money to be found.
We are about to enter a new era for the Albion. The club used to get 25,000 at the Goldstone and the ambition is surely to fill Falmer and reach for the stars once more.
Other clubs have proved you don’t necessarily need a super-rich chairman or a gigantic stadium to make it to the Premiership – and that must be our aim.
It is an exciting time for all connected with the club. The champagne tastes sweet today but only once we are sat in our seats at Falmer will we all truly be able to reflect on how far we’ve come – in the face of such adversity.