Manchester City were using their superior funds to plunder another club’s top player.
And Albion were encouraging fans to travel to home matches by train rather than by car.
It seems some things have not changed that much since the Seagulls drew 2-2 at Norwich City in March 1980.
Kevin Reeves scored one goal and made another as the Canaries came from two down for their point.
It was his farewell before heading off to Maine Road after City had offered £1 million, the largest fee Norwich had ever received at that time.
Reeves’ two key interventions came either side of a Brian Horton penalty which was saved by Roger Hansbury.
Albion led 2-0 with a quarter of the game gone as they hovered a few points and places above the drop-zone in the top flight.
Boss Alan Mullery said: “We deserved to have our backsides kicked for throwing away two points.”
Actually, in those days of two points for a win, they only threw away one.
The two points looked to be heading back to Sussex after that blistering start.
Ray Clarke had a shot cleared off the line by Peter Mendham but Albion went ahead when Horton’s free-kick deflected home off Reeves in the wall.
Clarke then set up Mark Lawrenson to double the advantage.
Hansbury, who went on to own a greetings card shop in the Midlands, had a big hand in the home comeback.
He made a save and then kicked long for Graham Paddon to set up Reeves, who is now Everton’s chief scout, to head home.
A foul on Peter Ward in the 52nd minute gave Albion their penalty, from which Hansbury denied Horton.
Two minutes later, Norwich were level as Reeves crossed and former West Ham striker Alan Taylor finished.
The match report told how Taylor celebrated in front of Norwich’s new £1 million stand, the construction of which contributed to their need to sell Reeves.
That stand was the River End and is still there, behind the goal which will be furthest away from the away fans tonight.
- Baldock back in training - but no Duffy for Albion's title
- Albion fans urged to pump up the volume for title push
- Sussex share the spoils after Middlesex cut loose at Lord's
- Sussex skipper looking for fresh start in one-day cup
- Langford to referee Albion on their big day
Albion’s match programme for their next home game, against Manchester United at the Goldstone, spelt out the special deals available to fans on the trains – though, in those days, there was no travel concession included with match tickets, of course.
“The problems of car parking would be minimised if people let the train take the strain,” readers of the programme were told.
But even Albion, 80% of whose home support these days arrive by public transport, did not seem totally convinced by the message they were putting across back then.
The article continued: “You would of course not be able to listen to the radio results service on the way home.”
Albion: Moseley, Gregory, Williams, Horton, Foster, Suddaby, McNab, Ward, Clarke, Lawrenson, O’Sullivan (Stevens).