Albion are feeling their way in at the top table.

And Paul Barber says first impressions of how life will be on the executive side of the Premier League cannot have been more encouraging.

The Seagulls chief executive might, along with chairman Tony Bloom, find himself having to fight the club’s corner among the elite in coming months and, they will hope, years.

Bloom and Barber have attended their first meeting in the top flight since Albion won promotion.

As the new boys in class, they generally kept quiet, listened to what was going and weighed the whole thing up.

But Barber, who has a wealth of experience at such meetings with the Football League, the FA, MLS and with the Premier League in his days at Tottenham, said he came away with one lasting impression.

And that was that the giants of the Premier appreciate the value of rivals and opponents who, with the best will in the world, could only really be described as smaller (not small) clubs.

Barber told The Argus. “They are such iconic names not just in British football but in world football.

“To see Brighton and Hove Albion’s name amongst them is very special.

“Even for us, since promotion we have had so many lovely things happen.

“There was the parade through the city, the civic reception, fantastic messages of congratulations from football clubs all over the world, which has been magnificent.

“But last week the chairman and I attended our first ever Premier League annual meeting.

“The room is ordered alphabetically and to be sitting near Arsenal was very special. It’s just small things like that and like seeing the fixtures which make it very real.

“It was our first meeting so, for Tony and myself, it was very much a case of listen and absorb and take in some of the debates going in.

“For us, it was about making sure we are right on top of all the things we need to do before our first game. It was a good meeting for us. We kept our council, looked and observed.”

One much publicised debate of late has been a push by leading clubs, led by the Manchester giants, to gain a larger share of the £3 billion in proceeds from overseas rights the league will receive when the next three-year deal is agreed.

City chief executive Ferran Soriano, who previously worked for Barcelona, believes the teams who attract most attention in the foreign market deserve more money.

News of City’s opening fixture quickly made the homepage of the website run by what used to be Soriano’s local sports daily, Diario Sport in Barcelona. Man City playing Huddersfield would also have been a story in Catalonia.

Brighton v Huddersfield would not have been. Albion skipper Bruno is well known in those parts but he is not a front-page name, even in the football press. But, as Barber might quietly point out if required, below the headline about Pep Guardiola and City there was also mention of the newly-promoted side captained by a Catalan with whom they have been paired in their first fixture.

Barber believes top clubs are aware of that inter-dependency.

He said: “With all leagues, there are always debates about how to generate more revenue, how to ensure our stadia are as safe as they can be, how to make sure the league remains competitive and compelling.

“All those things are important because we are now shareholders in the Premier League.

“I think all the clubs recognise the Premier League is really special and that the specialness comes from the collective of 20 clubs.

“The critical aspect for any league is to remain competitive. Even the biggest six clubs, who generate huge amounts of interest in the league, recognise the other 14 clubs make the competition as well.

“If there were just six clubs it would not be nearly as attractive.

“There are always going to be debates about contributions and revenue shares and that sort of thing.

“The good thing for me, having been away from the Premier League for eight years, was the fact there is this universal recognition that all 20 clubs make up the league.

“It is not just about the big four or the big six.

“That to me was very reassuring as a newcomer to the league.”

Barber is obviously very aware of the debate over how TV money is shared.

He added: “No doubt the detail will be debated and has been for some years anyway but we came away very assured that the strength of the league came from the 20. We look forward to being part of that.”