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Brighton and Hove Albion

Perry to become honorary vice president of Brighton & Hove Albion

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Brighton & Hove Albion has announced that Martin Perry, a member of the club’s board for 22 years, will step down as a director in September 2020, at which point he will take on the role of honorary vice president whilst also remaining as chairman of Albion in the Community, the club’s charity.

To effect a smooth transition, Perry, 72, who joined the staff of the football club in 1999, having been appointed to the board two years earlier, will be using the next 12 months to gradually step back from his day to day executive responsibilities.

Albion chairman, Tony Bloom, said: “Martin’s status as a true legend of our club is assured. His skill, hard work and sheer determination to help save the club and ultimately deliver a new stadium, as well as a world class training and academy facility, for our club will forever be remembered by Albion fans, who supported and encouraged him every step of the way.

“It is typical of Martin that he is ensuring a smooth transition of his executive responsibilities over the next 12 months, and entirely fitting that Martin will assume the new role of honorary vice president of the club in September 2020. With his diplomacy skills and political connections, Martin will continue to be a great ambassador for us.

“Furthermore, as an architect of our original football in the community scheme soon after joining the club full time, I’m also delighted that Martin will continue as chairman of Albion in the Community when he steps down from the club’s board. Our charity and its great work means a huge amount to Martin.”

Paul Barber, the club’s chief executive and deputy chairman, added: “Martin was one of the first people I met at the club after Tony. From that moment, we established an excellent rapport, have worked really well together over many years, and have become great friends.

“Martin has been, and continues to be, a huge support to me, both professionally and personally, and I will really miss having him around the club on a daily basis.

“My job here over the past seven years or so has been made much easier because of the incredible foundations Martin laid, not just in terms of the club’s infrastructure, but also its unique culture and ethos. Supported of course by Tony and many others, Martin did the really hard work, and he deserves so much credit; quite simply, my job has been to ensure the club capitalised on the great opportunities that have come our way since”.

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Martin Perry, said: “To be appointed as an honorary vice president of this wonderful club is a huge honour and I relish the ambassadorial role that it will give me. I am so grateful to Tony Bloom and the club’s board for all of their support and trust in me over the years and inviting me to continue my involvement in this very special way.

“The last 22 years have been an absolute roller coaster ride but an amazing story, and I am so lucky to have been able to play a part, as together, we made history. I have loved every minute of it and look back with such wonderful memories.

“Over the years I have had the privilege of working with some very dedicated people, both in the football club and Albion in the Community, who I have come to regard not just as work colleagues but also as friends, and in particular I would like to thank Paul Barber for all of his support and friendship over the time we have been working together. I have learnt so much from him.

“But none of this would have been possible without the support of the fans, and I am so grateful for their wonderful continuing support for the club and everything we have tried to achieve over the years. I wish the club, players, staff and fans continuing success, which they so richly deserve.”

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Brighton boss Graham Potter reveals a surprising new role for Alireza Jahanbakhsh

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Head coach Graham Potter insists £17m forward Alireza Jahanbakhsh is in his future plans – but he may have to adapt to a different position.

Iran international Jahanbakhsh, 26, was Brighton’s record signing when he joined from Dutch outfit AZ Alkmaar last summer.

He failed to score in the Premier League last season and Jahanbakhsh has not featured in Potter’s first two match-day squads at Watford or against West Ham.

Potter, however, is convinced the attacker can still prosper at the Amex this season – albeit in an unfamiliar role of right wing back. Martin Montoya has started the season well in that position and seems a natural fit but the head coach feels it’s also a spot that could suit Jahanbakhsh, too.

“I do. He’s another one that’s worked really hard, he’s a bit unfortunate not to be in the 18.

“He’s a player that can be close to the 11 but out of the 18, if that makes sense, because I think he can play in any one of those front positions but also as a wing-back, on the right side, he’s been working with that as well.

“He’s a bit unlucky, you have to pick 18 and, for the balance of the subs, he’s been the one that’s missed out.

“But how he’s worked every day has been perfect, does his best and is ready to help the team.”

Potter expects Jahanbakhsh stay, despite the fact that the European transfer window remains open. “Of course, while it’s open you never know, you can’t tell. But I wouldn’t have thought so.”

Potter has taken four points from his first two games but believes his former club Southampton, who are without a point so far this campaign, will provide a stern test on their visit to the Amex. Potter experienced Premier League action with Southampton as a player during the 1996-97 season.

The highlight of his time at The Dell was a 6-3 triumph against a Manchester United side containing the likes of Peter Schmeichel, Roy Keane and Eric Cantona in October 1996.

“(It is) a nice club, I was there quite briefly. Obviously the memorable game was the big victory against Manchester United. I was a sub, got on the pitch and didn’t harm the game for us too much. We still went on to win 6-3.

“Matt Le Tissier was the talisman for the team at the time and a good group of lads, it was the start of the Premier League really that era. It was a great experience for me.

“They’re a really established Premier League club that is run really well and they provide a stiff opposition for us at the weekend.”

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Graham Potter predicts a ‘big, big fight’ for Brighton against winless Southampton

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Head coach Graham Potter insists Southampton will be their sternest test to date as Brighton aim build on their promising start to the season.

Albion have gathered four points from their first two fixtures thanks to a 3-0 win at Watford before a 1-1 home draw with West Ham last Saturday. Southampton arrive on the back of two defeats, having lost 3-0 at Burnley and 2-1 to Liverpool at St Mary’s.

“I think it will be our toughest game so far at the weekend because of how Southampton are and how they play,” said Potter.

“I am really impressed with how they are, how they play, what they have done, what they bring and how they try to play football. For us, we are still at the stage where every single game is a big, big fight for us to take the points.”

Potter is also satisfied with the steady progress Brighton have made since he took charge, “Overall it has been positive. With each day the guys are trying to improve and doing their best. We have had two matches, one and one away. Results wise it has been okay and performance, we are trying to improve everyday.”

Potter experienced Premier League action with Southampton as a player during the 1996-97 season. The highlight of his time at The Dell was a 6-3 triumph against a Manchester United side containing the likes of Peter Schmeichel, Roy Keane and Eric Cantona in October 1996.

“(It is) a nice club, I was there quite briefly. Obviously the memorable game was the big victory against Manchester United. I was a sub, got on the pitch and didn’t harm the game for us too much. We still went on to win 6-3.

“Matt Le Tissier was the talisman for the team at the time and a good group of lads, it was the start of the Premier League really that era. It was a great experience for me.

“They’re a really established Premier League club that is run really well and they provide a stiff opposition for us at the weekend.”

What time does Brighton v Southampton kick off?

The game kicks off at 3pm at the Amex.

Is the game on TV?

No. Highlights of the Southampton match will be on Match Of The Day at 10.30pm on Saturday evening.

What’s the team news?

No fresh injury concerns for Albion. Winger Jose Izquierdo and defender Ezequiel Schelotto (both knee) continue their rehabilitation along with midfielder Yves Bissouma (shoulder).

Southampton striker Danny Ings was on the bench for the Liverpool match and will hope to force his way into the starting line-up ahead of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg took his starting spot.

Brighton’s last match

Brighton 1 (Trossard 65)West Ham 1 (Hernandez 61)

Albion line-up: Ryan; Duffy, Dunk, Burn; Montoya, Stephens, Propper, March; Gross (Maupay 67), Murray (Andone 74), Trossard (Mooy 85). Subs not used: Button (GK), Webster, Bernardo, Locadia.

Southampton’s last match

Southampton 1 (Ings 83) Liverpool 2 (Mane 45+1 Firmino 71)

Southampton line-up: Gunn; Bednarek, Yoshida, Vestergaard; Valery, Ward-Prowse, Romeu (Ings 64), Hojberg, Bertrand (Djenepo 77); Adams (Armstrong 68), Redmond. Subs not used: Forster (GK), Danso, Cedric, Obafemi.

Who is the referee and VAR?

Referee: Kevin Friend Assistants: Matthew Wilkes, Andy Garratt Fourth official: Oli Langford VAR: Lee Mason Assistant VAR: Mark Scholes

Friend has taken charge of one Premier League game this season and issued three yellow cards and no red. Last season Friend refereed Brighton’s 3-1 victory against Crystal Palace at the Amex Shane Duffy was sent-off.

What are the odds?

Brighton are favourites to pick up all three points on Coral and are priced at 7/5 to win.

A Southampton victory is 2-1 and the draw is 11/5.

Glenn Murray is 4/1 to score first, with Southampton’s Ings at 5/1. Duffy is 12/1 open the scoring while Lewis Dunk is 25/1. A 1-1 draw is the favoured result at 5/1 with a 1-0 triumph for Brighton at 13/2. A 2-0 win for Brighton is currently 10/1 with Coral.

Three Draws

Three of Albion’s Premier League meetings against Saints have ended all square, with Glenn Murray scoring in each of those matches, including a 90th-minute penalty to equalise at St Mary’s last season. Brighton came back from 2-0 down thanks to Murray’s spot kick and Shane Duffy’s bullet header, but their south-coast neighbours took all three points when they visited the Amex in March, winning 1-0.

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Nostalgia / Brighton vs Southampton: Mark Lawrenson levels for Albion after Alan Ball’s strike

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Few teams can match the length of rivalry we have with Southampton. We were the first opposition for them at The Dell, in 1898, and were regular opponents in the Southern League until 1920, when both clubs joined the newly-formed third division (South) of the Football League.

Top flights meetings number just twelve, with our two wins coming back in 1981. Last season’s reverse at The Amex in March broke a sequence of four draws, but this weekend’s game gives us an opportunity to exact swift revenge for that defeat.

For this week’s column, I’m moving away from top-flight meetings, and back to a New Year thriller at The Goldstone. After promotion from Division Three in the 77/78 season, Albion made a great start to life back in Division Two. Manager Alan Mullery had smashed our transfer record in June, signing the Preston North End defender Mark Lawrenson from under the noses of Liverpool. The £112,000 fee proved to be a fantastic piece of business and other signings that summer included John Ruggiero, Eric Potts and Gary Williams. Peter Ward had signed a new four-year contract and excitement was at fever pitch amongst the fans.We briefly went to the top of the table at the beginning of October, but two defeats over the Christmas period dropped us to fifth. The match against third-placed Southampton on 2nd January 1978 was made all-ticket and 32,979 crammed into The Goldstone. At the time, this was the sixth-highest attendance at the ground and was only surpassed once more, in April 1978.

The huge crowd saw a tense affair, with both sides giving everything to consolidate their respective positions in the league. Mullery named an unchanged side from the two festive defeats. Eric Steele continued in goal, behind a back four of Gary Williams, Chris Cattlin, Andy Rollings and Mark Lawrenson.

In midfield, Brian Horton anchored things, alongside Peter O’Sullivan, Tony Towner and Paul Clark. Up front, Peter Ward was beginning to forge a great partnership with Teddy Maybank, who had been signed from Fulham in November 1977.

Southampton manager Lawrie McMenemy was able to call on a strong team, with future Managers Chris Nicholl and Alan Ball in the side. Their midfield included the mercurial talent of Steve Williams, alongside Southampton-born Nick Holmes. Up front, the partnership of Phil Boyer and Ted MacDougall was flourishing as Saints pushed for promotion.

Alan Mullery’s message in the programme was that 1977 had been “fantastic”. He went on to say; “The seventeen months I have been here have been like a dream, it really has been almost a fairytale”.

The players had a point to prove after two defeats and it was a tense first 45 minutes. Tackles were flying in and Andy Rollings picked up a booking after one too many fierce challenges.

The second half was just as close but Albion were dealt a blow when Rollings was sent off for another bad foul. Southampton capitalised almost immediately, with Alan Ball giving them the lead.

Despite being down to ten men, the Seagulls pressed for an equaliser but had to re-shuffle when Paul Clark picked up an injury. Mullery sent on Eric Potts to try and make something happen and Albion got their reward when Mark Lawrenson scored his first goal for the club. Despite pressure from both sides, it finished 1-1.

Honours were even and it was to stay that way for the rest of the season. Conspiracy theories abound as to the motivation for the 0-0 draw between Southampton and Spurs on the last day of the season. That result sent both teams up into the first division at the expense of Albion, who missed out on goal difference.

We put things right the following season and now here we are again, for the thirteenth top-flight meeting between the two clubs. Graham Potter’s revolution continues and all Albion fans will be hoping for South Coast bragging rights, for a few months at least.

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