I think play-off qualification is all but secure

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I actually spared a thought for all the locally-based Leeds United supporters on Monday night after the Super Whites’ first half humiliation against the Albion at the Amex.

With Albion 4-0 up at the break, the second period was very much after the Lord Mayor’s Show with no further scoring, but did the Albion take their foot off the gas?

I’m not totally convinced, Leeds, despite being managed by the hapless Steve Evans, an individual who appears to unite opinion, effectively parked the bus. With the game effectively over at the break, it was almost a case of running the clock down, my only concern is that at the end of the season it doesn’t come down to goal difference.

Without wishing to tempt fate, I think play-off qualification is all but secured, and I firmly believe now, with one potential loanee still to arrive, Albion have the squad, and perhaps equally as important and significant an experienced manager at this level, to successfully challenge for the top two automatic promotion spots.

Whether Glenn Murray is part of that squad still remains to be seen. There was mounting speculation last week he was about to rejoin the Albion, as I understand it discussions have taken place, but very much with my Albion bobble hat on, actions do speak louder than words.

In other news, another two kick-off switches to accommodate more live TV, with the mouthwatering top-of-the-table clash at the Amex with Burnley moving to a lunchtime kick-off, while a week later the trip to Forest moves to the Monday. Is it fair on supporters?

Not really, I’ve been to Burnley on numerous occasions, and it’s a long way, so for Clarets fans having to come to the Amex effectively three hours earlier throws up a number of travel issues. But Sky click their fingers, get the cheque book out and the realisation that football sold its soul a long time ago once again comes to the fore.

The same can be said for the Albion faithful travelling to Nottingham, I’m sure train tickets and hotels would have already been booked for the Saturday, and I doubt in most cases any refunds will be available.

Somewhat ironic then in the week that celebrated the 24th anniversary of the founding of BISA, (Brighton Independent Supporters’ Association). Back in 1992, footballing wise it was a different world. For a start it was even before the Premiership – safe terracing, pay on the gate, everything we almost took for granted.

A lot has happened, not just in football in general but at the Albion in particular, but overall I’m proud of what BISA achieved, none more so than ultimately helping to save the club’s very existence.

The hard work of the likes of Mr Baine, Paul Samrah, Paul Whelch and others can never be underestimated or hopefully forgotten when finally the Albion make it to the Premier League (in August?). I’ve still not made it through the whole of a John Baine gig, but apparently there’s still time.

Nowadays, while it’s not at this point even necessary, a protest on that scale at the Amex would be nigh on impossible due to security, stewarding etc. For a start, John Baine couldn’t stand on the roof of the dugout, because there isn’t one.

Unfortunately, the biggest thing for me, and something I touched on in this column the other week, is that we aren’t supporters any more and Brighton Independent Customers’ Association doesn’t have the same ring to it.

And don’t get me started on the old adage of the customer always being right!

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