Barber: Let's establish ourselves in the Premier League, then try to win something

Albion chief executive Paul Barber. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Albion chief executive Paul Barber. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
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Brighton chief executive Paul Barber says it would be great for the club to win a trophy in the next few years but their primary objective is to become an established Premier League club.

Albion were promoted into the top flight last season and sit tenth in the Premier League after 14 games.

Barber spoke to Ian Hart on the People's Pundits podcast earlier this week and was asked where he'd like the club to be in five years time.

Staying in the Premier League is the first target but Barber added a trophy would be great for the club.

He said: "When I came here I said this was a fantastic opportunity to run a football club right from the very start with great values, great traditions, great fanbase, great history and a fantastic story.

"Going forward that story could even develop further.

"Our primary objective this season is to stay in the Premier League. If we can stay in the Premier League, then the second season in the Premier League will be tough again but it gives us a good foundation from which to build for the future.

"Tony (Bloom; chairman) has always said to me 'let's build this thing slowly, carefully and let's make sure we've got the infrastructure, the processes, the people and the ways of doing things that if we get to the Premier League, we give ourselves the best chance of staying there'.

"Everything we've done over the past five or six years here has been with that philosophy in mind. We've taken decisions that haven't pleased people all the time but we've done it with the long term in mind.

"We've made changes that haven't pleased people initially but they've seen over time why we've done what we've done.

"Looking ahead, if in five years time we've established ourselves as one of those Premier League clubs that are hard to beat at home, difficult to play against anywhere and you expect to see Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League because of their infrastructure, their philosophy and the way they run the club, then I think I'd be happy.

"Beyond that, if we're a professional football club and working at the highest level of the game, you want to try to compete to win something.

"It would be great if we could pick up a trophy here at some stage in the future but first things first, let's walk before we can run, stay where we are and build on that foundation and hopefully create some stability around the football club which means we become an established Premier League club.

"You look at your West Broms and Stokes, they've been in the Premier League eight to ten years. It's a phenomenal achievement and if you look at it from the outside, they've got a similar sized fanbase to ourselves, so we've got a great opportunity for the future.

"But we must stay in the Premier League to start with."

Barber also spoke to Ian Hart about Albion's support this season, how far the club has come in ten years, the loyalty points system, Premier League TV money, the January transfer window and more.

The Podcast will be going online today - follow the People's Pundits on Facebook here, Twitter here and on iTunes here