CEO Paul Barber extends Brighton tenure


New long-term contract for Paul Barber Image: Brighton and Hove Albion

Brighton and Hove Albion’s deputy chair and chief executive Paul Barber has agreed a new long-term contract to stay at the Premier League club until 2030.

Barber has overseen more than a decade of sustained progress and the most successful period on the pitch in the club’s history.

Brighton and Hove Albion F.C. said he joined Albion in 2012 from MLS club Vancouver Whitecaps, having previously held senior roles at both Tottenham Hotspur and the Football Association, and since then has overseen a most remarkable 12 years.

In that period of time the club has won promotion from the EFL Championship, become established in the Premier League and qualified for European competition for the first time in its 123-year history.

Off the pitch Barber has overseen the renewal of the club’s multi-year partnership agreement with American Express; the expansion of the American Express Stadium from a capacity of 22,000 to 32,000, including the introduction of an innovative new Tunnel Club earlier this season.

The 31,876-capacity Falmer Stadium, known for sponsorship purposes as the American Express Stadium and more commonly referred to as the Amex, is a football stadium in Falmer, Brighton and Hove, East Sussex (UK). It serves as the home ground of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club.

Barber has also overseen the opening and recent expansion of the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre – which is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading football training centres.

The club has also transitioned to a full-time women’s and girls’ football operation, won promotion to the Women’s Super League, and invested in world-class training ground infrastructure for its women’s and girls’ teams with the further aim of building a stadium for its senior women’s team in Brighton.

The confirmation of Barber’s new long-term contract coincides with the club’s annual accounts announcement which show a British record for football club profitability representing a significant step forward towards the club’s aim of being self-sustaining and less reliant on owner Tony Bloom’s financial support.

Brighton posted a post-tax profit of £122.8 million for the 2022-23 season, up from £24.1 million in the previous financial year.

Turnover for the period was the Premier League club’s highest, rising by 17.2% to £204.5 million, against £174.5 million in the 2021-22 campaign.

Bloom said, “We are delighted that Paul has agreed this long-term deal. He has overseen an incredible period for the club and has been pivotal in our success and ongoing progress.

“We are enjoying the most successful era in the club’s history and we want that progress to continue on and off the pitch. Our financial sustainability provides us with the foundation to do that.

“Paul’s professionalism, drive and loyalty tied to his unquestionable ability means he is one of the most-respected senior executives in world football. We are absolutely thrilled to have him here for the long term to deliver on an exciting new vision.”

Barber added, “I’ve loved every minute of my 12 seasons at Brighton and, whilst there have been many memorable moments, the achievement of European qualification has to be amongst the biggest of my career working in professional football.

“The challenge now is to continue that incredible progress and growth of the club, with our clear ambition to be regularly challenging the bigger and more established Premier League clubs and to be competing for the European places.

“Tony’s leadership and vision provides genuine stability. We also benefit from incredible infrastructure; a talented board and senior executive team; skilled and hardworking staff; and most importantly an incredible group of players and coaching staff.

“We are backed by loyal and brilliant fans – who have been through a lot in the past 25 years or so and thoroughly deserve to enjoy these better times for their club – as well as a hugely supportive wider community.

“This is already another historic season for Brighton & Hove Albion, but we feel there’s more we can achieve – both now and in the future – so this is not only a very special time for our fans but a very special time for all of us to be a part of this football club.”

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