Brighton to offer Amex Stadium and Lancing training facility for coronavirus battle

Brighton and Hove Albion chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber said the Amex Stadium and their Performance Centre at Lancing could be used in the battle against coronavirus.

Saturday, 4th April 2020, 5:23 pm
Updated Saturday, 4th April 2020, 5:26 pm

The club initiated talks with the local authority, NHS and Sussex Police and hope to make good use of their facilities while they are out of action.

The Premier League is suspended until further notice and the Lancing training facility is unused as the players are training with the help of group apps from their homes.

Barber said: “We have got a couple of discussions ongoing with the local authority, NHS and Sussex Police regarding using our facilities in a range of different ways.

The Amex Stadium

“We will help in any way we can. If our facilities are needed, then we are happy to support that. Some of our medical staff have volunteered to help the NHS if their particular skills are needed.

“That gives us a period of time in which we can devote our stadium, for example, to whichever service needs it at any given time for a decent period of time.

“Obviously what we wouldn’t be able to do is to give over our facilities and then suddenly have to play behind closed doors in a few weeks. That would be silly.

“We just want to get as much clarity as we can so that we can prioritise supporting the local authority, the NHS, Sussex Police, whoever needs the facilities of the stadium.

Brighton have been praised for their response to the coronavirus. Their top three earners from the non-playing staff; Barber, technical director Dan Ashworth and head coach Graham Potter all took significant voluntary pay cuts for the next three months.

Albion also promised to donate 1,000 tickets to NHS workers for future matches when football resumes after the coronavirus pandemic.

Last month, they were one of several Premier League clubs to donate meals to local homeless charities after fixtures were postponed.

The club also launched a telephone campaign to check in on elderly and vulnerable supporters who are self-isolating at home.

"The calls are fun and they are actually the best part of my day at the moment," said Barber. "The fact that we are doing it has been appreciated by people. The conversations have been so random, they are funny.

"You can be calling someone who is a bit low and they need someone to chat to and you can pick them up, which is great because that's the whole point of it.

"Or you can call someone at the worst possible time because they are tending their garden or they are just about to have dinner. But they always want to talk.

"It has been great and as a community focused football club, it's exactly the right thing to do."

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