Brighton currently lies in seventh place with eleven places, just five points off the Champions League places.
This is just their fifth season as a Premier League club, so how have they got to their point in their history?
Let’s take a trip down memory lane as to the history and rise of Brighton.
Early History & Moving Around The Football League Pyramid
The club were formed in 1901. They spent many of their early years laying in non-league football but did reach the fifth round of the FA Cup, losing 3-0 away to Newcastle. They spent many years in the 3rd Division South before earning promotion to the old second division in the late 1950’s. For years, they were close to earning promotion but could not quite get over the hurdle.
From the 1958/59 to 1961/62 seasons, they were in the second tier of English football but soon found themselves further down the football league pyramid, falling as far as the fourth tier. They soon earned promotion back to the third tier during the 1964/65 season after two seasons and spent eleven of the next twelve seasons in the division.
After just two seasons in the second division of English football, they earned promotion to the top flight for the very first time in 1979, where they would spend four years before ultimately suffering relegation in 1983.
Dropping Down The Divisions And Financial Problems
The club would then languish further and further down the footballing pyramid. Four years after being relegated from the top flight, they would find themselves back in the third tier. This would be for just one season, but they would soon be back and forth between the third and fourth tier.
The 1992/93 campaign saw money problems come into play, with the future of the club in some doubt. Brighton received a winding-up petition but still managed to finish ninth. This wouldn’t last as they were relegated to the fourth tier after the conclusion of the 1995/96 season. The ground was sold in 1997 and the club would end up playing two seasons in Gillingham’s Priestfield Stadium.
Promotion was once again earned in the turn of the millennium, with a first placed finish in the 2000/01 season. A second consecutive promotion saw them back in the second tier. Brighton would spend the next three to four years back and forth between the second and third divisions.
Moving Stadia And Promotion To The Premier League
The Amex Stadium was built in 2008 and the club have not looked back. They earned promotion to the Npower Championship in the early 2010’s and have not been in the third tier since. After fourth and sixth place finishes, they hired former manager Sami Hyypia in June 2014 after a good spell with Bayer Leverkusen. This did not work, with the former Liverpool centre-back failing to last more than six months. It was the arrival of Chris Hughton as manager that changed recent Brighton history.
He was appointed on New Year’s Eve in 2014. Hyypia’s last game left the Seagulls 22nd and in the relegation zone, with three wins, ten draws and nine losses. During the remainder of the season, Hughton guided the club to survival with a 20th place finish. He fulfilled the number one priority in keeping the club in the division. In just two further seasons, the club earned promotion to the Premier League.
They missed out on promotion during the 2015/16 season, losing to Sheffield Wednesday in the play-off semi-final. They would finish as runners-up the following campaign as they embarked upon their first season in the Premier League.
Becoming A Premier League Regular
Most seasons since coming into the Premier League, pundits and fans have had Brighton as favourites for relegation but the club have continued to defy the odds. They have finished no higher than 15th so far but could change that this season with the start they have made.
They now appear to be a mainstay in the Premier League and have an excellent manager in Graham Potter.
Can they get European Football? They have drawn their last two games and will want to get back to winning ways soon. The way they have started the season leaves no doubt they have the capabilities to reach new heights. This is an exciting time for the club.