It is now or never for Premier League promotion, says Brighton manager Gus Poyet

 

Gustavo Poyet, the Brighton & Hove Albion manager, has warned that the imposition of Financial Fair Play rules in the Championship from next season will create a two-tier competition – and that it is even more vital for his team to take advantage of their chance to reach the Premier League this season.

The Seagulls remain in sixth place after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Leicester City at the Amex Stadium in front of English football’s largest crowd of the day, 28,493.

“The problem is that after this season it’s going to get even more difficult in the Championship especially with the new Premier League TV money and the parachute payments,” Poyet said. “More and more [former Premier League] teams are going to have more money and the others will have the Fair Play system without that money, which is going to make a difference.

“People think it [Financial Fair Play] will make teams more equal, but it will make things worse. Ten teams will be spending fortunes over three years of parachute payments and 10 teams will be under Financial Fair Play rules. So there will be two Championships: the ones that have been in the Premier League, and the rest. So you’ll have to be unbelievable – very smart at recruitment, players playing at their best, lucky with injuries, and then be a good team on the pitch.

“So I think we’ve got a great opportunity now because it’s going to be easier this year than next year. But if we don’t take it, it’s going to get more and more difficult. Blackburn and Wolves should be in the top three for sure next year if they stay up, Bolton are already getting better, plus there will be three more teams coming down. It’s getting more and more complicated, with more teams with more and more money to spend – especially with Financial Fair Play.”

Ian Holloway admitted he had to calm down some of his players after Crystal Palace’s 0-0 draw with relegation-threatened Barnsley at Selhurst Park on Saturday, with his side  having picked up just two points from a possible 15. “It was very disappointing for the lads,” said Holloway. “They have had a big ruck in the dressing room because they want it so bad and I have had to go in and calm them down.

“It’s just the way it is, it is a wonderful club and a wonderful place and I have people that really care about it. But I had a right go at them and said they have to stick together.”

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