Sports lettersHelp save Brighton

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The Independent Online
Sir: I must thank you for your excellent and sympathetic article on the plight of Brighton and Hove Albion FC. ("Brighton rocked by civil war", 29 October). In common with other Brighton fans I feel frustrated, helpless and fearful for the future.

What most businessmen and bureaucrats still under- value is that sport, especially football, is more than just an occupational pastime. It is an outlet comparable with religion, a form of tribalism and an object of pride so strong that so-called non-football fans can turn out in their thousands for a cup final or "big-match".

With the exception of the Articles of Association episode I am frustrated by the lack of intervention by the FA. I am resentful of the local council for flippantly toying with the death of a member of thousands of people's families and for being so ignorant of the possibilities of civic pride and attraction to an area that a successful football club brings.

My hatred is reserved for those who parade under the name "Board of Directors". With no occasional uncle let alone a sugar daddy we drift helplessly while the Lottery cash is thrown at the socially acceptable side of sport, i.e. cricket and the divine pastime of opera. This is the money of the masses and should be treated as such.

Brighton and Hove has a combined population of over 200,000 and is the only League club in a county of more than 1m people. There is no reason why, with the right leadership, we cannot be one of the bigger clubs outside the Premiership.

To all football fans, please help us. If it happens to us it could happen to you.

A WATSON

London

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