Martin Perry on heights Brighton have reached under Tony Bloom

The former ALBION chief executive has praised the “extraordinary” heights the club has reached under the current hierarchy.

Martin Perry was the club’s acting director and a prominent figure in negotiations with former chairman Bill Archer.

Beginning in 1997, with Dick Knight as Chairman and Perry as Chief Executive, Albion secured a return to the city for Albion with the move to Withdean Stadium in 1999.

Homeless for two years, the club played its games in Gillingham, 70 miles away.

The Argus: Martin Perry, right, with the Community Stadium campaign team. Picture by Paul HazlewoodMartin Perry, right, with the Community Stadium campaign team. Picture by Paul Hazlewood

The pair managed one of Albion’s most successful eras in the early 2000s while also securing the £120m state-of-the-art Amex stadium in Falmer and the £32m training center in Lancing.

Perry and Knight “laid the groundwork” while owner Tony Bloom and Chief Executive Paul Barber took Albion to “extraordinary levels.”

He told The Argus: “The transformation of the club from back in 1997 when we were right at the foot of the Football League to what they are now, ninth in the Premier League is just an amazing achievement.

The Argus: Albion capped off a record season with a 4-0 win over Manchester UnitedAlbion ended a record-breaking season with a 4-0 win over Manchester United

“We couldn’t have dreamed of that back then. It’s a beautiful story and I’m so proud of what they’ve all achieved and privileged to have had a part in it.

“What we did was lay the foundations, Tony Bloom and Paul Barber took it to a very extraordinary level and did a great job on the foundations that we laid.

“We are incredibly lucky if you look around and see what has happened with other clubs.

The Argus: Tony Bloom, center, has been chairman since 2009Tony Bloom, center, has been chairman since 2009

“You look at clubs like Derby that have been in trouble, these are huge clubs.

“We are very fortunate to have Tony in particular but also Paul who has been amazing.

“To have this level of support, passion and commitment from the board and owner is truly incredible.”

The Argus: Martin Perry. Picture by Paul HazlewoodMartin Perry. Picture by Paul Hazlewood

Martin Perry retired as Executive Director in September 2020, marking the end of 24 years with the Seagulls.

He now serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees for Albion in the community, which he helped establish.

The charity is asking people to become ‘Community Champions’ by signing up for a £5 monthly donation to support their work. Individuals who participate will have a chance at a signed first-team men’s jersey. Martin Perry on heights Brighton have reached under Tony Bloom

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