28/12/95 So dear old Uncle Greg Stanley is making a fortune for his family trust out of the Seagulls is he? It seems that the loan which Mr Stanley made to the Albion in 1992 is in fact earning him £40,000 interest a year. Not only that but the club also incurred a penalty of £250,000 for late interest payments on that loan. This shortly after the no- profit clause in the club's constitution was reactivated. And at the same time, good old Uncle Greg decides he doesn't want to be on the board of directors anymore and resigns. Happy new year Uncle Greg!
Not only that, but Hove council manage to negotiate with property developers Chartwell to stay at the Goldstone for another year. It seems incredible that when Bill Archer and David Bellotti sold the ground and organised the groundshare with Portsmouth, that they didn't approach Hove Council to try and help them find a way of staying at the Goldstone on a lease-back basis.
Meanwhile the club and local councils move further and further away from each other, with both Brighton and Hove advocating a council-backed municipal all-year-round sporting facility along the lines of Huddersfield, whilst Arsehole and Baloney, sorry Archer and Bellotti announce plans for a 30,000 all-seater stadium privately funded from retail development, at the aptly named Toadshole valley. The words "dream" and "world" come to mind.
The team struggles gamely on, desperately trying to disguise the fact that there is a distinct lack of someone able to score goals on a fairly regular basis. Funny, I thought that was the point of football, but there you go. A much needed boost at Brentford on boxing day however, (1-0 to the Albion), not the best game of footy I've ever seen, but even a Dean Wilkins fluke is better than losing to Chesterfield in front of the lowest home crowd for forty years. Things don't get much better than this...
So the highs, lows, and full on in-your-face moments of 1995...?
Highs: Richie Hawtin down the Zap, Blur at the Paradox and haranguing Damon Albarn about the Albion in the Grand afterwards, Dreadzone, Black Grape gigs, Ricky and Yoshi at the Loft, Bill Bailey, Dealers Choice at the National, The A-Z of Drugs, The Prime Ministers Son, first Positive Sounds party at Ovingdean, Womad, Brighton taking over the Edinburgh festival, Radiohead, Supergrass, Coldcut, Ninjja Tunes and Red Snapper albums, Justice/Schnews, Red Pepper fringe meetings at Labour Party conference, Peter Smith (Albion right back), York City knocking Man United out of the Coca Cola cup, Diy culture. The Ramones at the Astoria, Cracker, Shallow Grave, Gulls Eye and Paul Bracchi for exposing the dealings at the Albion, drummers on the beach, the further demise of the Tory Party, Graham Duff on Loose Ends, DFM, Wild Fruit, The North Stand, Massive Attack at the Paradox, Ronnie Campbell (left wing Labour MP), Do Tongues, playing a bed in Wigan (strange town, even stranger bed), and finally all the Another Fine Mess parties, cheers Aaron, Ricky, Andy, Dosti, Sourmash ,Veronica and Lisa.
Lows: David Bellotti, Bill Archer, Greg Stanley for alienating almost everybody else connected with the Albion, fans, press, other directors ex employees, you name it they've fucked it up, the rise of the Tory right and the demise of the Labour left, Tony Bleurrrrgghhhh, drugs debate stifled by hysteria, gangsters at the beach parties, losing it at Womad, too much bland house music in clubs, no decent middle-sized venue in Brighton for either theatre or bands, the national fucking lottery, losing 3-0 to Bournemouth live on Meridian, Sky TV, Derek Spencer, The Daily Mail, Phil Collins, Oasis and Blur rivalry, Job Seekers Allowance, Rail privatisation, and anyone who thinks that a new romantics revival is a good thing.
Things to watch out for in 1996, revivals of revivals, Lab-Tory pacts and dodgy sitcoms turned into plays.....happy new year.
Steve North 28.12.95.
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