The Seagulls reach the promised land of the Premier League

Brighton & Hove Albion v Wigan Athletic - Sky Bet Championship

The wait for the Seagulls is over and after years of bitter disappointment they finally reached the promised land of the Premier League.It took 34 years that Brighton and Hove Albion to return to the English top flight but now the agony is over.Simply this was their season in the EFL Championship League after last season’s heartbreak where on the last day of the season they missed automatic promotion besides having the same number of points with Middlesbrough and it was Boro which twice last season caused heartbreak for the Seagulls.First on the 19th of December where the Seagulls had an unprecendented unbeaten run of 22 matches,on that day Boro beat the Seagulls 3-0 and ended the Seagulls unbeaten run,but more devastating was the final day of last season when the Seagulls made a trip to the Riverside Stadium,all the Seagulls needed was a victory which would send them to the Premier League.Instead it was one of the most devastating days in club’s history when the match ended in a 1-1 draw which sent Boro in the Premier League and the Seagulls into the promotion playoffs which they lost in the semifinal against Sheffield Wednesday.But the Seagulls came stronger than ever this season,automatic promotion was for the Seagulls the main goal besides having a strong competition in former Premier League clubs like Newcastle United and Aston Villa,only the Magpies with Benitez on the bench were the only serious competitor to the Seagulls in the whole season.It started with a 0-0 draw in the season opener against Derby County and from mid-September until mid-January,the Seagulls would go unbeaten in 18 matches where they would collect 46 points shooting themselves into 1st place of the EFL Championship League and besides a few defeats which suffered in February,Chris Hughton’s men kept their steady lead over Benitez’s Magpies.After that the rest was history and the Seagulls made history last Monday where they defeated relegation threatened Wigan Athletic 2-1 and clinched the EFL Championship title and the promotion to the Premier League which was a reward after three decades of frustration.Founded in 1901,the Seagulls raised many eyebrowns in 1972 when chairman of the club Mike Bamber brought one of the most famous English managers of that era to lead the club-Brian Clough together with his assistant Peter Taylor.However the club didn’t experience any success with Clough on the bench and Clough didn’t brought the club in the higher divisions of English football.Things wouldn’t change at the club until the hiring of former Fulham and Spurs player Allan Mullery who took over the bench of the Seagulls after Clough’s departure in 1976 and three years later the Seagulls were in the First Division.In the 1981-82 the Seagulls finished 13th which was their highest point in the former Football League First Division and then the following season under Jimmy Melia the decline began when the Seagulls were relegated back to the Second Division.For 34 years the club suffered frustration and misery but one of the worst periods came in the mid-1990s when their former stadium Goldstone Ground was sold due to the club’s huge debts and the Seagulls were forced to play their home matches 70 miles away at Priestfield Stadium which is Gillingham’s stadium.Also they were just one match away from being relegated to non-league football when on the last day of the 1996-97 season they made a draw against Hereford United and sent them to the Conference League.It was under Dick Knight who bought the club that the Seagulls would go thorugh financial and results recovery,in 1999 they return home to Brighton at Whitdean Stadium and by 2002 the Seagulls where in the Championship League.But the person who brought the Seagulls into the promised land was Tony Bloom which invested his own money to build a completely new stadium which is Falmers Stadium their home which next season the best of the Premier League will come to play the Seagulls,also Bloom hired Chris Hughton on the bench which would bring the Seagulls to the Premier League which will be a reward for the wild rollercoaster ride which lasted for the last three decades which resulted in a near bankrupcy,not having their own stadium and playing in a stadium which was 70 miles from Brighton,a near relegation to the fifth division and numerous promotions and relegations in the English Football League hierarchy.A well deserved return among the elite of English football for the Seagulls and next season will bring the challenge of trying to survive the Premier League,but also clashes with their fellow South Coast rivals Bournemouth and Southhampton,but most notably their biggest rival-Crystal Palace which will be their first meeting in the Premier League and we can’t wait for that.

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