The Premier League is becoming more and more competitive with teams gaining more money from tv rights and transfers. This blog will be part of the series of articles LV BET is compiling on low-spending, highly functional clubs, make sure to check the one on Borussia Dortmund.
How are Brighton managing to remain competitive in the Premier League when, year after year, they are getting stripped from their assets on and off the pitch? What is the influence of the club owner and English entrepreneur Tony Bloom on how the club operates? We aim to answer these questions and much more in this blog.
System at work
Having a great scouting network is always beneficial for any club in the world, but understanding the market and knowing which players have it within themselves to rise to the very top, it is very difficult. How does Brighton get it right, more often than not? What is their secret?
We are going to include a list of matchday squad players and the club they played previously before making the move to the Premier League:
- Kawasaki Frontale, Japan
- Genk and Union St Gilloise, Belgium
- Levante and Villareal, Spain
- Ajax and NAC Breda, Netherlands
- Inglostandt, Germany
- Argentinos Juniors, Argentina
- Independiente del Valle, Ecuador
- RB Salzburg, Austria
Ben White is another gem that Brighton unearthed, he was released at the age of 16 by Southampton. He was later picked up by scouts of Brighton, introduced to the academy and, after a series of loan spells, he caught the attention of Arsenal, who paid £50 million for him. Virtually from nothing, Brighton managed to pocket a £50 million profit from a single transfer. Robert Sanchez has spent five years in Brighton’s academy before making his full debut with the Spanish national team. Club legend Lewis Dunk is closing in on 400 appearances at the club and he is just as vital as ever for his team. The now World Cup winner, Alexis Mac Allister was recruited from Argentinos Juniors and sent on loan back to the club to continue his development—he has come a long way and should he move on, Brighton stand to make a handsome profit.
The main reason why Brighton are able to sniff out these amazing talents from remote places around the world is simply data. Brighton moved away from the conventional scouting, where scouts had to travel the length and breadth of a country to watch lower league or reserve games. Data has enabled scouts to obtain information about tens of thousands of players all over the world recorded and analysed. Tony Bloom who runs the company StarLizard as well, is well positioned to help facilitate this process even more.
StarLizard takes an in-depth dive into data to perform cutting edge analytics on the various decisions the club takes. The company operates in secret so no one that actually works in the company knows what exactly is the secret formula to the success of the company. Brighton now are fully integrated with StarLizard technology so that gives them a great advantage towards achieving their goals. Brentford’s owner, Matthew Benham used to work for the same company that Bloom works but a falling out resulted in Benham starting his own company which operates similarly to StarLizard.
Tony Bloom is born and raised in Brighton. The other owners in the Premier League are either foreign owned or else they live outside the country where they are detached from what is happening at their club. His influence on the club cannot be understated, he wrote off the cheque for £93 million so construction can be done for the Amex Stadium, a new state-of-the-art facility that elevates their ambitions even further. His primary business is what fuels the great recruitment that Brighton had done in previous years.
Apart from the stadium, many other developments were made to help bolster the club’s ability of transforming young players to become their best self. Training facilities were improved whilst also investing heavily in the women’s football team, who are doing well.
In the 2017-18 season, Brighton managed to stay in the Premier League by only two points and Chris Hutton got the sack, who was later replaced by Graham Potter. At the time, the Seagulls fans started to question the way Brighton conducted their transfer business but those claims were quickly extinguished. After the fantastic job that Graham Potter did with the Seagulls, he was headhunted to become Chelsea’s new head coach and his replacement looks to be an improvement. Roberto De Zerbi continued to build on a very competitive team and stamped his brand of football which is more pleasing on the eye.
The team is now looking to get into Europe, making them a more attractive destination for players to go to and gain valuable experience to better their football skills. A very similar trend to Dortmund, were players turn down big money moves to go to Brighton and catapult their career at that clubs before moving to a more competitive club.
Brexit plays a big role in the way clubs are doing business nowadays; scouting networks are focusing more on the leagues outside of Europe as they are easier players to pursue. The scouting network is also unconventional when compared to other teams, as one scout is solely dedicated to scouring leagues just to get, say, a goalkeeper. Instead of having scouts specialise in a particular player role, it is much more advantageous to fly to a specific continent and get the best player, their position doesn’t really matter.