WE’LL FIGHT THEM ON THE BEACHES!

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Sam El­liott

BRIGHTON have been lam­basted by their Non-League neigh­bours af­ter ad­mit­ting they tried to pre­vent them chang­ing their name.

Na­tional League South White­hawk, who took Da­gen­ham & Red­bridge to a re­play in the FA Cup se­cond round last month, have played in the south coast city for 70 years.

The Hawks have again an­nounced they in­tend to play un­der the name of Brighton City next term, more than three years af­ter sud­denly pulling the plug on a sim­i­lar idea.

Al­bion chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul Bar­ber has con­firmed to The FLP that the Cham­pi­onship club are at­tempt­ing to stop them from do­ing it.

White­hawk, in re­sponse, say the Seag­ulls rea­son­ing is not be­cause the new name would be too sim­i­lar and could cause con­fu­sion but be­cause they refuse to ac­cept an­other side with Brighton in their name.

The Foot­ball League club will con­tinue to put pres­sure on the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion to stop them re-brand­ing.

White­hawk, how­ever, have told Brighton to pre­pare for a fight, and chair­man John Sum­mers said: “We will keep plug­ging away with this un­til peo­ple lis­ten.

“We tried a few years ago but the FA said no. We have now done what’s re­quired to make it hap­pen but an­other club still has a prob­lem.

Dif­fer­ent

“Brighton & Hove Al­bion, it seems, be­lieve they own the name of the city and brand, which is frus­trat­ing, but we’re not go­ing away.

“They don’t own the city and they can’t tell us what we can and can­not do.

“It’s our city, too, and we’re not go­ing to let them tell us any dif­fer­ent. We wish them ev­ery suc­cess, but as an ex-fan of theirs I have seen they have tried to block ev­ery pro­posal we put for­ward.

“We’ve got a job on our hands, but we have played in Brighton for 70 years. This is our city as well as theirs.

“There is Manch­ester United and Manch­ester City, Bris­tol City and Bris­tol Rovers – even Ox­ford United and Ox­ford City. No­body can tell me this isn’t ac­cept­able.

“Are we try­ing to ri­val Brighton? Of course we’re not. We have ac­tu­ally spent more time in the city than they have, if you add up the years they were in ex­ile. We won’t be dic­tated to.”

Brighton chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul Bar­ber con­firmed: “We are happy for the mat­ter to re­main pri­vate and to be dealt with by the FA.”

The Hawks must bat­tle their own fans, too, af­ter they re­acted with anger at the name change pro­posal.

“We would have ex­pected an amount of com­mon de­cency to­wards those who sup­port the club week in, week out,” a state­ment from fans’ group, the White­hawk Ul­tras, read. “De­spite stick­ing up for our chair­men year af­ter year, when we re­ceive tor­rents of abuse for the way our club is be­ing run, we have been left in the cold.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

BAT­TLE FORBRIGHTON: A White­hawk fan with the club mas­cot while, in­set, Danny Mills cel­e­brates his FA Cup strike against Da­gen­ham and Brighton chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul Bar­ber

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