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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 March, 2004, 16:13 GMT
Fans spread new stadium message
The proposed new stadium
The planned new stadium at Falmer would have a 22,000 capacity
Fans of Brighton and Hove Albion have been attending matches of other football teams trying to spread news of their hopes for a new stadium.

The club has been without a permanent home since the Goldstone Ground closed in 1997.

A decision on whether a new ground can be built at Falmer is in the hands of Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.

Fans were at games around England on Saturday handing leaflets explaining the situation to fellow supporters.

Nine-month inquiry

With Brighton not involved in a game on Saturday, fans travelled to other matches to raise awareness of their club's position and to try to generate support.

Brighton have been playing home games at the Withdean Stadium, a small athletics stadium in the city, since 1999, after two years of playing home matches 75 miles away at Gillingham in Kent.

A retail park now stands on the site of the Goldstone Ground in Hove, which was the Seagulls' home for 95 years.

The club earmarked land at Falmer, close to the University of Sussex, as its desired site for a new ground several years ago.

Withdean Stadium
The club now plays at an athletics stadium with temporary seating

It has the backing of Brighton and Hove City Council but some local residents have objected and there are also concerns because part of the planned site is in a designated area of outstanding natural beauty.

A nine-month public inquiry into whether the 22,000-seater stadium should be built ended in October last year.

Mr Prescott is now due to make the final decision.

Albion fans have a long tradition of generating support for their cause from other clubs' fans.

A "Fans United" day at the Goldstone Ground in 1997 saw fans of most teams in England attend a Division Three match between Brighton and Hartlepool, filling the ground.

They were invited by Seagulls supporters eager to raise awareness of the fact the Goldstone Ground had been sold without a permanent new home being secured.


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