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Last Updated:  Friday, 7 March, 2003, 19:56 GMT
Football chief backs Seagulls
David Davies, acting chief executive of the Football Association
Mr Davies said international games could be played at Falmer
The acting chief executive of the Football Association has added his voice to the arguments in favour of a new stadium for Brighton and Hove Albion.

David Davies was giving evidence as Brighton and Hove Albion finished presenting their arguments to a six-week-long planning inquiry.

He told a government inspector that a new 22,000-seater stadium at Village Way North, in Falmer, could be a base for the Australian national side.

"Because their players are based here in Europe, they want to play several matches each year in England," he said.

Brighton and Hove Albion chairman Dick Knight
Mr Knight said the club was fighting hard

"Who knows, a 22,500-seater stadium for games like that might be exactly what they would be looking for.

"Then you would get the top international names playing here as well so it's all part, it seems to me as an outsider, of putting Brighton and Hove on the international stage."

Mr Davies said he understood residents' concerns over the environmental impact of the proposed stadium on Falmer's beautiful countryside.

But, he said, it was not good enough for a club with Brighton's traditions to exist in a 6,000-7,000-seater stadium with no room to expand.

'Best conceivable site'

He said: "Over a period of time, a lot of people have looked for the best conceivable site and the conclusion that all those people have come to is that Falmer is the best site."

There will now be a week's break in the inquiry before those who oppose it give evidence.

Seagulls chairman Dick Knight said he was happy with the way the club had presented its case.

"This city needs to keep its football club which has proudly borne its name for over 100 years at the heart of its community," he said.

"That is why we are fighting very hard, in this very complex process of the public inquiry, to make sure that we get this stadium at Falmer."

The club has been without a permanent home since the Goldstone Ground closed in 1997 and currently plays at Brighton's athletics stadium.

Des Lynam backs stadium plan
06 Mar 03 |  England
Inquiry starts on new stadium
18 Feb 03 |  England

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