Monday, 12 September 2022


This is what the scornful Alan Rickman as Snape said to Harry Potter in the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Severus Snape | Heroes, Villains and Antiheroes Wiki | Fandom


I recalled it, Potter, last week when the news broke of your departure as Brighton and Hove FC manager. You’ve been manager at the club for just over 3 years during which time the club struggled to avoid relegation in the first two years and last year did better finishing mid table. This year, despite losing three key players, it’s done exceptionally and after 6 games the team lies 4th two places above Chelsea which is where you and your coaching team have been lured.

Chelsea fans will be able to buy tickets for UCL tie vs Real Madrid at  Stamford Bridge

This is a story about money and loyalty. You were, personally,  one off the bottom in the Premier Division in terms of remuneration earning just £2 million a year. At Chelsea you’ll earn annually over £10 million with a five-year contract and Brighton will pocket around £20 million from Chelsea in buying out your contact. 

In a world where star footballers earn £350,000 a week the numbers have become eyewatering, large enough to turn anyone’s head but that’s where the problem lies. When money becomes the only thing that counts, we enter the shady world of Dr Faustus who, in Christopher Marlowe’s play sold his soul to the devil in return for acquiring material wealth.

Mephistopheles tells Faustus what he faces from his own experience:

“Why, this is hell, nor am I out of it.
Think'st thou that I, who saw the face of God
And tasted the eternal joys of heaven,
Am not tormented with ten thousand hells
In being deprived of everlasting bliss?” 

How far do you agree that the play “Dr. Faustus” is a compelling drama of a  man whose mounting ambitions inevitably brings about his hellish fall as he  stubbornly rejects repeated advice


And so it is Potter. You had got Brighton playing a sublime possession game (you were in the top 4 in the Premier League for ball possession), you were a winner with the possibility of a top six finish or better, your magic would have grown and the esteem with which you were held would have grown.

Here’s what you said yourself, not the words of a greedy man, more those of the sort of person like Julian Richer of Richer Sounds who also wants to make the world a better place:

“People think that coaching is about winning football matches - which, of course, it is - but throughout my career it has also been about helping people become better, more able to deal with life and be more successful in their lives, on and off the football pitch.”

Chelsea set new expectations very much like old expectations for Graham  Potter - We Ain't Got No History

My anguish about what you’ve done is you’ve turned away from “helping people become better” and I’m not just talking about football here I’m talking about the influence and excellence you conferred on our city of 280,000. The Amex stadium had become a focal point even for those who didn’t much like football. “Our team” had been a factor in taking Brighton to a new level of respectability, style and self-esteem. Keith Waterhouse the playwright said:

“If Brighton were a person, it’s the sort who would be helping the police with their enquiries.”  

That’s no longer the case.

Brighton seeking record third consecutive away win

Never mind. We’ll muddle our way without you and your management team. But just reflect on the missed opportunity you had of turning Brighton into a powerhouse as opposed to trying to tame a bunch of overpaid, big egos.

Many people think you’ve made a shrewd career move. I’m afraid you may have sacrificed your own unique qualities, for money and what some call the big time. 

In time I think you’ll come to regret it as much as we do now.

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