June 6 (Reuters) - Brighton and Hove Albion are relishing the prospect of renewing their rivalry with Crystal Palace after securing promotion to the Premier League, the Sussex club’s chairman Tony Bloom has said.
Despite the clubs being separated by more than 60 km, the antagonism began after the second replay of a heated FA Cup first-round tie in the 1976-77 campaign, when Brighton manager Alan Mullery had coffee thrown on his head after a 1-0 defeat.
The incident sparked a rivalry that has lasted over the next 40 years as both teams rose from the third tier of English football and was intensified after Palace beat Brighton in the Championship playoffs on their way to the top tier in 2013.
”It’s going to be great for our fans and for their fans,“ Bloom told reporters. ”I think a lot of them will be happy to be playing us in the Premier League next season.
“They’re going to be two huge games. It’s such an intense rivalry and obviously the last time we played them was a game we all want to forget at the Amex, so we’ll all be looking forward to them.”
After Brighton secured their promotion in May, Palace chairman Steve Parish also welcomed the chance to renew their feud and hoped that fans would “take it in good heart”. (Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by John O‘Brien)