Brighton have outlined their ambitions to become a top four WSL club with the launch of a six pillar strategy aimed at breaking into the top flight's elite.
Brighton have built a strong women's football setup over the past seven years, with thoughtful long-term planning and infrastructure at the heart of it.
In 2015, the then third tier side outlined plans to reach the WSL within five years, and earned a spot in the top flight in 2018 via one promotion and one successful application. In September 2021, the women's team moved into their own £8m state of the art training facility.
Brighton's new strategy is titled 'pathway to the top four', and sets out how the club intends to grow the women's game between now and 2024 via six pillars: player pathway, recruitment, performance and coaching, medical, wellbeing and marketing and communications.
As part of the plans, the club are also exploring the possibility of moving into a new, long-term home that is located closer to Brighton and Hove. The Seagulls currently play their home games at the People's Pension Stadium in Crawley - 21 miles away from the Amex Stadium in Brighton.
"Having a team in the top four of the Women’s Super League is an important part of the Club’s overall vision," said chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber. "We’re looking forward to the next chapter in the team’s professionalisation.”
The strategy focuses on achieving top four status by developing home grown talent, while also looking after players post-retirement by helping them prepare for dual careers.
Since Manchester United's promotion to the WSL in 2019, the league's top four has consistently been the Red Devils, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City, while the top three has consistently remained Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City since 2015.
“Brighton have made so much progress in recent years on and off the pitch," said Kelly Simmons, the FA’s director of the women’s professional game.
"We’re excited and intrigued to see how they will achieve their objectives and build a women’s and girls’ section they can be proud of, and which sets the standard for other clubs to try and emulate.”