New book sheds light on Brian Clough's ill-fated spell in charge at Brighton

mdingwall

Administrator
New book sheds light on Brian Clough's ill-fated spell in charge at Brighton https://www.nottinghampost.com/news...r.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sharebar

New book sheds light on Brian Clough's ill-fated spell in charge at Brighton
Most aspects of Brian Clough’s career have been picked over by many authors – except for his short, unhappy stay at Brighton and Hove Albion. Andy Smart takes a look at a new account of that strange episode
  • 06:00, 6 OCT 2018
  • Updated11:14, 8 OCT 2018
News
0_Clough-Taylor-17.jpg

Albion’s manager focuses on the job in hand, accompanied by a young Nigel Clough. (Image: The Argus)
The popular opinion among most football observers is that Brian Clough was the best manager England never had.

His name is forever linked with Shankly, Ferguson and Paisley; and he is revered as a footballing messiah at both ends of the A52’s Brian Clough Way.

But down on the south coast, in and around the Regency resort of Brighton, the view of Clough, and his partner Peter Taylor, takes on a rather more jaundiced shade.

0_Clough-Taylor-15.jpg

Stompond Lane, November 1973. Brian Clough prepares to watch his players take on Walton and Hersham in the FA Cup, flanked by Albion defender Graham Howell, left, and coach John Sheridan. Brighton lost to the non-leaguers 4-0 after a replay. (Image: bitebackpublishing)
After their hasty departure from a star-studded Derby County side with a First Division title to their credit, Clough and Taylor shocked the football world by accepting an offer from Brighton chairman Mike Bamber to take over a club teetering on the edge of relegation from the old Third Division.

As author Spencer Vignes, a freelance sports writer and broadcaster, asks in his new book Bloody Southerners*, the question on everyone’s lips was why?

Through 300 pages of revealing text which are certainly not intended to eulogise Clough and Taylor, Vignes attempts to come up with an answer.

And he exposes Clough’s tenure at the old Goldstone Ground as one riven with conflict, disillusionment and bullying.

Vignes has spoken to former players who were there at the time and few have a good word to say about Clough and Taylor.

0_Clough-Taylor-10.jpg

The front page of Brighton’s Evening Argus, on November 1, 1973. (Image: The Argus)
“I would say they ruled by fear more than anything,” said long-serving full back John Templeman.

Defender Norman Gall didn’t understand their management style. “He (Taylor) was a right bully,” he said.

When asked for his assessment of Brian Clough, goalkeeper Brian Powney, who made more than 400 appearances for Brighton, said: “I just didn’t like his ways, his arrogance, his ignorance.”

Vignes draws the conclusion that Clough, in particular, had no real interest in the job and was using it as a stepping stone back to the big time. He was rarely seen around the ground during the week, spending most of his time back in Derby with his family.

Read More
NOTTINGHAM NOSTALGIA
On one occasion, Clough missed an important league game to fly off to New York to see Muhammed Ali fight.

And the author refers to “dressing room unrest over managerial absences and the lack of preparation prior to games and tactics employed in them”.

He is probably not far off the mark. Clough had gone from a team full of stars like Roy McFarland, Archie Gemmill and Kevin Hector, to a collection of lower division journeymen. He made little attempt to hide his frustrations.

“We were pathetic,” he was quoted after a disastrous 8-2 defeat. “This side hasn’t got enough heart to fill a thimble.”

Clough promised wholesale changes, and spent chairman Bamber’s money in large quantities to bring in better players … including ex-Forest favourite Peter Grummitt to keep goal.

0_Clough-Taylor-18.jpg

A smiling Peter Taylor ready to go it alone as Albion’s new manager, July 1974. (Image: The Argus/Brighton and Hove Stuff)
But it didn’t bring the success Bamber had expected, Clough had promised, the fans had prayed for.

No one was surprised when Clough accepted the first offer of a return to the top flight … the shock was that it came from Leeds United, a club he had professed a severe dislike for.

Peter O’Sullivan, a winger who clocked up more than 400 appearances for Brighton and one of the few with words of praise for Clough, said: “To be honest I was surprised he even came (to Brighton) in the first place … we were a Third Division club in the south of England. We were all southern softies as far as he was concerned.

“He wasn’t in it for the long term. And you know what? He was too good for us anyway.”

Clough left Brighton in 1974, leaving his mate Taylor to stay on as manager. The atmosphere at the Goldstone changed and they came within a whisker of promotion but that failure undermined Taylor’s commitment to the club.

0_Clough-Taylor-22.jpg

Albion’s squad line up under Peter Taylor ahead of the 1975/76 season. It includes ex-Forest players Peter Grummitt and Neil Martin. (Image: Football Magazine)
By then, Clough had experienced his 44-day ordeal at Leeds and had joined Forest. When he got in touch with his old friend to join him at the City Ground, Taylor was happy to return to the Midlands and renew their remarkable partnership. It would bring a league title, two European Cups and a shelf full of other silverware … riches lowly Brighton could only dream about.

It also brought an end to a traumatic three years for Brighton. Alan Mullery took over and by 1979 the south coast club had reached the old First Division for the first time in their history.

2_x051018as1-1.jpg

Spencer Vignes' new book.
And all these years later, long after the turbulent Clough/Taylor regime, Albion are now a Premier League club with a spanking new ground.

Yet Vignes concludes: “They didn’t win any major trophies at the Goldstone.

“Brian Clough and Peter Taylor did, however, put Albion on the map. That’s not a bad legacy to leave behind you …”

Read more Bygones stories here
 

Minkia

Well-Known Member
What Clough and Taylor achieved with unfashionable Derby and Forest would be hailed today as a miracle. They had the gift of turning journeyman players into worldbeaters.
It still rankles that we didn't beat FC Koln in 1978 to set up a European Cup semi-final with Forest.
Interestingly, Clough gave a debut the same season to the then 17 year old Chris Woods who was arguably one of our finest ever keepers.
 

Bilko

Well-Known Member
Old skool!

Imagine him dropping into todays football as a manager. He'd go ballistic!
 

SM™

Administrator
Staff member
What Clough and Taylor achieved with unfashionable Derby and Forest would be hailed today as a miracle. They had the gift of turning journeyman players into worldbeaters.
It still rankles that we didn't beat FC Koln in 1978 to set up a European Cup semi-final with Forest.
Interestingly, Clough gave a debut the same season to the then 17 year old Chris Woods who was arguably one of our finest ever keepers.
Clough and Taylor with Forest.

Fergie and Archie Knox with Aberdeen.

The greatest achievements of any British managerial teams.
 

TNT

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
Clough admitted himself Brighton was a mistake. He said it wasn't a football town - it was a showbiz town.

For all those moaning about his methods in that article though, who are they?????? Just seems a bunch of never has beens wanting a bit of publicity.
 

Teuchterblue

Well-Known Member
Clough admitted himself Brighton was a mistake. He said it wasn't a football town - it was a showbiz town.

For all those moaning about his methods in that article though, who are they?????? Just seems a bunch of never has beens wanting a bit of publicity.

You might be correct, but whatever Clough was doing at Brighton it didn't quite work. Just because Brighton players at the time were shite it doesn't make them wrong in their judgement of Clough and his[lack of] commitment to the club. Maybe Clough & Taylor were made only for certain Northern, cloth cap teams. Manager can experience a culture shock when going abroad. It might just be that the pair's style didn't travel well even to Southern England. I'm fu cked if I know what went wrong at Brighton but even the all time great managers can be stinking at times.
 

SDF

Well-Known Member
He may not have berated his players, but he had plenty of the others at times

Imagine the outcry today if Jose kept calling Luke Shaw "the little fat man" in public the same way Clough called John Robertson it...
 

Marstonbear

Well-Known Member
What Clough and Taylor achieved with unfashionable Derby and Forest would be hailed today as a miracle. They had the gift of turning journeyman players into worldbeaters.
It still rankles that we didn't beat FC Koln in 1978 to set up a European Cup semi-final with Forest.
Interestingly, Clough gave a debut the same season to the then 17 year old Chris Woods who was arguably one of our finest ever keepers.
It wasnt certain we'd play Forest in the semis
 
Top