Brighton can survive the drop with ‘middle market’ signings, says Chris Hughton

first_imgChris Hughton insists Brighton can hold their own in the Premier League by targeting “middle market” signings while the big clubs flex their financial muscle.Brighton have broken their club transfer record twice in one week to draft in Davy Propper from PSV Eindhoven and Club Brugge’s Jose Izquierdo, subject to medical and international clearance.The Seagulls will host big-spending Manchester City for their Premier League debut on Saturday, with manager Hughton tipping Pep Guardiola’s men as strong title contenders.Hughton has insisted Brighton must ignore any gulf in financial clout however, citing Burnley and Bournemouth as examples of how to carve out a Premier League niche on a budget.“I think Manchester City will be right up there challenging for the title,” said Hughton.“It’s very difficult when you see the spending of some clubs in the summer, Manchester United of course and Chelsea who will be right up there.“But with the quality City have got I would expect them to be very strong title contenders.“Given the transfers, I think what you do is you try to assess almost a middle market.“There are some transfers that have gone ahead so far that are so above our levels you almost have to disregard them.“But what the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City can do, they can do that and good luck to them.“It shows a real intent to want to be the best they can, win the title and ultimately of course it’s about the Champions League as well.“So we have to disregard most of it, because it’s something that we can’t affect.“But there’s no doubt that the level of transfer fees have increased dramatically.“But they are for wonderful players, so good luck to them if they can do that.“We probably have to concentrate on the levels that we can affect.“For us there are some great examples of teams that have gone up and stayed up.“So yes we’ll look at as many good experiences as we can do, and that’s for the whole of the season, not just the start.“You’ve got to be able to overcome those difficult experiences that are going to come in this league.”Former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Guardiola guided City to a third-place finish in his first campaign in the north west last term.But now Hughton believes the Spaniard can put those experiences to good use to push his side firmly into title contention.“He’s learning all the time, and I don’t think anybody can dispute what a brilliant manager he is,” said Hughton of Guardiola.“But he’s also very humble about himself, he’s also still learning the country and Premier League, and hence that’s why he’s brought in the level of players he has.“It’s to try to put them in a better position to win the title.” Chris Hughton 1last_img read more

Pentagon chief suspends reimbursement for enlistment bonuses

first_imgWASHINGTON — Facing a public outcry, Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Wednesday ordered the Pentagon to suspend its effort to seek repayments of enlistment bonuses given to thousands of California National Guard members who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.Carter’s decision comes in the wake of angry reaction from congressional Republicans and Democrats who demanded he relieve the burden on Guard members following news reports that soldiers were being asked to repay debts that in some cases totaled more than $25,000. The announcement does not end the reimbursement process, but postpones collection efforts while the Pentagon and Congress look for a long-term solution.White House spokesman Josh Earnest said President Barack Obama was pleased with the decision, but said it was important for the Pentagon “to follow through” by finding a long-term solution. Obama had warned the Defense Department earlier this week not to “nickel and dime” service members who were victims of wrongdoing by overzealous recruiters.In a statement issued during a meeting of defense ministers in Brussels, Carter said efforts to collect reimbursement from Guard members should stop “as soon as is practical.” Carter said he has ordered the department to set up a streamlined process by Jan. 1 to help troops get relief from the repayment obligation, because the current program has moved too slowly.“This process has dragged on too long, for too many service members,” he said. “Too many cases have languished without action. That’s unfair to service members and to taxpayers.”last_img read more