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May 21, 2013

Brighton sorry for excrement incident

Brighton & Hove Albion have issued a formal apology to Crystal Palace after an "unsavoury incident" occurred in the visitors' dressing room prior to the Seagulls' defeat in the Championship play-off semi-final second leg.

Brighton suffered a 2-0 loss to their rivals Palace at the Amex Stadium last week as Manchester United-bound Wilfred Zaha scored a brace to book a Championship play-off final for Palace against Watford.

Reports have since emerged that excrement was found in Palace's dressing room prior to the game, and the Guardian reports that Sussex police have told the Sun they are investigating the incident.

The Sun also reported that Brighton manager Gus Poyet - who, along with his coaching staff, was suspended by the club due to a matter said to be unrelated to Palace's complaint - wrote an email to staff demanding for the offender to resign.

In an email sent to season ticket holders, the club's chief executive Paul Barber has confirmed the matter is being taken seriously, with security to be tightened at the Amex.

He wrote: "It's clearly been a challenging week for our club: defeat at home to our biggest rivals in a play-off semi-final; the suspension from work and pending investigation of three members of our staff; and the revelation of an unsavoury incident that took place in our visitors' dressing room last Monday.

"I can assure you that we will address each of these challenges as you would expect and want us to: namely, professionally and with as much dignity as possible.

"We apologised to Crystal Palace as soon as the vandalism in their dressing room was discovered, and again more formally a few days after the match. As a result of what happened, please rest assured we have reviewed our internal procedures to guard against this ever happening again."

Far from being disgusted, Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway has said that the excrement found in his team's changing room at Brighton served as the perfect motivation.

"I have to thank that person for doing me the biggest favour," Holloway has said. "I didn't have to gee the players up at all, in fact I had to calm them down. I've never seen a look like that on Wilf's [Zaha] face.

"So how stupid is that person? He got Palace to play like that. It never ceases to amaze me, how low will some people go?

"You have to act with dignity and I believe Brighton have. It must be difficult, with a stadium like that, to stop a complete lunatic trying to spoil what Brighton do - we all know what a good club Brighton are."

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