Brentford chairman eyes mid-table finish

Cliff Crown says the Brentford squad is in good shape. Photo: Brentford FC

Cliff Crown says the Brentford squad is in good shape. Photo: Brentford FC

Consolidation is the name of the game for Brentford this season, according to chairman Cliff Crown.

Having clinched promotion after finishing runners-up behind Wolves last term, Crown is confident the club will hold their own in their first season back in the Championship in 22 years.

Crown said: “The last time we were in the division we went straight back down, so it’s important to maintain our momentum.

“We hope to consolidate and if we can finish mid-table or higher I’d be very happy.”

A chartered accountant for 32 years, Crown, who is 57 and lives in Radlett, took over the reins from Greg Dyke when he replaced David Bernstein as chairman of the FA just over a year ago.

He said: “We’ve strengthened the squad and are in really good shape. I’m loving every minute of it.”

Having attended all five friendlies, Crown, who has three children, enjoyed a short break in Portugal ahead of Saturday’s derby against Charlton Athletic.

He said: “We’ve had a good pre-season, including friendlies against Borehamwood, Barnet and Crystal Palace, whom we beat 3-2.

“We’re on a bit of a roll but the Championship is a different ball-game. It’s much tougher physically than League One. Teams get six weeks off due to international matches, but this means there’ll be more midweek games to fit in which will really test the depth of the squad.

“We’re excited by the challenge but also wary that we’ll be up against some former Premier League teams, plus some other big clubs including Leeds, Nottingham Forest and Derby.”

Charlton look set to give a debut to defender Tal Ben Haim. “One would hope he doesn’t receive any verbal abuse from the crowd regarding the situation in Israel,” said Crown who is a frequent visitor.

“It’s a very sad situation. I’d like to see a peaceful solution and hope they can find a way to live without fighting.”

Last updated: 1:37pm, August 8 2014