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We would like to welcome another new writer aboard the good ship Beesotted ahead of the new season – with young Bees fan, Luke Blake, sharing some optimistic thoughts about the tough season ahead, in one of the strongest Championship line-ups of all time.

For Brentford, the 2016/17 is looking increasingly like a critical one. Not only are more teams in this league benefiting from Premier League parachute payments, if we are to be regarded as an established and feared Championship side, then realistically, the next couple of seasons are when Brentford need to mount a serious title challenge.

From this season on, if a team has been in the Premier League for two or more years then they receive three years’ worth of parachute payments, and if they have come straight back down from the promised land, then they will receive only two.

This figure has been reduced from last season, with some teams benefiting from four years of payments if they drop down, however, while payment lengths decrease, the amount per year will now increase thanks to the massive new TV deal!

Therefore, it seems nothing has really changed, with teams like Aston Villa set to draw nearly £90m in the next three years.

Realistically, the Bees will never be able to compete with this, which is why I say the next few seasons are pivotal, especially with the move to the new stadium hopefully on the horizon!

With over half the teams having Premier League experience and extra money to spend, Brentford must continue to look outside the box and scour the market for hidden gems – either at home or abroad – because that is the only way we can compete on what is far from a level playing field.

Our system must clearly be working as two ex-Brentford players (Andre Gray and Moses Odubajo) found through this system, will be playing Premier League football. This is also an important season for a lot of our fringe players and those who have been injured. Josh McEachran appears to have potential, Lewis Macleod is finally fit (fingers crossed) and Andreas Bjelland has a point to prove as Brentford’s record signing.

It will be hard to replicate the success of the season before last, however, with players fully committed, and with a manager with 100% backing with Benham and fans, there are grounds for real optimism around Griffin Park.

Let the games commence!

Luke Blake