Brighton promoted to Premier League 20 years after selling their stadium

After nearly dropping out of the Football League two decades ago, Brighton & Hove Albion will be playing top-flight football for the first time in 34 years next season.

The Seagulls are assured of a top-two finish in the Championship after beating Wigan and then seeing promotion rivals Huddersfield draw with Derby on Monday.

Brighton have had their ups and downs but will become the 48th club to play in the Premier League next season. Here's a look at their eventful journey back to the top.

1996-97: Thirteen years after their drop from the top flight -- the same season they were also FA Cup finalists -- Brighton came close to liquidation, with the club's board selling the Goldstone Ground to pay off debts. They were in the fourth tier and seemed set to lose their Football League status, as they were 13 points adrift at the bottom at one stage.

But a late run of form under manager Steve Gritt led to a final-day matchup with Hereford United at Edgar Street, where they needed to avoid defeat to stay up. The game ended 1-1, instead condemning Hereford to the drop.

1997-98: Playing at Gillingham's Priestfield Stadium under the ownership of Dick Knight, Brighton had another poor campaign to register a second successive 23rd-place finish, but Doncaster's Football League-record low of 20 points meant relegation was never a danger.

2000-01: With Brighton now playing at the Withdean Stadium, things finally began to look up, as manager Peter Taylor delivered promotion, with the Seagulls crowned Division 3 champions.

2001-02: Taylor's impressive work continued and he masterminded back-to-back rises with another title.

2010-11: After several years of yo-yoing between the second and third tiers, manager Gus Poyet delivered promotion back to the Championship, just in time for the opening of Brighton's new 30,000-seat Amex Stadium.

2012-13: The Seagulls enjoyed their highest finish since 1983, as they ended fourth in the Championship, before a playoff semifinal loss to Crystal Palace.

2013-14: More playoff heartache followed as, under manager Oscar Garcia, Brighton were semifinal losers against Derby.

2015-16: Beginning the campaign with a 21-game unbeaten run, manager Chris Hughton's side missed out on automatic promotion on the final day as they needed to beat Middlesbrough in another winners-take-all clash but could only manage a 1-1 draw and Boro went up. They suffered more misery in the playoffs as Sheffield Wednesday beat them over two legs.

2016-17: Brighton's 2-1 home win over Wigan on Easter Monday, secured with goals from Glenn Murray and Solly March, put them on the brink of promotion, and an 88th-minute Derby equaliser against Huddersfield in the day's late match assured the Seagulls of a place in the Premier League.