Tony Bloom: The Brighton & Hove Albion Chair

tonybloom-albionTony Bloom

The Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. is a professional association football club based in the city of Brighton in England. It has quite the interesting history but perhaps one of the best stories that people would often attach to it will have something to do with its current esteemed chairman, Tony Bloom.

But what sets this man apart to the point that people couldn’t help but remember his name at the mention of the club? Well that is what we’re about to tell you today.

Born in the 1970s as Anthony Grant Bloom, Tony grew up in a family who has ardently supported the club both emotionally and financially.

For over forty years, someone from the Blooms has served a post in the club. His grandfather Harry was vice-chairman to Mike Bamber during the Albion’s historic rise from the old Third Division to the First Division of the Football League. His uncle Ray on the other hand was a director.

It was in May of 2009 when Tony succeeded the post from then chairman Harry Dick Knight, known for his often long and ardent speeches. Although considered a man of a few words, Tony became quite the popular man among the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club’s fans as he spearheaded and helped personally finance two major constructions that have brought the club to a whole new level, all that even before he was appointed chair.

Replay to the year 2000, Tony became a major investor and shareholder to the club. One of the major projects he helped finance was the 30,750 seater American Express Community Stadium, which was formerly known as the Falmer Stadium and nnow more popularly referred to as the Amex.  The stadium had a total construction cost of £93 million and was opened to the public in July 2011. Moreover, he also helped fund the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre which opened back in 2014.

It was no surprise that the man was willing to risk and give so much to the sport and to the Albions given his business and investment background coupled by his family’s history with the club. At present, the team currently plays in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system.

Because of all his achievements and contributions, Tony Bloom was voted and awarded as the “Most Outstanding Brightonian of the Year” in the same year that he sat as the club’s chairman.

UK’s Well Loved Sports

The United Kingdom is known not only for its beautiful tourist and historical destinations, its famous universities, its massive economy and its rich history. The country is also known to be home to one of the world’s most avid sports fanatics. Care to know the sports that have the UK up on their toes? If you do then this list will surely be of interest. Take a look!

1.    FOOTBALL

Undoubtedly the most popular sport in the UK is football. This team sport that requires kicking and passing a ball across a huge field has captured the country so much that it has become one of their most celebrated athletic events. The game follows a traditional league system and there are over a hundred different teams all over the country with the premier league consisting twenty of the best ones. The more popular teams are those from Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool. The Football Association, the governing body of the sport is one of the oldest in the world. If the Americans have basketball, the British have football.

cricketuk2.    CRICKET

Although football may be considered the most popular in the United Kingdom, it is not its national sport. That title goes to cricket. It is an outdoor sport played by two teams of eleven players using a flat bat, a small hard ball, and wickets. A player scores by batting the ball and running, while the defenders can get a player out by bowling and hitting the wicket, catching a hit ball, or running the player out.

3.    RUGBY

Run by the RFL (Rugby Football League), are more popular in some parts of the country than others. In the earlier times, it is a sport played mostly by the elites but it has long since become one of the most played sports in the UK. Rugby is a team sport in which players run with an oval ball, pass it laterally from hand to hand, and kick it to score more points than the opposing team.

4.    BADMINTON

The sport overshadows tennis and others in the racket category. Badminton has long been engraved in the country’s history with the Badminton Association of England established back in 1893. It uses rackets to strike a shuttlecock back and forth across a high net.

Football, cricket, rugby and badminton are four of the well loved sports in the UK. How about you? Which one is your favorite?

Tony Bloom: A Timeline with the Albions

tony-bloom-brightonianAnthony Grant “Tony” Bloom is known among others to be the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club’s chairman since 2009. But what many people do not realize is that his association with the club began way before his appointment. Don’t believe us? Here, take a look at this timeline.

  • 1970 – Anthony Grant or Tony Bloom was no doubt born to a family of Seagulls fans in the small seaside resort town of Brighton in the seventies. The Blooms were known to have ardently and publicly supported the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club as early here on.
  • 1970 – In the same decade, Harry Bloom, Tony’s grandfather and well-known hotel owner and motor trader, was appointed as vice-chairman of the Albions or Seagulls. The chairman at the time was Mike Bamber. This was also the period when the club reached the old first division back in 1979.
  • 1980 – As a child, Tony was often brought by family to the Goldstone Ground to watch the matches. His usual company would be his father, grandpa and brother. It was since then that he realized his passion for football was more than sport and entertainment. It was a family affair, hereditary even.
  • 1980 – A second generation of the Blooms became affiliated with the Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. This time it way Harry’s son and Tony’s uncle Ray who served as the club’s director.
  • 2000 – Tony became one of the club’s major investors and stockholders. He continued to become a benefactor years after too, helping fund various projects and advocacies some of which were even out of his own pocket.
  • 2008 – One of the projects that he helped personally fund was the old Falmer’s stadium and now called the American Express Community Stadium or the “Amex”, the home of the Albions. Construction began in December of 2008 and was spearheaded by the KSS Design Group as the architectural firm and the Buckingham Group as the general contractor.
  • 2009 – Succeeding Harry Dick Knight, Tony became the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club’s chairman up to the present day. It was also during the same year when he was awarded “Brightonian of the Year” for his numerous achievements and contributions.
  • 2011 – With over £93 million of construction costs, the 30,750 seater American Express Community Stadium opened its doors.
  • 2014 – Tony Bloom also helped finance the construction of the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre, a training ground, which was opened only two years ago.

The Tony Bloom Charitable Trust

tony-bloom-foundation2There is more to Anthony Grant “Tony” Bloom than being an investor, businessman and the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club’s esteemed chairman. Mr. Bloom is in fact a philanthropist and has set up a foundation that has and continues to fight poverty all over the globe aptly called the “Tony Bloom Charitable Trust”.

Anthony has had a strong will to help others in ways that he can. By building and setting up this foundation, he has found a systematic and organized way of providing help by assigning and giving grants to causes that satiate the same objectives as his.

The charity has now been renamed as the “Tony Bloom Foundation” with the same four other trustees: Linda Bloom, Marc Sugarman, Adam Franks and Marcelle Lester.

As of 2015, the charity has reported 61% resource spending for charitable activities, 1% on governance and income generation activities with the remaining 38% retained for future projects and grants. To put it in specific digits, the Bloom Foundation has reported a £3.1 million worth of income from voluntary pledges and donations and investments as well as £1.9 million worth of spending on charitable activities, governance and investment management.

In order to provide relief and solution to poverty in target areas like the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and Africa, the foundation supports and grants programs that focus on health, education, livelihood, employment, food, water, safety, famine relief, overseas aide, community development and other general and charitable purposes.

All of the above has been mentioned in the foundations’ charitable objects that read: “the prevention or relief of poverty in developing countries by providing or assisting in the provision of education, training, healthcare projects and all the necessary support designed to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient. To promote and protect the physical and mental health of disabled and terminally ill children and soldiers disabled or made ill by conflict. Such charitable purposes for the public benefit as are exclusively charitable under the laws of England and Wales as the trustees may from time to time determine.”

Anthony Grant “Tony” Bloom is truly a man of many things: investor, entrepreneur, chairman and philanthropist. Did you know that he also helps in promoting awareness and raising funds to battle Multiple Sclerosis? Well he does but then that is a story for another day.

The Tony Bloom Foundation’s office is currently located in #34 Jamestown Road, London, NW1 7BY.