What Tony Bloom does aside from Football

Tony Bloom, chairman of the Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club, is a jack of all trades. Apart from standing as the club’s “father” since 2009 after succeeding Harry Dick Knight on the chairmanship, he’s been juggling a lot of roles prior and even more so afterwards. Care to find out what they are? Here, take a look.

  • Business and Investments

With his degree in mathematics and stint as an options trader in accounting firm Earnest & Young, Tony has quite the background in terms of investments. With his take on smart ventures combined with his audacity in taking some of the biggest risks any entrepreneur could make, Mr. Bloom has successfully made himself one of the most profitable in his line of profession.

  • The Bloom Foundation

Earlier known as the Tony Bloom Charitable Trust, this foundation was founded in 2011. Tony together with fellow trustees Linda Bloom, Adam Franks, Marc Sugarman and Marcelle Lester had the same vision and that was to fight off poverty and end it or at least alleviate its effects especially in Europe and the developing countries in Asia and Africa. Since then, it has granted millions to various causes, projects, organizations and efforts that focus on health, education and training, livelihood and employment, food, water, safety, famine relief, overseas aide and community development among others. With its current headquarters in London, the foundation runs on voluntary pledges and donations and some investments.

  • Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis

Tony bloom overcoming msApart from the Bloom Foundation, the man also supports another cause. He is likewise a trustee to the OMS foundation, a charity set up by his psychologist wife Linda who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) more than a decade ago. The couple wishes to help patients with the same condition regain their life and make better informed decisions and lifestyle changes. MS is a debilitating disease that affects the central nervous system and disrupts the flow of information within the brain and the body causing an individual to lose functionality within their body.

  • Dedicated Father and Husband

Tony Bloom, despite his business and charitable achievements, it no doubt a dedicated father to his seven year old son and a loving husband to wife Linda. Despite his busy schedule, he is said to spend considerable time with his loved ones and likewise support them of their endeavors as they do his, an example would be Linda’s OMS foundation and the fact that Tony ran the Brighton marathon twice to raise awareness for said cause.

Tony Bloom’s Journey to the Brighton & Hove Albion F. C. Chairmanship

tony-bloom-albionIn May of 2009, Tony Bloom became the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club chairman officially succeeding its former president Harry Dick Knight. How that came to be is the story for today.

The professional association football club founded in June 24, 1901 and based in East Sussex in England, more popularly known as the “Seagulls”, currently plays in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. Its current squad consists of goalkeepers Niki Mäenpää, David Stockdale and Casper Ankergren; defenders Bruno Saltor Grau, Uwe Hünemeier, Lewis Dunk, Gaëtan Bong, Connor Goldson and Liam Rosenior; midfielders Dale Stephens, Beram Kayal, Jamie Murphy, Jake Forster-Caskey, Solly March, Danny Holla, Rohan Ince, Anthony Knockaert and Richie Towell as well as forwards Sam Baldock, Tomer Hemed and Chris O’Grady and is being managed by retired Irish mixed-race professional footballer Christopher William Gerard “Chris” Hughton.

Tony’s association with it began in 1970 at the time of his birth. You see, he was born to a family of Seagull fans. As a kid, he would often watch matches at the Goldstone Ground and would travel by train for away games with his family and friends. His passion for the sport and the club was nurtured at a very early age. As a matter of fact, his grandfather Harry was deputy chair to Mike Bamber in that same decade. His uncle Ray later on became one of its directors and investors by the 1980s.

Tony, born as Anthony Grant, went on to study at Lancing College. After which, he attended the Manchester University where he finished a degree in mathematics. By 1993, he was already working as an options trader at accountancy firm Earnest & Young. But perhaps business was really in his blood as he left the post not long after and went on to take various investments and business ventures.

His entrepreneurial undertakings were very eventful to say the least that in the year 2000, he managed to follow in his family’s footsteps. He became one of Brighton & Hove Albion F.C.’s major investors and stockholders. And as mentioned earlier, Tony Bloom became its chairman by 2009 after buying majority share and succeeding Harry Dick Knight. Perhaps his two biggest accomplishments lie in the two projects he helped finance: the £93 million 30,750 capacity American Express Community Stadium and the fully equipped American Express Elite Football Performance Centre.

Football Through the Ages

Football, or soccer to some, is no doubt the most celebrated and loved sport around the world. Sure, there are many others that rank high in the list but this ball game claims the top spot without a shadow of a doubt. How it came to be is a long and winding story but we’ll try to tell it in as best as we can.

Evidence from various sources prove that many versions of “kicking” games were already present in many of the early civilizations.

episkyrosIn China, military forces during the Han Dynasty enjoyed a game called “Tsu Chu” that involved a fur or feather-stuffed leather ball. The aim was to kick it into a small net fixed onto bamboo canes. Even Japan had an early version of it called the “Kemari”. In Egypt, the tomb of Baqet III portrayed images of women enjoying a similar game. Greece n the other hand called theirs the “Episkyros” where the ball was to be thrown overhead the other team.

It was not until the 700s when a version of the sport developed in Europe. Legend has it that after winning a war, locals of an east English town celebrated by kicking and passing the severed head of a Danish prince they defeated. It was a very violent act that often resulted in injury and commotion. But not long after, the practice was abolished and lost.

Historians however validated that early English townsfolk would play a game similar to today’s football. It often involved an inflated pig’s bladder, sometimes covered in leather, which was to be passed around without the use of hands. There were no official rules or number of players and the only objective was to bring the ball to the goal. It became so popular that massive numbers of people would come to play even in public places and roads. At times, the number of players would be so huge that the matches often end up in brawls.

Football became so popular that in the 1300s, King Edward II forbade it in all of England. He feared that people would lose interest in practicing and honing archery, something that would prove to be detrimental in the war against Scotland. Still, people found ways to play the game. It wasn’t until the 1605 that it officially became legal again.

It was only in 1848 in Cambridge, where the first formal rules about football were drafted. This involved the rules and standards regarding goal kicks, throw-ins and goalie’s rights. The rest, as they say, is history.

Tony Bloom’s Case Against Multiple Sclerosis

Tony Bloom LindaMore than a businessman, an investor and the chairman to the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club, Tony Bloom is a certified philanthropist. The causes he has supported and the foundations he has built are proof of that.

In 2011, he founded the Tony Bloom Charitable Trust currently renamed and known as the Bloom Foundation. This charity offers and provides grants to various causes and organizations that support similar objectives particularly in the fight against poverty and the relief efforts geared towards it.

But apart from poverty, Tony also fights for another cause and this is Multiple Sclerosis. About 15 years ago, his wife Linda who also happens to be a registered psychologist to whom he has a son with was diagnosed with the condition.

Multiple Sclerosis, often referred to in its acronym MS, is a degenerative neurological disease that affects the central nervous system. It causes major disruption in the flow of information within the brain and between it and the other organs. It is a disabling condition that causes mobility issues among others with some cases reporting paralysis.

What makes it particularly difficult is the fact that there is no absolute and definite cure and no known cause. It also presents itself in relapses that occur in intervals without exact consistency. Only 2.5 million or 0.3% of the entire world population is said to suffer from this condition. Moreover, symptoms vary from one patient to another making it hard to easily detect its presence.

Among its many symptoms include loss of sight and vision problems, fatigue, muscle stiffness, spasms, numbness of the limbs, dizziness, vertigo, bladder issues, speech difficulty or slurring, mood swings, depression and even complete paralysis.

During Linda’s initial months after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, Tony recalls her being in an awful state to the point that she could neither lift a pen nor stand up from her chair. With proper diet, a lifestyle change, self hypnosis, exercise, meditation yoga and the recovery program developed by Professor George Jelinek.

Linda has recovered since then and has full control over her MS. To help those suffering from the same condition, she built the OMS (Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis) Foundation with her husband Tony and other trustees from the Bloom Foundation.

In a bid to raise awareness and funds for the cause, Tony Bloom ran the 2011 and 2015 Brighton Marathons in the south coast of England which are held annually every April.

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.