When we talk about sports, people would often denote individuals as athletes. But behind every successful team is more than just its coaches and players. In football for example, we have the team and the people behind the athletes. In the case of the Brighton & Hove Albion F.C., they have Tony Bloom, its esteemed chairman, a businessman, investor and well-known philanthropist.
It was only seven years ago when Anthony Grant ‘Tony’ Bloom sat as the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club’s chairman after succeeding Harry Dick Knight who held the post from 1997 to 2009. Known for his low profile as the club’s chairman, Tony may seem like somewhat timid in the field but the noise he has made was because he walked rather than talked.
Nine years before he even sat as its chairman, Tony was already an investor, stockholder and benefactor to the club. He has helped personally finance two of its major projects which until now have earned him the praises not only of Brightonians but also of aficionados of the sport.
In December of 2008, construction of the £93 million American Express Community Stadium, formerly the Falmer’s Stadium, began. This 30,750 sitting capacity structure is the home of the Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. It officially opened on the 31st of July in 2011.
Moreover, he further helped finance the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre which opened in 2014. This is a training center and ground for athletes, hopefuls, professionals and similar participants of the sport.
What’s interesting here is that Tony Bloom is already the third generation in his family to have served for the same causes of the sport. About forty years ago and in the same decade as his birth, Tony’s grandfather Harry Bloom who was an established hotel owner as well as a motor trader became vice-president of the Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. The following decade, his uncle Ray served as its director. Apparently, even the love and service for sports are hereditary!
Because of his contributions, among which the aforementioned constructions, he became the recipient of the “Outstanding Brightonian of the Year Award” in the same year that he was seated as the Seagulls’ chairman.
Apart from his football and entrepreneurial ventures, Tony Bloom also supports two causes namely the “Bloom Foundation” and the “Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis”, two charities that tackle significant issues today: poverty and health respectively.