Tag Archives: UK sport

Why Tony Bloom and Football are a Match Made in Heaven

Tony-BloomBusinessman-investor Tony Bloom and the world’s most popular and beloved game football are said to be a match made in heaven and we could not agree more. These two click like coffee and cream even if at first look they may appear to be a long stretch. But really, they complement each other so well that they even change the course of history and here’s why.

Born in 1970 at the seaside resort town in Brighton England, young Tony was introduced to the game early on. He grew up in a family of football aficionados who considered watching matches at the Goldstone Ground as huge family affairs. Plus, they were massive fans of the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club. This made it no surprise that Harry Bloom, infamous motor trader and hotelier and grandfather to Tony, was deputy-chair to the club during the decade. Even his uncle Ray was a director during the ‘80s. Simply put, the Blooms were supporters of both sport and club and they made sure to not just cheer them on but also support them in more ways than one.

Young Tony Bloom was no stranger to his family’s fascination as it was something he shared with them. He recalls seeing matches at the Goldstone Ground some of his most prized memories with his family.

After graduating at the University of Manchester with a mathematics degree, he proceeded to become an options trader at accounting firm Earnest & Young. He later on left the position to pursue his dreams in business and investments which proved fruitful as it helped him build his equity and wealth that he so enjoys to this day.

With such success, it helped him come back to his childhood love: football. He entered the Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. as an investor and stockholder in the year 2000. By May of 2009, he bought majority share and became its newest and current chairman.

Tony Bloom’s dreams for the club were just as massive as his love for it. In 1997, the Albions suffered from a huge loss after its home base, Goldstone Ground, was sold off in a futile attempt to pay off debts by Bill Archer and David Belloti. This left the club homeless for 12 years. But with its new chairman, history was changed with the construction of the £93 million American Express Community Stadium which opened in 2011 and sits a maximum of 30,750 people, a project which was personally funded in part and spearheaded by Tony himself.

Cricket: The UK’s National Sport

cricketWhat is the United Kingdom’s national sport? Many people would commit the mistake by screaming ‘football’ and with utter vigor no less! The correct answer would be cricket. Care to know more about it? If you do then read on.

Cricket as a sport has nothing to do with the insect but rather its etymology comes from the Old English term ‘cricc’ or ‘cryce’ which translates to a crutch or staff. Certain accounts suggest that it has since been present since the 16th century where it was first a game played amongst children. Eventually it became an inter-village and inter-parish activity among adults as well. It was not until the 18th century when the game underwent some serious development and various rules and regulations have been set some of which we can still observe up until today.

It is defined to be an outdoor sport played chiefly in England and Commonwealth countries by two teams of 11 players using a flat bat, a small hard ball, and wickets. To score, a player bats the ball and runs, while the defenders can get a player out by bowling and hitting the wicket, catching a hit ball, or running the player out. It is one of the most popular team sports and is played in over 120 countries all over the world with only football and basketball exceeding it in popularity.

The ball here is pretty much the same size of a baseball and cannot be larger than 9 inches in circumference with a weight of between 156 and 163 grams. It is made up of alternating layers of cork and wool and is then covered by either red or white leather. The bat on the other hand is flat and elongated, often made of willow, which is fitted with a cane handle that comes with a rubber grip. It measures 38 inches long and 4.5 inches wide. Cricket is played in grassy, large circular areas between 114 and 160 meters in diameter.

The sport is governed by the International Cricket Council (ICC). It represents the national bodies from over 70 countries. The council visits member countries maintains the code of conduct, qualifies umpires, promotes the game worldwide, and organizes the World Cricket Cup which is to be held every four years starting in 1975. The IWCC or International Women’s Cricket Council is a similar governing body and since 1973 has been hosting world championships every four years.