Tony Bloom is popularly known as the Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club’s current and esteemed chairman. He is renowned for having forked out £93 million for the construction of the Albion’s new home, the American Express Community Stadium or Amex and previously the Falmer Stadium. This was after the club’s previous home was sold out by the preceding board of directors to pay out debt and meet its growing expenses so the project was not only a treat, it was a massive gift come Christmas morning.
But before Tony became such a name in the football world, what was he like? Who was the boy that came to be the Albion’s father figure?
Born in the seaside resort town of Brighton in 1970, he was born as Anthony Grant Bloom. His grandfather Harry was already associated to the club then as its vice-chairman, a post he held for seven years. It was also during this time that the Albions Seagulls rose from the old Third to the First Division. His uncle Ray and Harry’s youngest son also filled a post in 1984 as one of the club’s directors.
It was for this reason that Tony came to have a fondness for both the sport and the club. As a kid, he recalls being brought to the Goldstone Ground to watch matches and even ride the train alongside other fans to see away games.
He attended Lancing College, a co-educational English independent school in the British public school tradition founded in 1848. He then studied mathematics at Manchester University. After graduation, he worked as an options trader in 1993 at accountancy firm Ernst & Young before going on to pursue other entrepreneurial ventures and investments.
But it wasn’t long after that he found his way back into the club. It is after all written in his blood. By 2000, he became one of its major investors and stockholders. As mentioned earlier, he bought out majority share in 2009 and helped financially construct the £93 million American Express Community Stadium. To top that, he was also responsible for the construction of the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre. Both projects were completed and opened to the public in 2011 and 2014 respectively.
Tony Bloom’s pre-Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. stint may not be that long but it sure paved the path for him and the club to cross paths. Again.