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.
Tony Bloom is a man of many things but perhaps one of the accolades that has been popularly attributed to his name would be that of football.
His relationship with the sport has come a long way and has begun at a young age, in fact even before his birth. Born as Anthony Grant Bloom during the 1970s, Tony grew up in a family of football aficionados and Seagull fanatics. He remembers attending matches at the Goldstone Ground with his relatives particularly his dad, brother and grandfather. He recalls it as a huge event for the Blooms that missing it would feel like you skipped Christmas morning altogether.
The Bloom family has had a long history with the sport and the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club. Harry, Tony’s grandfather who was a known motor trader and hotelier, was vice-chairman of the club during the 1970s while his uncle Ray served as a director the following decade. It then came as no surprise that he followed suit and became the Albion’s chairman in May of 2009 up to the present day. That makes him the third generation in his family to serve the club totaling forty years and counting.
But prior to such post, Tony has already been associated with the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club. In the year 2000, he officially became one of its major investors and stockholders. As a benefactor, he helped personally fund two major constructions namely the American Express Community Stadium and the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre.
The American Express Community Stadium, now nicknamed as “The Amex” and was previously known as the “Falmer’s Stadium”, can hold a maximum of 30,750 people and is now the current home of the Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. aka the Seagulls. Construction began in December of 2008 and was opened to the public in 2011.
The American Express Elite Football Performance Centre on the other hand is a training ground for professional and aspiring athletes. It opened its doors in 2014.
Because of these achievements, he was voted and awarded as the “Most Outstanding Brightonian” in the same year that he sat as the Seagull’s chairman. Tony Bloom may be a man of a few words and the most timid of all Albion chairmen to date with the simplest of speeches, his contributions are nothing short of amazing. What else could he have in store for us? We’ll have to wait and see.