A lot of football fans can boast about the best games they’ve seen, the countries they’ve been to for FIFA and their slew of sports memorabilia but nobody can do it like Tony Bloom. The man has quite the achievement under his belt. This sports aficionado has not only been to the best games the world has ever seen but he too is chairman to one of the United Kingdom’s football clubs: the Brighton and Hove Albion.
But before he became its chairman back in 2009 and before he was awarded as Brightonian of the year for the contributions he has given to both the sport and the club, who is Tony?
Back in the year 1970, a bouncing baby boy named Anthony Grant was born to the Bloom family. He would later on be more popular by his nickname Tony. The Blooms since then have been avid fans of the sport and the Albions. They are known to actively support them not only by being present in almost every match but also financially. As a matter of fact, two family members from two earlier generations have already been affiliated with the Brighton and Hove Albion F.C.
Tony’s grandfather Harry, a well-known motor trader and hotelier, was deputy chair to Mike Bamber in the 1970s, a post he held for seven years. It was during this time when the club rose from the old Third to the First Division. His uncle Ray and Harry’s youngest son holds a minority share for the past 24 years. In 1984, he became one of the club’s directors after finishing his nine year stint at Worthing as managing director.
Tony Bloom attended Lancing College, a co-educational English independent school founded in 1848 and considered to be one of the UK’s most exclusive. He proceeded to study at Manchester University where he took up and finished a degree in mathematics. By 1993 and fresh out of college, he worked for accountancy firm Ernst & Young as an options trader. But this simply wasn’t the road for him. He eventually resigned and proceeded to go into various entrepreneurial ventures, most of which became very fruitful.
Such businesses and investments proved to be very rewarding that Tony Bloom managed to buy majority share of the Brighton and Hove Albion F.C. from then chair Harry Dick Knight. At present, he has already contributed a £93 million 30,750 seater American Express Community Stadium and a fully equipped American Express Elite Football Performance Centre, both already functional.