Chat T Sports

Chat T Sports is a comprehensive sports news website that provides the latest and most accurate updates on all major sports events around the world. From football to basketball, cricket to tennis, and everything in between, Chat T Sports covers it all.
Learn More
Latest Tweets

The remarkable story of Tony Bloom and Brighton & Hove Albion

The Amex Stadium
Brighton & Hove Albion

An aerial view of the American Express Community Stadium in Falmer.” by Barbara van Cleve is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 .

When Tony Bloom took control of Brighton & Hove Albion they were partway through a 2009-10 season that would see them finish 13th in League One, a point behind MK Dons. In 2022-23, MK Dons were relegated from League One while Brighton finished sixth in the Premier League, qualifying for the Europa League.

They’re considered an exemplar of how to run a football club, putting bigger clubs with bigger budgets to shame, not least Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, who both finished behind them last season. It’s an incredible story, almost as remarkable as that of the man whose leadership has carried the club up the divisions and established them as a force to be reckoned with.

The rise of the Lizard

His backstory isn’t like any other billionaire club owner. After all, how many of them are affectionately known as ‘The Lizard’? The nickname comes from Bloom being a cold-blooded killer on the poker table and he’s shown similar ruthlessness in his football club ownership too.

“Poker gives you a good grounding in lots of things, including reading situations and reading people and making tough decisions,” he once told The Times.

Taking a gamble and making it work is an essential part of being a successful business person and Bloom’s commercial pathway started with gambling, as he found a knack for a winning bet in the bookmakers’ shops of Brighton as a young man.

After he graduated from Manchester University with a mathematics degree, Bloom turned his hobby into his career, using the money from his poker and football winnings to establish a betting data and predictions business called Starlizard. 

Today it has an annual turnover of more than $100 million and it has helped Bloom turn another passion into a successful business. Namely, Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club. He took a 75% stake in the club in 2009 and invested money into the development of a new stadium, their current Amex Stadium home.

The soaring seagulls

Under Bloom’s stewardship, Brighton won League One in 2011 and reached successive play-off semi-finals in 2013 and 2014. In 2017, Chris Hughton took them one step further with a second-place finish in The Championship enough, to take them into the Premier League for the first time.

Hughton then managed to keep the Seagulls in the top flight with a 17th-placed finish but Bloom showed his ruthless streak and ambition by firing him and replacing him with Graham Potter. This turned out to be yet another masterstroke from the master gambler.

Potter took Brighton to the next level, backed by investment from Bloom in a steady flow of talented players who came in cheap and were sold on at higher prices without ever seeming to weaken their team. Indeed, even after Potter moved on to Chelsea, Brighton went from strength to strength under his replacement Roberto de Zerbi.

While Potter then struggled and was eventually sacked by Chelsea, de Zerbi took Brighton to the top six as well as an FA Cup semi-final. They have plenty of reasons for optimism coming into the new season, despite the departure of Alexis MacAllister and the likely sale of Moses Caicedo. 

Under Bloom, Brighton have shown the benefits of strong, decisive leadership, forward planning, impressive scouting, and an owner who knows when to take the right gamble.

Written and distributed by Chat T Sports.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts