Tony Bloom’s Charities and Foundations

tony-bloom-hoveBusiness and football aside, Tony Bloom is a passionate philanthropist too. He has built and co-founded two foundations each with their own goals and advocacies namely the OMS Foundation and the Bloom Foundation. Today, we get to know the tow.

The OMS Foundation, which stands for Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis, was founded by Tony’s wife Linda, an Australian-born psychologist. He is a massive supporter and a fellow trustee of the charitable institution that seeks to help patients with the condition make better informed decisions and improve their way of lives to take the disease under control and not the other way around.

Multiple Sclerosis, or MS for short, is a degenerative condition that targets the central nervous system. A rare disease, it affects only 0.035% of the entire world’s population with only 100,000 cases recorded in the UK alone. Based on statistics, it affects more women than men, aged 20 to 40 who live in cold regions and climates.

Although studies have been done regarding MS, no definite cause or cure has been found making it particularly difficult to treat. Moreover, its signs and symptoms which includes dizziness, fatigue, vision problems, balance problems, bladder issues, muscle stiffness, spasms, slurring, speaking problems, emotional instability and depression to name a few are unique per patient. Their combination, frequency and gravity can vary from one person to the nest. Plus, they occur in relapses. In order to raise awareness and funds for the charity, Tony ran the Brighton marathon twice, first during its inaugural run in 2011 and another in 2015.

Initially the Tony Bloom Charitable Trust, the Bloom Foundation was founded in 2011 with four other trustees namely Linda Bloom, Marcelle Lester, Marc Sugarman and Adam Franks. With headquarters in London and income from voluntary pledges, donations and investments, it seeks to fight poverty and its effects. Its target areas include the United Kingdom, the rest of Europe and the developing nations of Africa and Asia.

As stated in its charitable objects, their cause focuses on “the prevention or relief of poverty in developing countries by providing or assisting in the provision of education, training, healthcare projects and all the necessary support designed to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient; to promote and protect the physical and mental health of disabled and terminally ill children and soldiers disabled or made ill by conflict.” On that light, the foundation, led by Tony Bloom himself, has since offered and made grants to causes, projects and similar organizations with the same objectives.

 

How Tony Bloom Brought the Albions Home

tony bloom albion chairmanTony Bloom, the famed business magnate, successful investor and passionate philanthropist, has one more thing to add to his portfolio. We all know that he’s been the Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club’s chairman since 2009 but if we could add another item to the list it’ll have to be “wish granter”. Or Santa Claus? You decide.

But of all things, why this accolade? It has been a long and grueling twelve years for the Albions. Goldstone Ground in Old Shoreham Road used to be the club’s base for almost a century. From 1902 to 1997, it had admitted 22.9 million fans to 2,174 games. But in April 26, 1997, the last match was held. Brighton and Hove Albion F. C. may have beaten Doncaster Rovers but it was bittersweet. They had to officially say goodbye to their home.

Then chairman Bill Archer, his chief executive David Bellotti together with the support of the board of directors sold the Goldstone Ground to try and clear the club’s debts. It was a highly controversial move as it did not prove profitable at all and only left the Albions homeless since there was no planned alternative ground.

Thereafter, the team shared the Priestfield Stadium in Gillingham from 1997 to 1999. It was a goof 70 mile drive from the seaside resort town of Brighton. From 2000 to early 2011, they played at Withdean Stadium which was a general sports ground for various activities and events.

When Tony Bloom became a major investor and stockholder to the Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club in 2000, he already had his eyes on a goal. As a kid who grew up loving both the sport and the club and being born to a family of avid fans and supporters, he knew that he had to contribute something monumental. As he sat as chairman in May of 2009, he sought to follow through with all his endeavors

Tony Bloom’s first project was to bring the Albions home. He helped personally fund the construction and development of then Falmer Stadium. Designed by the London-based architects KSS Design Group and constructed by the Buckingham Group, it has been renamed as the American Express Community Stadium. Known more popularly as the “Amex”, it sits a maximum capacity of 30,750 people and is valued to have cost £93 million in total. It officially opened its doors in July of 2011 and signaled the end of a homeless football team after 12 long years.

 

Tony Bloom and His Football Legacy

tony-bloomAnthony Grant, more popularly known as Tony Bloom is the current chairman of professional association football club Brighton & Hove Albion aka the “Seagulls” or the “Albions” that is based in the city of Brighton & Hove, East Sussex in England. His many contributions to the sport and the club have earned him the title of “Brightonian” of the year in 2009.

During the 1970s in the English seaside resort town of Brighton that is about an hour south of London by train, Bloom was born into a family of Seagull fanatics who have supported the said club emotionally and financially for more than forty years and over three generations. This makes it a no brainer as to why he developed a love for the club at an early age and used to attend matches at the Goldstone Ground.

Tony’s grandfather Harry Bloom who was a known motor trader and hotel owner, was vice-chairman to Mike Bamber during the Seagull’s historic rise from the old Third Division to the First Division of the Football League. Harry’s son and Tony’s uncle Ray, was also a club director in the 1980s.

In May of 2009, Tony Bloom followed in the family’s footsteps and football legacy by being the chairman of Brighton & Hove Albion after succeeding Harry Dick Knight who held the post from 1997 to 2009.

But before he even held the post, Tony had already devoted a lot of emotional and financial investments to the club. Let’s take a look at this using a timeline.

In the year 2000, he first became a major investor and shareholder of the Brighton & Hove Albion. He continued to be a benefactor the following year and even personally financed the construction of the American Express Community Stadium, nicknamed as “The Amex” and also known as the Falmer Stadium, a football stadium near the village of Falmer in Brighton and Hove that serves as the home of Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. The said stadium opened back in 2011. He further helped finance the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre which opened in 2014.

Tony’s time as the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club Chairman was nothing short of spectacular. The football club has risen significantly. Previous mismanagement that almost brought it close to relegation from the Football League to the Conference in 1997 and 1998 was so yesterday. In fact, such has already been overshadowed by the current accomplishments and undertakings. From a club which had just avoided relegation to League Two playing at Withdean Stadium, to a reputable Championship Club, complete with its very own stadium and training complex, the American Express Community Stadium and the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre respectively, the football club has come a long way.

Tony Bloom’s significant contributions and investments to the club is his football legacy. This is also the very reason why we was voted and awarded in 2009 as the “Brightonian of the Year”, a title he so very well deserves.