What Everyone Can Learn from Tony Bloom

tony bloom albionTony Bloom is a household name especially in the seaside resort town of Brighton in England. This self-made businessman, investor, football club chairman and philanthropist wears several hats at once and juggles more roles than most of us can have in a lifetime but he does it and with utmost success.

It is therefore of no wonder that a lot of people look up to him and wish to achieve success like he did and continues to do so. He is no doubt a force to be reckoned with. If we could learn something from Tony Bloom and his life which we could apply on our own, these would be them.

  • Stock up on your skills before taking the plunge.

Tony went to Lancing College for his primary education before taking a mathematics degree at the University of Manchester. After which, he worked as an options trader at accountancy firm Earnest & Young. He did all these, learned, honed and sharpened his skills before he went full on into his entrepreneurial and investment ventures. He made sure to stock up on his knowledge and skills set and invested in himself first.

  • Take risks but “calculated” risks.

Tony Bloom is known for his risk taking but what many people don’t realize is that this man takes a lot of considerable time to calculate and gauge his actions before diving head on. A wise investor may not win all the time but they make sure that they’ve considered all options and factors in every decision.

  • You don’t have to outgrow childhood dreams.

Born to a football loving family, it was no surprise that Tony became a huge fan himself not only of the sport but also of the Brighton & Hove Albion F. C. He would often watch matches at the Goldstone Ground with his family as a kid. He’s also wanted to be part of the club and true enough he did by the year 2000 as he became one of its major investors and stockholders. In May of 2009, he bought majority share and became its newest and current chairman pioneering major projects such as the construction of the American Express Community Stadium (Amex) and the American Express Elite performance Centre.

  • You earn more by giving back.

We can’t end this article without mentioning Tony Bloom’s entrepreneurial works. In 2011, he founded the Bloom Foundation in a bid to help end poverty and later on the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Foundation with his wife Linda.

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Tony Bloom and the Different Hats He Wears

tonyhatIs it possible to wear several hats? Yes sure it is, but how about all at once? For most people two is already pushing it but to Tony Bloom, he can definitely do more. And what makes it all the more commendable and astonishing is that he manages to not drop a single hat. He juggles them well and yes all at once.

This Brightonian born was a child of the seventies, a graduate from the Manchester University with a degree in mathematics and a massive football fan. It’s safe to say that he plays a lot of roles but for the sake of this article, we’ll summarize them to four as follows.

  • Businessman-Investor – After graduating from the Manchester University, Tony went to pursue an options trading job at the accounting firm Earnest & Young. But soon after, he left the position to fully focus on and pursue his goals in business and investments, a move deemed worthy as it helped him build the equity he enjoys today.
  • Football Club Chairman – In the year 2000, Tony became amajor investor and stockholder to the Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. By May of 2009, he became its chairman after having bought majority share. His contributions were nothing short of magnificent. In fact, they were considered history makers. With the construction of the American Express Community Football Stadium, he ended the 12 year run of the club without a home basis. He later followed this up with the opening of the American Express Elite Football performance Centre. These projects earned him the love and praise of the citizens of Brighton earning him a Most Outstanding Citizen Award.
  • Philanthropist – In 2011, Tony Bloom built a foundation that seeks to fight poverty which he named the Bloom Foundation and has been in operations since with target areas in the UK, Europe, Asia and Africa. Together with his wife, he also co-founded and is a trustee to the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.
  • Family Man – It’s no secret that Tony is huge on family. In fact, his love for football was somehow inherited from his relatives who were massive lovers of the sport themselves. They’d even often go out on trips to watch matches. Despite being busy with his entrepreneurial ventures, football chairmanship, and philanthropic projects, he remains a loving husband to his wife Linda to whom he has a son with.

Ever wondered how Tony Bloom does it? Oh boy, we do too!

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.