Our fans have been absolutely key to the club - Bloom

Brighton chairman Tony Bloom. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Brighton chairman Tony Bloom. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Chairman Tony Bloom says Albion would not be where they are today without the club's fans.

In the space of 20 years, the club has gone from being homeless and battling to stay in the Football League to the top table of English football once again.

Bloom, who has been Brighton chairman for eight years, admits the club's supporters have played a crucial role in Brighton's rise to the Premier League - especially for helping the Seagulls get planning permission for their state-of-the-art stadium at the Amex.

He said that is just one of the many reasons why promotion into the top flight meant so much to so many people.

He said: “I’m fully aware of what it means to our fans because I am one of those fans who has been through so much over the past 20 years.

“It was our fans who were the driving force to get us permission for our new stadium. It was really difficult and we all know what the difficulties were.

“That was absolutely key, without the planning for the stadium and without the Amex, we wouldn’t be here today.

“It was absolutely critical for our fans to be so important for us. They’ve been so great for so many years and we all know how much it means to be in the Premier League.

“We also saw it when more than 100,000 people turned up for the promotion parade and there was a sea of blue and white.

“Out of the 100,000 people, I spotted one Manchester United shirt and one Aston Villa shirt, so it was just phenomenal to see so many people, young, middle aged and old dressed in blue and white cheering and celebrating with the team. It was an amazing experience.

“It meant so much to so many and for the city as a whole, the economic benefits are also going to be huge, particularly if we stay in the Premier League for a few years.”

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