Johnny Cantor: Albion are lucky to have a chairman like Tony Bloom

Albion have tied down Beram Kayal to a long-term contract. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Albion have tied down Beram Kayal to a long-term contract. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

When I was young I never wanted to be an accountant. I’m not really sure anyone does, to be honest. Mind you, it pays well and there must be a strange sense of satisfaction knowing all the numbers add up.

Many think it is a thankless task and even as a commentator I know that statistics don’t always tell the whole story. This week Brighton & Hove Albion released their accounts which show an overall loss of £25.8m, compared with £10.4m in the previous season.
The bottom line is more money is being spent on players and wages and, for the most part, that must be a good thing. I won’t delve too deep but the over-riding sense from the numbers (and, yes, I am no accountant!) and also the statement from the chairman Tony Bloom is that he is prepared to continue with his investment and take a hit on the losses to achieve the dream of top-flight football.
He is also realistic that it won’t happen overnight. He also highlighted the club’s unwillingness to sell the best players and resist the attentions of those who have enjoyed the riches of the Premier League. That can’t be easy.
He has also tied down more players, most recently Beram Kayal, to long-term contracts to enable continuity but also so they get what they deserve if a huge offer comes in. Tony Bloom should also be congratulated for sharing so openly the figures and his motivation with all fans and the general public.
English football has been littered over the years with clubs and owners who have worked in the shadows when it comes to investment and budgets. I couldn’t tell you where his wealth sits but it seems the poker-playing chairman is prepared to put his cards on the table when it comes to what he’s putting into this particular investment.
There is a growing number of clubs in this country, and in particular the Championship with its potential return on investment, who have foreign owners and investors.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not xenophobic – but I think the fact that Bloom and his family are real fans continues to be the foundation for future success. They say that fans don’t run the club well; in the Albion’s case one of them does. At this moment in time, that seems to be a very good thing.

Johnny Cantor covers Brighton & Hove Albion as a commentator and reporter for BBC Sussex Sport.

Follow all the action, home or away, on BBC Sussex Sport or Twitter: @BBCSussexSport or @johnnycburger

To read more by Johnny Cantor, visit www.johnnycantor.com

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