Brighton and Hove Albion’s manager and chairman were handed special honours this afternoon, after securing promotion to the Premier League.
Manager Chris Hughton and chairman Tony Bloom were awarded the ‘freedom of the city’ by councillors - a ceremonial honour which local authorities can bestow.
The honour is largely a symbolic gesture, but in medieval times the ‘freedom’ would give the bearer special privileges, such as the right to vote or own property, or driving their sheep and cattle through the centre of the town.
The honours were given to the pair ‘in recognition of their outstanding achievement in leading and taking Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club to the Premier League and their services to the club, the Albion in the Community and to the city’.
Cllr Warren Morgan, the leader of the council said: “It is my honour as leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, and my pleasure as a lifelong Albion fan, to propose that Tony Bloom and Chris Hughton are awarded the Freedom of the City of Brighton and Hove today.
“In making this award we recognise the achievement of everyone associated with the club, from the board to the backroom staff, the players and coaches, the sponsors and Albion In The Community, and of course the fans who stuck with the team, who fought for survival and the new home at Falmer that Tony Bloom and Martin Perry delivered.
“Together, we are Brighton and Hove Albion, and we are on our way to the Premier League.”
Mr Hughton took over as Albion manager in the middle of the 2014/15 season, helping retain the club’s place in the Championship. This year the team gained automatic promotion finishing just one point behind Newcastle.
Brightonian Mr Bloom became club chairman in 2009, succeeding Dick Knight. He has invested millions into the club, including its home the Amex Community Stadium and training ground in Lancing.