No knee-jerk reactions if we struggle next season – Bloom

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

Albion chairman Tony Bloom insists there will be no knee-jerk reactions if the club struggles in the Premier League next season.

The Seagulls are returning to the top flight of English football after a 34-year absence and Bloom is well aware there could be tricky periods as the club comes up against some of the world’s best teams.

Chris Hughton has done an excellent job in two-and-a-half years in charge at the Seagulls – agonisingly missing out on promotion in 2015/16 before taking Albion up into the top flight last season and Bloom hopes he will be the club’s boss for years to come.

There have been several occasions when managers get a club promoted into the Premier League and then lose their job when the club is struggling – but recent statistics suggest sticking with the boss who takes you up is more likely to be successful.

Since the 2005/06 season, clubs promoted into the Premier League who begin and end the season with the same manager have stayed up on 16 occasions and gone down just six times.

On the flip side, promoted teams who have changed their manager during a season in that period have gone down nine times and sealed their safety on five occasions.

Bloom said: “We all know the Premier League is a completely different league to the Championship and we’re all aware that we may go five, six, seven games without winning.

“The key is for us as a club to remain calm, remain cool and not make any knee-jerk reactions.

“Chris is our manager, he’s an outstanding manager and hopefully he’ll be with us for many years to come.”

Bloom, a lifelong Brighton fan, also said all of the decisions the board makes will be in the best interests of the club: “It is very special being the owner and being the chairman of the club you’ve supported for 40 years.

“When I’m watching the games, I have all the enthusiasm and emotions of a fan. Outside of that, I have a big responsibility to make sure we always make the best decisions on behalf of the football club, so I make sure there’s a distinction between those two things.

“It can be hard because you always want the best for your club – on one hand you see some very special players you potentially could get if you push the boat out financially. And, as fans, we sometimes want to but then you’ve got to take a step back and do what’s right for the club, in not just the short team but in terms of the long-term interests of the football club.

“I’m very good at evaluating our chances and how much that increases or decreases whether players get sold or come in and you’ve got to balance that up.”

Bloom, who has been chairman for eight years, was seen swinging a blue and white scarf around his head after the Seagulls clinched promotion and he said reaching the top flight was down to a lot of effort from a lot of people.

He said: “All the emotions came together and it was our moment where we’d finally made it to the Premier League. It’s been 34 years since we’ve been in the top division, so I just lost myself for a few minutes and looking back it’s quite funny but it was just the emotion of the occasion.

“It was a big one because we’d finally done it. I’ve been chairman for eight years, when I took over we were at the bottom of League One and it’s been a lot of effort and a lot of hard work by so many people to get to this position.

“The eight years I have been chairman have been superb. There have been many, many ups, the odd down and the odd low moment as well but overall it’s been sensational.

“The great thing is we’re going to the Premier League with a top quality stadium, top-class training facilities, an academy which is at the same place as the training ground and we’ve got some very good young kids coming through.

“Everything has come together at the right moment and it was key to us this season to go up because there was no way we would keep some of our top players next season in the Championship.

“The Championship is only going to get tougher and tougher as some billionaire owners come in. It was absolutely critical that we did it this season and I’m so delighted for everyone that we did.”

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