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Brighton owner provides more readies


Brighton chairman, poker player and chartered accountant Tony Bloom has increased his loan to the club to £170m.  Getting a club into the Premier League and keeping them there is not a cheap hobby.   The Bloom family has been involved with the club for about 50 years.

The Seagulls made a loss of £25.9m in the 2015-16 season.  Similar figures are expected this season and covering those losses will push his investment towards £200m.

That total is greater than the £129m loan to Newcastle United from their owner Mike Ashley, although he offered the club another £33m loan last season to help with running costs.   Huddersfield Town, 3-0 victors over Crystal Palace on Saturday, have been loaned just £41m by their chairman, local boy made good Dean Hoyle.   He sold his Card Factory business for £400m in 2010.

All these loans are interest free, whilst the loans made to Charlton Athletic by a company controlled by controversial owner Roland Duchatelet attract a rate of interest, albeit a modest one.

Brighton's wage bill has been on the high side for a Championship club that has never been in the Premier League, £27.3m or 110 per cent of turnover.   This is more than twice that of Huddersfield but similar to that of many clubs seeking promotion to the promised land of the Premier League. 

Brighton have been careful not to breach English Football League financial fair play rules.  Bloom has provided them with a new purpose-built stadium and a first rate training complex.

After losing the Goldstone Ground, the club nearly disappeared and had to play at Gillingham for two years.  The stay at Withdean athletics stadium was far from ideal, especially for away fans, but it gave the club a base in their home town (now city) before the move to Falmer.   The club has taken a strong stand against homophobia in football.

They did not find their debut match against possible champions Manchester City easy, particularly in terms of retaining possession, and more strengthening of the squad is expected before the transfer window closes.