• Brighton Still Searching for Cold-Blooded Instinct in Front of Goal

    Brighton & Hove Albion beat Brentford 2-0 on Boxing Day, ending an 11-game winless streak that began over 3 months ago – a top-flight club record.

    Despite the recent poor form, the Seagulls still currently find themselves looking relatively secure in mid-table and should be more than capable of extending their stay among the elite for another season.

    Tony Bloom has been the chairman of Brighton & Hove Albion since 2009, with the club returning to the top-flight of English football in 2016-17 after a 34-year absence.

    Few would argue that Bloom has been the pivotal figure in Brighton’s renaissance, providing both the financial backing and being at the forefront when it comes to the analytical approach so prevalent in the game today.

    Bloom has a background in the gambling industry, having been recruited by bookmaker Victor Chandler in the late 1990s, where he set up their Asian betting operation.

    In 2002, having left Victor Chandler, Bloom set up a new online betting site, Premier Bet, that focused heavily on Asian Handicap betting. He then went on to start up another venture, Starlizard, in 2006. Starlizard is a consultancy that offers proprietary betting odds analysis to wealthy clients who are making high-stakes bets, mainly on football.

    The name Starlizard derives from Bloom’s nickname on the online poker scene, “The Lizard”. The poker nickname came from his cold-blooded approach at the table as a high-stakes player in the early 2000s, with him having won millions at tournaments to date.

    $500,000 Golf Bet
    Bloom can also handle losses. Back in 2005, Bloom challenged US professional player Daniel Negreanu to a head-to-head game with a pot of $500,000. Bloom lost but, being in the somewhat enviable position of being able to gamble and lose $500,000, he just calmly walked away at the end of the game.

    Brighton could certainly do with some of Bloom’s cold-blooded decision-making in front of goal (a long-standing problem), with just 16 goals in 17 league games to date. Only Wolverhampton Wanderers, Burnley and bottom-of-the-table Norwich City have scored fewer goals so far this term.

    Brighton are not among the favourites for relegation in the betting odds with the major American betting sites as things stand, but they certainly can’t afford to be complacent.

    By contrast, the other football club owned by Tony Bloom, Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, currently sit six points clear at the top of the Belgian First Division A and are the league’s top scorers with 50 goals in 20 matches, with German striker Deniz Undav bagging 16 of those.

    It’s a huge step-up from the Belgian top-flight to the Premier League of course, but head coach Graham Potter will surely be in the market for some additional firepower when the transfer window opens for business next week.

    Blackburn Rovers’ Chilean international striker, Ben Brereton Diaz, could be a viable target, having scored 19 times in just 23 Championship appearances this season and with a price tag rumoured to be in the region of around £20 million.

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