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Watch: Brighton owner Tony Bloom rescues fans in Marseille

Brighton & Hove Albion owner Tony Bloom has earned great plaudits for his actions on the club's first-ever European away.

The Seagulls were given a fantastic first away fixture in their first appearance in the UEFA Europa League after their excellent performance in last season's Premier League. Brighton fans had the chance to visit the wonderful French city of Marseille and its iconic stadium, the Stade Velodrome, home to Olympique Marseille.

For some Brighton fans, excitement at such a trip was suddenly replaced by anxiety due to a flight delay. Up step the club's owner, Tony Bloom, who is heard in the video below clearly explaining the situation to the supporters.

Watch: Brighton fans cheer owner Tony Bloom

As Andy Naylor reports in the above post on X, Bloom organised emergency transport with Brighton and UEFA. A bus was arranged to take fans to the ticket collection point and then immediately onwards to the Stade Velodrome to watch Brighton's 6:45pm kick-off (local time) against Olympique Marseille.

“They will direct you onto a bus and that bus will take you to a collection point and from there they will take you to the stadium,” Bloom tells the concerned fans.

“All being well, you will make kick-off. Up The Albion!”

Was Bloom on the flight?

No, he called the plane crew, who put him on over the speaker. He apparently began by saying “This is not your captain speaking, Lewis Dunk is probably at the Stade Velodrome!”

Lewis Dunk of Brighton & Hove Albion in the UEFA Europa League in Marseille | Brighton owner Tony Bloom saved Brighton fans on a delayed lfight and referenced Dunk
Lewis Dunk, actually at the Stade Velodrome, as the Brighton owner said! (Photo by Baptiste Fernandez/Icon Sport)

Football fans praise Bloom for actions on European away

Fans of Brighton, but also supporters of football clubs across the country, were full of praise for Bloom's actions, and for his honesty and clarity in communicating.

Some called him “the best in the business,” an “absolute legend” and “the best chairman in football.”

Fans of other clubs commented jealously, with so many supporters in English football feeling alienated by their teams in recent years.

So, credit to Tony Bloom of Brighton & Hove Albion, the club who, under his stewardship, continue to go from strength to strength.

Have Brighton ever played in Europe before?

No, this is their first season playing in European competition since the Seagulls were founded in 1901. They were in England's third tier as recently as 2011!


Harry Robinson

A freelance writer and broadcaster, Harry has worked for or featured in/on Manchester United, FourFourTwo, The Independent, The Manchester Mill, UEFA, United We Stand and many others. He's the author of The Men Who Made Manchester United and hosts the Manchester United Weekly Podcast and United Through Time. A Stretford End season ticket holder, Harry travels around Europe to watch his team.

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