Tony Bloom says he is an optimist when thinking about his football club. More optimistic than his friends.

That is a nice, middle ground way of putting it. Other people might say he is a visionary. Or mad.

It might have seemed like madness to some to start talking about establishing Albion as a top ten club on the eve of a Premier League season many outside Brighton seem to think will end for them in relegation.

He has seen some gloomy predictions. And the one which tipped the Seagulls for 14th place.

The Albion chairman does not look too worried about it.

But then it was hard to feel downbeat surrounded by the modern splendour of the boardroom at the Amex last night.

Not at the end of a day which had seen long-term target Aaron Mooy sign on loan and, crucially, a long-term, nine-figure sponsorship extension secured with American Express.

The word long-term was being used a lot yesyerday.

Bloom chose the fans’ forum which followed those events to talk about a top-ten target. Or, yes, vision.

Not top ten once and then disappear. The key word was ‘established’.

We are talking some time in the next ten or 15 seasons here.

Not for the coming season, although it was easy to joke about that as new head coach Graham Potter sat alongside him.

This is a long-term goal. Like the long-term goal of playing at the Amex when Albion were at Withdean.

Of wanting the capacity of the stadium increased just a bit sooner than others were suggesting.

Or planning for the Premier League at time about a decade ago when many of us would have considered top half of the Championship and crowds of 15-20,000 to be fantastic.

Bloom had the vision to take Albion from the athletics stadium to where they are now.

So did people think he was mad at the time? Or now?

Bloom said: “Well we have only articulated our current vision this evening.

“At Withdean, I don’t think people thought I was mad to have that vision because we were building as it was then a 22,500-capacity stadium which could get up to 30,000.

“I wasn’t going to be doing that to just be in the Championship because the cost was huge, plus the training ground.

“I think everyone accepted it was a reasonable vision to have.

“Whether they were as optimistic as I was that we would get there within a certain time frame, I am not too sure.

“I didn’t get too many negative vibes. I don’t think people were agreeing or disagreeing, they just accepted that was what I was aiming for.

“Most of the people I was speaking to were either media or fans and they were nodding along and pleased that I had such a vision.”

And progress they did. To such a point where 17th in the Premier League was disappointing.

Bitterly disappointing – and the end for boss Chris Hughton.

Did Bloom see that top-ten vision slowly disappearing over the horizon as, having reached mid-table, his side slid dangerously close to the drop?

“We didn’t have that vision then. Obviously I have always been hopeful that we can progress.

“You are not going to progress every season on your finishing position, it’s just not possible.

“Last season it was possible to finish ahead of 15th but it didn’t happen.

“Although it didn’t finish well, we didn’t go down. That’s the critical part.

“It is very binary whether you go up or stay down. We were delighted we didn’t go down.

“Then over the course of the summer, we were talking at board level about what a long-term vision can be. We talked about it for quite a while and we are very pleased what we have come up with.

“We think it is very tough and a good vision to have.”

Bloom says the key to Albion’s rise has been clever recruitment.

He is hoping Potter and some potential bargains from Championship football can add to that.

He said: “The players we have paid money for are young players.

“I don’t want to pay big transfer fees for players the wrong side of 25, obviously. So there is big upside on them.

“They are big transfer fees for Brighton and I am very excited to see how they are going to get on this season and in future season.”

How will they get on? Not very well according to many of the opinions being expressed by ex-players, pundits, the media and fans, it would appear.

Albion are being widely tipped for the drop in the coming campaign.

Bloom said: “Funnily enough, and I haven’t read too much about us in the media, I was reading something about us in the Guardian online a few days ago. It was different fans’ predictions.

“I read the Brighton one and the Brighton fan predicted us to finish 14th, I think it was.

“I started reading the predictions from fans of other clubs and the first nine all predicted Brighton to go down as one of their three. I thought ‘this is interesting’.

“They are fans' predictions but obviously I am going to be disagreeing with them.

“I felt that was interesting but I can understand it because the second half of last season we really did struggle and a lot of fans’ perceptions are going to be based on the last few months of the season.

"So it is understandable but I don’t have their negativity.”