Tony Bloom, Albion’s poker-playing chairman, has strengthened his hand and increased the expertise of the club’s board by adding two long-time associates as directors.

The appointments of London-based businessmen Adam Franks and Marc Sugarman have been ratified by existing board members.

Both have been advising the club and have been on the board of the stadium company for Falmer for some time. Bloom has described their appointments as “a logical step forward.”

Franks, 38, a qualified chartered accountant for 13 years, has known the chairman since they were at Manchester University together.

Bloom said: “Adam is finance director for all my companies. He will bring a lot to business decisions and financial decisions, particularly as we move on to Falmer. He is a very capable pair of hands.

“Adam works closely with me in many of my commercial ventures. He has become an Albion fan via his business relationship with me and he brings a wealth of experience to the table.”

Lifelong Albion fan Sugarman, 37, a former Oxford University student, is an equity analyst for Citigroup, with expertise in the media sector.     Bloom said: “I have known Marc since I was a young kid. He is a Brighton boy who is living in London now.

“He works for Citigroup and has a lot of experience, particularly in the media.

“Again, he will bring a lot in terms of how he can promote our plans and create opportunities.

“They will both help us going forward. We want Brighton to be pushing on from League One into the Championship and beyond.

“At Withdean for the last ten years there has only been so much the board can do.

“Now we have got Falmer and it is going to be there in under two years we just need to strengthen the board, which will help us to push on.”

Father-of-three Franks said: “With the new stadium at Falmer almost in sight, it is a very special honour to be invited onto the board as we approach such a key moment in the club’s history.

“I look forward to increasing my involvement and to seeing continued success for the team, fans, management and the club’s outstanding work in the community.”  Sugarman, also a father-of-three, said: “It is a huge privilege to be asked onto the board.

“Tony’s ambition for the club is enormous. The professionalism and investment that have gone into the new stadium project and the support for Russell (manager Russell Slade) as he shapes the team for the future are evidence of this commitment.

“I look forward to getting more involved with the club and helping make the Seagulls a top-flight team.”

Meanwhile, fans can jump the queue for Albion’s glamour home games if they attend today’s match against Southend.

Seats are still available for the seaside derby. They can be bought on-line right up until kick-off or by calling 0845 496 190 and in person from the club shop at 128 Queens Road, Brighton, until 2pm.

Spectators will then have priority with season ticket holders and blue members for the visits of Leeds, Charlton, Norwich and Southampton.


Adam Franks obtained a science degree at Manchester University before qualifying as a chartered accountant in February 1996.

The early part of his career was spent in the financial services sector, at KPMG and then ING.

He became a qualified chartered financial analyst in June 2001 and, since then, has been both a director and the chief financial officer in a number of businesses activities alongside Tony Bloom.

These have included the property and investment sectors and he has co-invested with Bloom in many deals.

Franks is married to Sara with three daughters, Jodie, Eliana and Liora.

Marc Sugarman read politics, philosophy and economics at Brasenose College, Oxford University.

In 1996 he began as a media analyst with Morgan Stanley, then from 2000 with Goldman Sachs and since 2004 with Citigroup.

His team covers 35 stocks across Europe, covering pay TV, entertainment, ad funded television, newspapers and advertising agencies.

During his career, he has taken JC Decaux, Yell, Recoletos and Blinkx to the stock market.

Sugarman is married to Rachel with three children, Mia, Maurice and Michal.