Earlier in April, we carried a report from HLN, who claimed Brighton & Hove Albion owner Tony Bloom is planning to take over second division Belgium club Union Saint-Gilloise.
It was also reported the Premier Leaue club’s chief would allow Jürgen Baatzsch to continue as the club’s chairman, and that’s how things panned out. Today’s edition of Gazet van Antwerpen has a story about the connections between two clubs.
Union’s sporting director Alex Hayes has stressed the importance of maintaining a relationship with the Seagulls, but stressed that the English club will have no interference in the operation of his side.
“It would be silly for us not to maintain our relationship with Brighton. How they tackle football, that works. It is therefore logical that we should make use of this know-how,” Hayles explained.
He also spoke about making use of the algorithm for Union, which helped Brighton climb from the lower division of the English football to the top flight club competition.
“We pay to use Bloom’s algorithm. But, we do not rely only on the computer data to determine what transfers we do,” Union sporting director said.
“We then filter. We look at the players, to gauge their character and see whether they would fit. We address not just the top players from the list that the algorithm provides us. The human touch remains very important. We do not work like robots.”
Since Bloom became the majority shareholder of the Belgian side, he has made a few changes, including replacing manager Marc Grosjean with Luka Elsner. There was a fear among the section of Union fans that Brighton chairman would change their club’s tradition and the Englishman has a message for them.
“Just like at Brighton, I find Union a club of the people. And I want to keep [it that way]. We need to professionalise, but with respect for the history of the club,” Bloom stressed.