Bloom: We can do better than last year but staying in the Premier League is key

Tony Bloom. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Tony Bloom. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Chairman Tony Bloom believes Albion can do better than last season's 15th-placed finish in the Premier League but admits the key aim is staying in the top flight again this year.

The Seagulls collected 40 points in their debut Premier League campaign last year to finish seven points clear of the relegation zone.

Albion have added ten players to their squad this summer, including Alireza Jahanbakhsh for a club record fee, and that has led to belief from fans the club can better last season's exploits.

Burnley finished seventh last year to qualify for the Europa League this season and Bloom says Albion will look to try to emulate the Clarets but also need to keep their feet on the ground.

He said: "We look at everything at all clubs do because every club does things differently.

"Hats off to Burnley, they had a magnificent season last season. They may find it tougher this season with the Europa League, that's a really tough step. But they finished the 'best of the rest'. They won their league, the league of 14.

"It's possible for any of us to do that. What Leicester did before that was a miracle - but what Burnley did was not a miracle. It was a lot of hard work from a well organised side with lots of 1-0 wins. And good luck to them.

"But our feet are very much on the ground. It's a tougher league now. We've got Wolves and Fulham coming up who were two excellent sides last season in the Championship and now both spending a lot of money.

"Three teams go down each season so we can't think too far. The first aim is 17th and after that anything is a bonus. I think we can do better than last season's 15th but the key is staying in this league - because it's not easy to get back, even with parachute payments."

Bloom has also praised the recruitment done by Paul Winstanley and his team over the past few transfer windows.

He said: "I'm delighted with the players we've brought in, we've really strengthened the squad depth. Chris (Hughton) is happy, the players have settled in well and we spent a lot of time on recruitment just to check all things out. But Paul Winstanley, as he has for many transfer windows along with his team, has done a really good job.

"As much as one can say before the first league game of the season, we're in good shape."

On how important it is to bring in the right players, Bloom added: "Getting that right and getting the manager right is absolutely key.

"Things like the training ground and all of that is quite important or very important but it's no good having a place like this with the wrong players or the wrong manager.

"We spend a lot of time at it. Ever since I took over the club nine years ago, it's gone well. Certainly it's improved as time has gone on and you learn a lot.

"There's many different ways of doing it as we try to put everything together. The one summer it perhaps didn't quite go so well for one reason or another and we often don't talk about some of the reasons why it happened was when Sami Hyypia was in charge.

"But every transfer window since then has gone very well, including the January windows which I'm not such a fan of. But we have done more business than I would have envisaged in January. It's sometimes need must.

"It's absolutely key to get it right. We have done very well in recent years and we hope to keep that up.

"As long as the process is right and we feel we're ticking all the boxes and we're looking at everything, then if someone comes in and it doesn't work out or they get an injury, these things can happen.

"For me, the key thing is we do the process right. We do the work, we involve lots of different people and it's working well for us so far."