It’s not just players that Bournemouth are looking to help improve the club, with new signings like Asmir Begovic, Nathan Ake and Jermain Defoe, but they’re also quite literally trying to improve matters on the pitch.
Going into their 3rd Premier League season, following a 9th placed finish last year, I’d be shocked if you didn’t already know that their Vitality Stadium is the smallest in the league, holding just 11,464 people, with Swansea City’s Liberty Stadium being next smallest at 20,902.
Now having established themselves in the Premier League after coming through from League Two with manager Eddie Howe, Bournemouth are now looking for a new stadium, following in the footsteps of clubs like Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United in recent times.
The Cherries have been at their current site Dean Court, in Kings Park since 1910 when the club were known as Boscombe FC. With support from the Bournemouth Council the club have been looking for land within Kings Park to take them to the next stage of the footballing world.
In their searches Bournemouth have identified a potential area to use which includes the park’s athletics stadium and the club’s existing training pitches. With football becoming ever more a part of everyday life for people around the world the club realise what effect this can have on the surrounding area, club Chief Executive, Neill Blake, said: “This is a major investment programme, not only for the football club but also for the town and the region.
“Our preferred site to build the club’s new stadium is in Kings Park. There is still a long way to go in this process but we have overcome one of the biggest obstacles in identifying the area that we want to develop.”
But as all football fans know, a new ground doesn’t just appear overnight, it takes in depth planning and preparation before building it even takes places and that’s something Blake knows very well as he outlined the plan for the moment: ““We will now progress with detailed research and design for the new stadium, ahead of submitting the necessary planning application.
“Our original timescale of completion by the summer of 2020 remains, and we are currently working hard to provide our supporters with a bigger stadium and one that is befitting of a Premier League club.”
Sometimes ventures like these can cause friction between sports clubs and their councils but this doesn’t seem to be the case down on the south coast as Leader of the Council, Councillor John Beesley, said: “We are extremely proud of the achievements of AFC Bournemouth and we recognise the importance of the club to both residents and fans.
“We will continue to work with the club and do all that is appropriate to help them progress with their ambition to build a new stadium in Kings Park.
“This will involve discussions with all interested parties to ensure the needs of the club are met, alongside those of users of the park and the local community.”
So, the future does look Bournemouth as they look to push on and take their reputation in the world of football, but before the planning application is submitted next year, we still have a season of football to enjoy from The Cherries.