Written by Dan Davis (@dan_davis20)
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe said he believed the club’s plan to delay construction of a new stadium was the ‘right decision’, and praised the backing from the board.
Yesterday, Cherries released a statement explaining that their expectation to have a new ground built by 2020 was now considered ‘overly optimistic’.
A lack of communication from the club about the scheme has drawn criticism from supporters’ groups, who feared that the proposed development had been ‘kicked into the long grass’.
In response, Cherries, who plan to build on ground currently occupied by the Kings Park athletics centre, announced that ‘every penny’ had been put into securing the club’s Premier League safety.
But when questioned about the situation, Howe lavished praise on the club’s board:
“It was the right decision for the owners and shareholders. They’ve given the club so much in financial backing and support in the past few years.”
However, the boss also admitted his desire for a new ground: “We would love a new stadium really for the supporters. To take the club forward, I think it’s what we all want.”
Cherries also announced plans to build a new training complex on the Canford Magna Golf Club site earlier this year, and Howe stressed that the board and supporters were both united in gunning for future success:
“I know their (the board’s) will is to complete the stadium and build the training ground and take the club forward. They want what every Bournemouth fan wants and what I want.
“But it’s not right for them at this moment in time so I think you have to respect that decision.”
The manager also reflected on his side’s past successes, and explained that Cherries prioritise their players ahead of facilities:
“Some clubs are focused on facilities first and the team second, but here we focus on the team and the facilities second.
“We have moved the team forward, and pushed every year to improve. I’m delighted with how the team’s playing and that’s working for us at the moment.”