Bournemouth: Boss Eddie Howe says new stadium is 'only way to go' for club

Bournemouth's Vitality Stadium
Bournemouth won the Championship in 2014-15 to reach the Premier League, the first time they had reached England's top flight

Bournemouth will "never see the benefits of the Premier League era" unless they move to a new ground, says manager Eddie Howe.

The Cherries finished 12th in their third consecutive top-flight campaign and play in the 11,450-capacity Vitality Stadium.

In December, the club confirmed they intend to build a new stadium near their current home, within Kings Park.

"For me that's the only way we can go now," Howe told BBC Radio Solent.

"We must have a tangible, long-term thing to look back at and go 'that was what the Premier League did for us'.

"The training ground, the new stadium - that's where this club has to go for the long-term benefits, otherwise we will never see the benefits of the Premier League era."

Bournemouth have the smallest matchday income in the top flight, earning nearly £5.2m from ticket sales in 2016-17 - their second season in the Premier League - which made up just 4% of the club's overall turnover. The club's income from broadcast rights in the same 12-month period up 30 June 2017 was £124m.

Comparatively, Manchester United, whose Old Trafford home is the UK's biggest club stadium with a capacity of around 76,000, generated £111.6m in matchday income.

Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake indicated last summer that the club hoped to have a new stadium completed in time for the 2020-21 season.

Howe, 40, is in his second spell at Bournemouth after initially taking charge when they were bottom of the Football League.

The Dorset club, owned by Russian businessman Maxim Demin, have also had plans for a new training ground complex approved by councillors at Borough of Poole.

"It's tough to recruit players when we're playing in the stadium that we are," Howe said. "The training ground, as beautiful as it is, the size, the lack of space - again that's a difficulty for us.

"We've focused a lot on the team and on what you see out on the pitch, but I think the infrastructure of the club is a must.

"That will serve us so well in 10, 15, 20, 30 years, and that's what I really believe the club must focus on."

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