Off the pitch it has been a frustrating time for AFC Bournemouth supporters, frustrated by the football clubs lack of making the most of the clubs current position in the Premier League to cement a legacy for the club.
Whilst there have been improvements to the training ground for the players with the development in Kings Park, the quality of the facilities falls well below the standard set in the top flight of English football.
Meanwhile, Dean Court with its maximum capacity due to Premier League requirements for media and camera’s has dropped below 10,500.
It’s also still owned by Structadene, with the football club paying a monthly rent on its home. Exactly the same scenario as when the club was in the fourth division of English football.
So news in late 2016 of a new stadium being ready by 2020 and plans for a new training ground complex being submitted in August 2017, were understandably well received.
However over the next 14 months news on progress for both projects was quiet and in October 2018 AFC Bournemouth announced the frustrating news that developments of the training ground complex and new stadium in Kings Park had been postponed indefinitely.
At the end of January 2019 Maxim Demin became 100% shareholder again with Peak 6 selling their 25% investment in the football club.
Following that news, coincidentally, things are now set to change off the field with news that AFC Bournemouth intend to submit “revised, improved plans” to the new Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch Council as “an amendment to the existing planning permission”.
Once approved, the development will commence with immediate effect.
There is no announced time scale on how long planning permission will take to be granted or how long the training ground complex will take to be completed, however the announcement by AFC Bournemouth did state that it will be a “phased build which will bring AFC Bournemouth’s first team, development squad, academy and pre-academy training operations and facilities into one location.”
The centre will offer first-class facilities, including ten full-size pitches, three junior pitches, an indoor artificial playing surface, an outdoor artificial playing surface, state-of-the-art medical, fitness, sports science and rehabilitation facilities, administrative space and a press conference theatre.
AFC Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake told afcb.co.uk…
“This is an incredibly exciting time for the club.
“It has always been the board’s intention to develop and improve our infrastructure to something that is befitting of a Premier League club with elite, international players.
“Now we are fulfilling the first step of that ambition with this training complex development.
“This development demonstrates the owner and board’s commitment to keep the club moving in the right direction, both on and off the pitch; continuing to be competitive in the Premier League, while achieving financial stability.”
All I can offer is some local knowledge. They are using and expanding on the old golf club facilities. There is parking etc already in situ and the main Academy pavilion will utilise the old club house according to the plans. The structure is obviously already in place but it is to be extensively updated and chopped around inside. However all the ‘ services ‘are in place.
In stage one the pitches are being laid on the old Parkland Golf course. Without doubt the main issue will be drainage but looking at the plans it doesn’t seem like any drastic earthworks etc will be required.
So in short, lay five pitches and do up the old club house for stage one – over to the experts on timescale but hopefully quicker than starting from scratch. – Join the conversation, click here.