AFC Bournemouth chairman Eddie Mitchell believes that the club could prove sustainable if promotion to the Championship was achieved over the next few years.
Over the past year the Cherries have overseen a large amount of spending on both the facilities at Dean Court, the new training pitches next to the stadium in Kings Park and large investment in the playing squad on both transfer fees and wages.
The current squad includes over thirty first team professionals, assembled mostly by former managers Lee Bradbury and Paul Groves.
Last month management duo Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall returned to the club after 21 months at Championship side Burnley and have said they intend to scale down the size of the squad over time.
AFC Bournemouth chairman Eddie Mitchell who brought in 50% co-owner Max Demin twelve months ago acknowledges that the Cherries are currently not being run on a sustainable footing, mainly in part to players wages.
Sponsorship deals with kit sponsor Energy Consulting (founded by newly appointed AFCB director Mikhail Ponomarev) and stadium sponsor Goldsands Management help keep the club under the Football League’s spending cap, whilst the Cherries received a £6million loan from Wintel Petrochemicals Ltd (Demin is listed as a director of Wintel) in June this year.
Mitchell believes that if promotion to the second tier of English football can be achieved, then the Cherries would no longer be dependent on investors due to the probable increase in attendances.
Mitchell also reiterated the need for the club to win promotion before a new fourth stand at Dean Court could become viable, whilst also insisting that they would not contemplate buying the ground back from landlords Structadene until it was ‘realistically priced’.
Mitchell told BBC Radio Solent…
‘It would be difficult to keep the club going forward as it is now, We’ve got to get the club to be sustainable over the next three of four years and that is my 100% target…’
‘…I do not want to be dependent on other people and the club does not want to be dependent on anybody, me or Max or whoever comes into the football club.
‘It has to be sustainable on its own and building support, getting bigger crowds…’
‘…I believe we have a Championship squad within our club now. So we need to get into the Championship and therefore the wages we are paying now would be more on par with the crowds we hope to get and then it becomes more sustainable.’
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