AFC Bournemouth chairman Eddie Mitchell reacted angrily to supporters criticisms at Thursday evening’s BBC Radio Solent Fans Forum.
The whole forum which is available online on the BBC Radio Solent website, was chaired by Kris Temple and included AFC Bournemouth chairman Eddie Mitchell, Chief Executive Neill Blake, Manager Lee Bradbury, Player-Assistant Steve Fletcher and Team captain Adam Barrett.
When asked about the eight player sales over the past twelve months and asked what percentage of the money received has been made available for Lee Bradbury to spend in the transfer market. Mitchell responded…
“First and foremost this is the first time since I think Harry (Redknapp) was at the club in the 80`s that we`ve actually got money in the bank and not beg borrowing from everybody else and it`s pressure from the supporters to sign players at whatever cost which causes problems and I`m not prepared to go into that.
“Lee (Bradbury) has money to buy players and both myself and the board are working very hard to find more money and more investment, the club is sat with a pocket of £1.4million in the bank to support Lee in the future. We are constantly working; just because a date goes by (transfer deadline) it doesn`t mean to say it`s the end.
“We`ve sold players because we`ve been pushed into situations to sell those players through their own success, most if not all of the deals that were done have been good deals for the club, it`s consolidated the club, it`s built the club and the club has got to be built from the bottom upwards, not the top down and that`s how I`m going to build it and if you don`t like it, go and support Southampton.”
His answer received an angry reaction from the supporters in attendance with the following questioner remarking that Mitchell’s answer was ‘a little bit trite’.
‘We want your honesty, we want honest questions, don`t treat us like fools and give trite answers’ the questioner added, before stating: ‘We want to see players out there that are going to push for promotion or at least push to give us football, because if not you`re not going to have anybody, you`re going to have 3,000 like we did years and years ago and then you`re going to be blaming the fans for not coming.’
“Do you want me to spend money we haven`t got? Do you want me to put the club at risk? You are very naive to the fact of running a football club, especially one that has been neglected and milked for the past thirty years and you know that as well as I do.
“Since I have been at this club, you`ve gained promotion, you`ve got to the second highest you`ve ever been in the clubs history in the league and four or five games into the season because we haven`t performed as well, you`re criticising young men, who I haven`t brought to this club that other managers have brought, how can I be responsible for the situation that I`ve had to put right?
“…Do you want your sons to come here? Do you want your kids to come here in the future? I`ve had to spend to put the house in order, you guys do not realise the commitments we`ve had to make and the sacrifices we`ve had to make and just because we`ve taken one step backwards it`s horrendous the reaction we`ve got from some supporters.
When asked what his two sons bring to the Football Club board he said…
“My son has actually paid the wages three times this season, not this season last season, he drew it out of his building society so if you want that answer, that`s the answer. You don`t know how difficult it`s been to get this club straight and it`s just so emotional to hear people talk to me like this after the sacrifice I`ve made.
To listen to the full Fans Forum click here.
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