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Bournemouth admit stadium plans were ‘overly optimistic’

Premier League football club AFC Bournemouth has conceded that it was “overly optimistic” when detailing plans to move into a new stadium by the summer of 2020.

The club announced in July 2017 that it would begin drawing up plans for a new stadium on the Kings Park site that is “befitting of a Premier League club”.

With a capacity of just 11,400, Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium is the smallest ground in the Premier League and the club views a new stadium as central to its plans to establish itself as a mainstay in the top flight.

The plans for a new stadium have received full support from the Bournemouth city council but the club has today (Thursday) announced that any ground will not be ready by 2020 as originally planned.

“The board acknowledge we were overly optimistic that a new stadium would be completed by the summer of 2020,” a statement from Bournemouth’s shareholders and board of directors read.

“Any future developments will be undertaken around a healthy financial strategy that does not take away our ability to perform at our strongest levels on the pitch and risk what has been achieved to date.

“With regard to the developments, when we have a reliable timeframe we will make those facts known.”

In January, the club was given the green light to build a new multi-million-pound training complex on the site of the former Canford Magna Golf Club. The 57-acre site will bring Bournemouth’s first-team development squad, academy and pre-academy training operations and facilities into one location.

The club added: “Part of the club’s vision includes, in time where resources allow, to build first class facilities for the squad, staff and supporters. We have demonstrated our commitment to this with the purchase of land for the development of a new multimillion-pound training ground.”

Image: Matthew Jackson