BOURNEMOUTH manager Eddie Howe said yesterday that a new stadium is “the only way” the club can reap the benefits of life in the Premier League.
The Cherries secured a 2-1 win at Burnley on the final day of the season to finish 12th in what was their third successive Premier League campaign.
Howe steered the team out of the bottom three at Christmas to a comfortable finish as more established clubs dropped out of the top flight.
But, with Dean Court holding just 11,360 spectators, Howe feels a new stadium — as well as the planned new training ground — can be a lasting legacy from the current era.
“For me that’s the only way we can go now,” the 40-year-old said.
“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.
“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.”
Howe also feels new facilities will also make it easier to attract players to the club.
“It’s tough to recruit players when we’re playing in the stadium that we are,” he added.
“The training ground, as beautiful as it is, the size, the lack of space — again that’s a difficulty for us.”
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