December 9, 2016 / 1:18 PM / 8 months ago

Bournemouth announce plans to leave Dean Court

(Reuters) - Bournemouth will leave their Dean Court home and are looking for a site to build a new stadium in time for the start of the 2020-21 season, the Premier League club said on Friday.

Bournemouth said negotiations to buy the stadium back off its owners, property investment firm Structadene, with a view to redevelopment had stalled.

The club said they would not be "held to ransom" over a price to purchase the ground.

The Premier League's smallest ground, which can seat 20,000, is currently named after its sponsors as the Vitality Stadium and has been home to Bournemouth since December 1910.

"It has always been the board of directors' preferred option to buy the stadium back from Structadene and develop a Premier League-standard stadium on the current site at Kings Park," Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake said on the club's website. (www.afcb.co.uk)

"However, following discussions over a number of months with both Structadene and Bournemouth Borough Council's planning department, it has become apparent that this will not be possible.

"Firstly, we are not going to develop a stadium we do not own and will not be held to ransom over a price to purchase the existing site.

"And secondly, the council's planning department have made it clear that they would not welcome a significantly bigger stadium in Kings Park, meaning we are severely constricted in what we can achieve on this site with regards to size, capacity and facilities.

"We are working tirelessly to identify a site and it is our ambition that a new stadium would be built in time for the start of the 2020/21 season."

Earlier on Friday, Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe said everyone at the club currently had a spring in their step after the thrilling win over Liverpool as they prepared for Saturday's trip to Burnley in the Premier League.

Howe, who managed Burnley for 87 games between January 2011 and October 2012, returns to Turf Moor with Bournemouth 10th and full of confidence after twice overturning a two-goal deficit to beat Liverpool 4-3 last Sunday.

"Beating a top team like Liverpool should give us a boost," Howe told a news conference on Friday. "We've tried not to focus on it too much, but there's a spring in the step.

"The challenge here is to now build consistency. I don't think we've put a proper marker down yet, so that's what we've got to do."

Reporting by Simon Jennings and Debanjan Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by Ian Chadband

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