May 15, 2018 / 11:22 AM / 2 months ago

Soccer: Bournemouth's new stadium key for long-term benefits says Howe

(Reuters) - Bournemouth’s new stadium and training ground are vital to the south-coast club reaping the long-term benefits of playing in the Premier League, according to manager Eddie Howe.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Crystal Palace vs AFC Bournemouth - Selhurst Park, London, Britain - December 9, 2017 Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe applauds fans after the match Action Images via Reuters/Adam Holt/Files

Bournemouth, who currently play at the Vitality Stadium, announced in March that they would submit a planning application later this year to build a new ground within Kings Park, an area that currently hosts the club’s training pitches.

The Cherries also got the go-ahead from local councillors in January to build a new multi-million pound training ground.

“For me that’s the only way we can go now,” Howe told BBC Radio Solent. “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.”

The Vitality Stadium, formerly known as Dean Court, has been Bournemouth’s home since 1910 and has a capacity of only 11,464, well below the Premier League’s biggest ground - Manchester United’s Old Trafford, which boasts 75,600 seats.

Wembley is the biggest stadium in England with a capacity of 90,000 seats and was home to Tottenham Hotspur on a temporary basis during the most recent league campaign.

“It’s tough to recruit players when we’re playing in the stadium that we are,” Howe added. “The training ground, as beautiful as it is, the size, the lack of space - again that’s a difficulty for us.

Howe believes the much-needed infrastructure upgrade will attract quality players to Bournemouth in the transfer window.

“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.”

Bournemouth secured a 12th-placed league finish this season with a 2-1 win at Burnley on Sunday.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris

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