By Buzz Sports Editor Michael Gillett (Twitter: @MichaelBG1212)
AFC Bournemouth have tonight parted company with manager Eddie Howe, eight years after he took over the club for a second managerial spell.
The 42 year old, who first took over the club in 2008, said he thinks it is “the right time for the club to have a change.”
This decision comes after the climax of a disappointing 2019/20 campaign for the Cherries, which saw them relegated last Sunday after picking up a meager 34 points throughout the season.
In a letter to fans Howe has said: “Having spent a total of 25 years with the club as both a player and a manager, this decision – made together with the club – is one of the hardest I’ve ever had to make.
“However, although the affection and love I have for this football club will always remain, we collectively feel that now is the right time for the club to go in a new direction.
“Bournemouth will always be in my heart.”
Howe was in charge of the Cherries for over 450 matches and managed them to all three promotions since their time in League Two which ended after promotion in the 2009/10 season. They ultimately achieved Premier League football under Howe after winning the Championship in 2014/15.
In 2011 when in League One, Howe briefly left the club to take over at Burnley who at the time were situated in the Championship. But an unsuccessful spell saw him return to Dorset the following year.
Howe’s biggest Premier League success story came in the 2016/17 season, when despite being one of the favourites to be relegated, they in fact finished an impressive ninth position in their second ever season as a top flight club.
Since then however league performances have slowly dried up, and eventually concluded in relegation this season, despite a final day 3-1 win over Everton at Goodison Park.
Poor performances from the bulk of the season eventually sealed the club’s relegated fate, after they seriously failed to improve following the restart of the Premier League in June.
What awaits Eddie Howe next is unknown, and AFC Bournemouth will start having to look for the right pair of hands to look after them back in Championship life.
Though no names have concrete evidence to back them up yet, names such as recently resigned Wigan manager Paul Cook, and former Brighton manager Chris Hughton are being circulated early on.
The Championship season at the moment is set to begin on the weekend of 12th September. This of course will be subject to Government guidance on the current Covid-19 pandemic.