AFC Bournemouth are an English football club currently playing in Football League Two. The club plays at Dean Court in Kings Park, Boscombe, Bournemouth, Dorset and have been in existence since 1899. Its nickname is The Cherries. The team traditionally plays in red and black stripes but reverted to predominantly red for the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons before announcing a return to the stripes for the 2006-07 season due to fan demand.
The south coast club became the first football club to scored 5 goals at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, beating Lincoln City 5-2 in the 2002-03 Division 3 Play-off final (the Slovakian national side equalled this feat in 2006 against Wales). However, they remain the only team to have scored five goals in a Football League play-off final. They are also famous for defeating holders Manchester United in the FA Cup in January 1984, while they were managed by Harry Redknapp.
Harry Redknapp is the most successful manager ever to take charge of Bournemouth. Apart from the 1984 F.A. Cup shock win over Manchester United, he took them into the second tier of the English league for the first time in their history as Third Division champions in 1987. They stayed there for three years, and he remained at the helm for two years after their relegation in 1990, before leaving for West Ham United. His son Jamie Redknapp made his debut for Bournemouth while only 16, and went on to play for Liverpool and England.
Sean O'Driscoll was promoted from the coaching staff in place of Mel Machin at the start of the 2000-01 season. In his first season as manager, Bournemouth narrowly missed out on the Division Two playoffs, but were relegated a year later in the new stadium. The board kept faith in O'Driscoll and they were rewarded with promotion via the Division Three playoffs in 2002-03.
In September 2006, with the team in 8th place in the League, Sean O'Driscoll left to become manager of Doncaster Rovers. By the time the new manager Kevin Bond was appointed the team were struggling but a recovery in the New Year kept the club clear of relegation. Kevin Bond is a former Bournemouth player, and his father managed the Club during perhaps its most memorable era in the early 1970s.
Whilst the fans are usually good mannered and crowd trouble is extremely rare nowadays, Saturday 5 May 1990 has gone down in the history of both club and town as a black day. It was the May Day public holiday and the final day of the season. AFC Bournemouth were in the old Second Division and Leeds United had the chance to win the league on goal difference and gain promotion into the First Division (now the Premiership). Many followers of Leeds had already caused trouble in the town during the morning and the atmosphere was tense as Leeds won the match by a single goal. That, combined with the results of other matches, meant that Leeds were promoted while Bournemouth were relegated. The violence and destruction by visitors to Bournemouth continued over the holiday weekend 'causing more than £1million worth of damage and injury to opposing fans and police officers'. The town's Daily Echo newspaper reported that 'spectators, including many young children, had to run to safety as missiles were hurled and riot police waded in to control the crowds'. The matter was raised in Parliament by one of the town's MPs. Many Bournemouth supporters attribute the beginning of the subsequent decline of the club on that fateful day. The club have been on the brink of bankruptcy several times since 1990.
Financially, the Leeds trouble affected the club for more than a decade, as Bournemouth were prevented by local police from staging home games on Bank Holidays (traditionally a popular day for football) until a game against Shrewsbury Town on 21 April 2003. The club often had to move games from Easter Monday, for instance, to the following Tuesday evening, with lower crowds a consequence.
Their name prior to 1971 was Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic, which was notable as the longest in the football league. A lot of older fans still refer to the club as Boscombe and the chant "Boscombe, back of the net" can still be heard at matches.
Their red and black kit introduced in 1971 was based on the old AC Milan strip. This was the era of Ted MacDougall, a prolific goalscorer who, in an FA Cup tie in November 1971, scored nine goals in an 11-0 win against Margate.
They agreed a new shirt sponsorship deal with Focal Point Fires PLC, ending their long association with Seward Cars. Focal Point Fires have since pulled out of this sponsorship deal.
On 21st July 2008, shortly after the unveiling of new Chief Executive Alistair Saverimutto, the club revealed that he had negotiated the "biggest sponsorship in the club's history" from JD Sports. It is a 3 year deal starting from 2008 - 2009 season and is manufactured by the Carbrini brand.
The club also recently sold their stadium but not the surrounding land to property management company Parkcrest to ease debts. This deal was done on a Sale and Lease back agreement.
The Cherries rarely hit the headlines but ex long-serving player James Hayter allowed this to happen when he scored the fastest league hat-trick in English Football League history during the 2003-04 season. The Cherries were leading 3-0 against Wrexham, thanks to goals from Steven Purches, Warren Cummings and Warren Feeney, when Hayter was brought onto the field as a substitute. With 86 minutes gone, Hayter managed to net three goals in the space of 2 minutes 20 seconds, making the final score 6-0 to AFC Bournemouth.
Peter Phillips stepped down as club chairman on 1 September 2006 after 4 years at the helm. Local entrepreneur Abdul Jaffer was promoted from vice-chairman to temporary chairman until a new permanent one was appointed by the board of directors. Jaffer resigned in February 2007, and in March the shareholders agreed to a takeover by a consortium led by businessman Jeff Mostyn.
Manager Sean O'Driscoll and his assistant Richard O'Kelly left on 9 September 2006 to join Doncaster Rovers. However, this bad news was sweetened with the confirmation of the signing of England 1998 World Cup player Darren Anderton on a pay-as-you-play basis. On his debut versus Scunthorpe United he scored the Bournemouth equaliser with a brilliant 40-yard free kick in a 1-1 draw. He also scored his first hat-trick against Leyton Orient Football Club in the 5-0 home victory.
The Cherries made a poor start under management of Kevin Bond, losing their first six games, and drawing two. However, a surprise victory over top of table leaders Nottingham Forest secured Kevin Bond's first victory of the season, with a 2-0 win.
On New Years Day 2007, Bournemouth beat Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 with an amusing goal from Brett Pitman in the 90th minute. As the Brighton goalkeeper Wayne Henderson controlled the ball just to the left of his 6 yard box he took a step back to clear the ball as Pitman chased the ball down. Unfortunately for Henderson, he slipped on the floor, Pitman got the loose ball, took it around two defenders and smashed it into the back of the net at the North Stand end. Henderson has since left Brighton.
AFCB secured their League One status for another year in the last home game of the 2006-07 season with a 1-1 draw against Gillingham (28/04/2007).
In May 2007, an inaccurate rumour circulated that Teddy Sheringham was in talks over a one-year contract with the club.
On May 29 James Hayter was sold to Doncaster Rovers for a fee believed to be in the region of £200,000. This left the Cherries squad with just 9 contracted first team players, two of which were goalkeepers.
In August 2007 Lee Bradbury signed for A.F.C. Bournemouth on a four month loan deal from Southend. After playing one game for the club the loan was made permanent, and Bradbury signed a contract until the end of the season. With the growing injury crisis, Kevin Bond has brought in a number of differently loan signings, include last years star Mark Wilson, keeper Asmir Begovic, Reading reserves James Henry, Jem Karacan, Scott Golbourne and Alex Pearce, also he has brought ex-cherry's school boy Adam Lallana, who left to join Southampton some years ago. However Begovic's loan was cut short, Wilson's one month loan came to an end, as did Garreth O'Connor's, who has now returned to the Burnley reserve team after an injury hit spell. The loan of Max Gradel has also been cut short due to the death of his mother. Max returned in mid-November, and just days after his loan deal expired on 2 January 2008, he came back to the Cherries on loan for the rest of the season. Tough-tackling Neil Young has gone the opposite way on loan, and joined Weymouth FC on loan for a month.
Kevin Bond was hopeful that some of his quartet of on-loan Reading players, who returned to the Royals after the game at Brighton on New Year's Day, could return to Dean Court in the future. Bond said "I would take them all back given the opportunity - they've all done very well. However, none of them returned to the Cherries, apart from Jem Karacan, who was playing for Millwall as they lost 2-0 to the Cherries at Dean Court on 29 March 2008.
Also in the January transfer window, the cherries signed experienced Norwegian midfielder Jo Tessem on a free until the end of the season.
On February 7, 2008, Bournemouth were forced into administration, subsequently having a 10-point deduction, putting them in deep relegation trouble in League One. Bournemouth have debts of around £4million and almost went out of business completely.
The only bid that administrator Gerald Krasner had accepted came from a consortium led by chairman Jeff Mostyn, however in a press conference on 3 April 2008, Mr Krasner said that due to a breach of the agreement between the administrators and the consortium relating to the funding of the consortium and the sale of the club. Along with this, the administrator also warned that the club may also be closed before the end of the season unless appropriate funding came forward.
In spite of off-the-field issues with the club, Bournemouth achieved a remarkable string of results in the Football League One. Starting with a 2-1 win at home to Tranmere Rovers on March 24, the team have also beaten Millwall 2-0 (H), Swansea 2-1 (A) with a shock injury time comeback , Bristol Rovers 2-1 (H) and Walsall 3-1 (A) . On April 19, this winning streak of five matches left Bournemouth four points away from safety with two games remaining. The winning streak was increased to six matches on April 26 with a vital 1-0 victory over Crewe Alexandra. It is interesting to note that the goalscorer, Sam Vokes, rejected a transfer offer from Crewe in January of the same year. Victory or a draw away at Carlisle on May 3, depending on Cheltenham Town and Gillingham's results, would ensure Bournemouth's survival in the Football League One, and would prove to be one of the most impressive relegation survivals achieved in the club's history, and even in the Football League itself. Harry Redknapp commented that escaping relegation "...would be more than a Great Escape, it would be a miracle". He furthered this by saying that "...if Kevin (Bond) doesn't get manager of the month there's something wrong," paying tribute to his managerial ability to get the winning streak out of the team. Bournemouth managed to achieve a 1-1 draw in the match against Carlisle but, with Cheltenham Town winning at home to Doncaster Rovers 2-1, were relegated to League Two after five successive seasons of Division Two/League One football.
The team's future in the Football League was put into doubt before it even began play, when on 6 August—three days before the start of the season—the league threatened to block Bournemouth's participation in League Two, due to problems with the team's continuing administration and change in ownership. It has ordered both Bournemouth and Rotherham to demonstrate that they can fulfill all of their fixtures and find a way out of administration. The next day the Football League confirmed that AFC Bournemouth will start the season on a 17 point penalty for failing to follow the Football League insolvency rules and the new company will have to pay unsecured creditors the amount offered at the time of the original C.V.A (around 10 pence in the pound) within 2 years.
On September 1st, BBC Radio 5 Live reported that Bond and his manangement team (Rob Newman and Eddie Howe) had been sacked. At midday on September 2nd, it was announced former player Jimmy Quinn would be the new manager with former player Jason Tindall as his assistant. The duo's first game in charge was a 1-1 draw at Notts County. Howe has since returned as head of the club's centre of excellence.