Bournemouth have announced that Eddie Howe has departed the club by ‘mutual consent’ following their relegation from the Premier League.
Howe’s departure comes after ‘extensive talks’ between him and the club with the belief of both manager and club ‘that it would be in the best interests of AFC Bournemouth for me to leave the club by mutual consent.’
In an open letter to the club’s supporters, Howe described the decision to leave Bournemouth as ‘one of the hardest’ decisions that he has ever made in his managerial career.
Speaking of his passion for Bournemouth, Howe added; “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.
Our journey together over the past decade has quite simply been an incredible one and I feel immense pride at what we’ve achieved together in that time.”
This announcement brings Howe’s second stint as Bournemouth manager to a close after nearly eight years, having guided the club to promotion from League One then Championship before overseeing a five season spell in the Premier League.
Bournemouth’s Chief Executive, Neill Blake spoke of Howe’s legacy at Bournemouth, saying; “He is quite simply an AFC Bournemouth legend, having helped transform the identity and history of the club.
Blake also spoke of the fact that he plus AFC Bournemouth owner – Max Demin will never “underestimate” Howe’s achievements with gratitude and appreciation and admitted that Howe’s departure is “even harder given our close personal friendship.”
‘Together, anything is possible’
In his open letter, Howe spoke of the club’s motto – ‘Together, anything is possible’ which is a fair reflection of Bournemouth’s journey under the 42 year-old manager.
When Howe first took charge of the Cherries in December 2008, they were sat bottom of League Two on -17 points yet he guided them to survival come end of that season by nine points.
He then led Bournemouth to automatic promotion as runners-up the following season, before departing midway through their first season back in League One for Burnley where he struggled to replicate his Cherries’ success in a 19 month spell at Turf Moor
October 2012 saw Howe return to Dean Court where he guided Bournemouth to automatic promotion as 2012-13 League One runners-up, before spending two seasons in the Championship in which they secured promotion in April 2015 at home to Bolton.Embed from Getty Images
Howe and his Cherries then fought the odds for four seasons in the Premier League despite a poor defensive record, with a ninth placed finish in 2016-17 season representing their best top flight result.
This season however saw a mixture of injuries, bad luck and poor performances prove instrumental in the club’s relegation to the 2020-21 Championship, although Bournemouth bowed out on a high as they ended their Goodison Park hoodoo on the final day of season.
If anything this era under Howe has shown not just Bournemouth but the entire footballing world that if a club sticks together, anything is possible through building a strong hardworking culture and the right mindset plus work ethic.