AFC Bournemouth will compete in the Barclays Premier League for the first time in the club’s 100-plus year history this August as a 3-0 win over Bolton on Monday all but sealed promotion. The team is three points clear of third-placed Middlesbrough, but have a far superior goal difference.
Nicknamed the Cherries, Bournemouth has had a tumultuous existence, especially over the last 10 years. The roller-coaster has recently trended up and next season the team will travel to Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Will Play in Premier League For First Time
Bournemouth was in the fourth tier of English soccer as recently as 2010, and was almost relegated from the Football League entirely the season before. In fact, Bournemouth only played in the second tier for three seasons (1987-1990) before its promotion to the Championship in 2013.
Led by an offense that’s scored a league-high 95 goals in 45 games, Bournemouth sealed second place in the Championship Monday. In addition to top scorer Callum Wilson firing 20 goals this year, veteran Yann Kermorgant scored 15 goals, Brett Pitman scored 13 and Matt Richie 12.
2. Play Matches at Dean Court
In what will be the smallest ground in the English Premier League (by a lot), Dean Court, also known as the Goldsands Stadium, holds 12,000 supporters. The Cherries began playing at the ground in 1910, though the stadium was almost completely rebuilt in 2001.
Bournemouth recorded it’s biggest win in club history this season in an 8-0 demolition of fellow Championship side Birmingham on the road.
The club hopes to expand the stadium to 18,000 in the near future, though no official plans have been made.
3. Owned By Maxim Victorovich Demin
Demin purchased the club in 2013 from Eddie Mitchell and has invested more than $14 million in the club since.
Mitchell was part of a consortium that purchased the club in 2009, saving the team from bankruptcy. Micthell is a local property developer and had experience in the lower leagues with Dorchester Town. Mitchell now owns Poole Town, a local club in the eighth tier of English soccer.
4. Was Founded in 1899
Originally named Boscombe F.C., Bournemouth has a history dating back to the turn of the 20th century. Most of it has been in the third and fourth tiers. Prior to its recent run, Bournemouth peaked in 1988-1989 with a 12th-place finish in the second tier.
The last decade has been a wild swing between trying times and unprecedented success for the club.
5. Managed by Eddie Howe
Despite being just 37-years-old, Eddie Howe has nearly a decade of managerial experience. Howe , who played for Bournemouth, first took the reigns of the club in 2009. Although he left in 2011 to chase a job at Burnley, who were then in the Championship, Howe returned home as the club has climbed to new heights.
As a result of all of his success, Premier League teams have been linked with Howe.
In 243 matches managing Bournemouth, Howe has 126 wins, 49 draws and 68 defeats.