Howe says it is the “hardest” decision he has ever had to make after four promotions from League Two to the Premier League across two spells.
By Lyall Thomas
Last Updated: 01/08/20 10:16pm
Eddie Howe has left his job as Bournemouth manager by mutual consent.
After the Cherries’ relegation to the Championship, Howe said ending his 25-year association with the club was “one of the hardest (decisions) I’ve ever had to make”.
“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,” he said, in an open letter to the club’s supporters.
“Bournemouth will always be in my heart, but I firmly believe that now is the right time for the club to have a change.
“I have always ensured that every decision I have ever made as manager has been in the best interests of the club and its supporters, and this is no different.”
The 42-year-old was responsible for managing Bournemouth from League Two right the way up to the Premier League for the first time in the club’s history in 2015.
He left the club to join Burnley after taking the Cherries into League One in 2010 but returned to the south coast to lead them into the Championship in 2013 and the top-flight two years later, where they had firmly established themselves until this season.
The club’s chief executive Neill Blake said: “Eddie Howe is synonymous with this football club, both as a player and a manager, and that will never change.
“He is quite simply an AFC Bournemouth legend, having helped transform the identity and history of the club.
“Myself, our owner Maxim Demin and the board’s gratitude and appreciation for Eddie’s achievements cannot and will never be underestimated.
“A decision like this cannot be taken lightly, which is why this has been discussed together at length over the past few days. It is even harder given our close personal friendship.
“We wish Eddie well for whatever the future holds and hope he enjoys some much-deserved and well-earned time with his family.”
Howe – a former Bournemouth player who played for the club over 300 times – leaves Bournemouth after managing over 450 games and achieving a highest ever league finish of ninth in 2017.
Harry Redknapp: Howe worked miracle at Bournemouth
Harry Redknapp told Sky Sports…
“It was disappointing in the end but it was a miracle what they achieved. People forget they were in the third and fourth division for a hundred years and suddenly they’re in the Premier League.
“The capacity of the stadium is 11,400 – it’s just been incredible what they’ve achieved. For five years they weren’t in a relegation battle, which is amazing.”
‘Howe gave everything to Bournemouth’
Sky Sports News reporter Mark McAdam reflects on the departure of Howe and looks at the profile of manager who could replace him next season in the Championship…
“Obviously this season they were relegated which came as a big disappointment and when you looked at Eddie Howe’s demeanour and the way he acted after that disappointment and the way he spoke to the media, he said it was the most he had ever hurt whilst he’d been associated with the football club.
“We know how passionate he is. He’s a manager who works tirelessly for Bournemouth and when it comes to being married to a football club, Eddie Howe is absolutely married to Bournemouth. He gave absolutely everything to that job and gave the fans and players some of the most memorable times, not just in recent history but in the club’s entire history.
“Bournemouth are in uncharted territory. Before 2014 they had only been in the Championship in the late 1980s. Having been in the Premier League for five years though the calibre of manager they could now attract would be very different to what they would have been able to attract some years ago.
“I think the most important thing is getting someone who understands the community spirit of the football club, understands what it means to the fans and how important it is to play the right style of football. A manager who can come in, knows the Championship and a manager who can play the right attacking style of football and someone who can galvanise the club.”