Bournemouth owner Bill Foley wants to bring Bournemouth into competition across Europe. The Cherries have never played in European competition. They only played their first season of top-flight soccer in the 2015/16 season. However, that is not stopping the ambition of the American Foley, who took over at the club in December 2022. He called that acquisition a bargain compared to launching an MLS franchise.
Speaking to The Athletic, Foley spoke in detail about the future of the southern club. Much of the discussion was surrounding Bournemouth’s bid for a new stadium. As of now, the Vitality Stadium is by far the smallest in the Premier League. With a capacity of just over 11,000, Dean Court has 6,000 fewer seats than Brentford’s stadium, which is in second.
However, part of the reason for developing the stadium or building a new venue is Foley’s ambition to get the club on the grandest stage.
“We’re not afraid of change,” Foley said. “We want to make things better. I want this team to play in Europe. Our ultimate goal is not to worry about avoiding relegation but to move way up the table.”
Part of that comes from developing the squad. Bournemouth’s best finish in the Premier League is an impressive ninth. Yet, even with the addition of the Europa Conference League, that would not lead to play in Europe.
“We have to be a place where players want to go, where agents will say this is a place you want to go. Not a stepping stone but a destination.”
Multi-club model could be key for Foley in Bournemouth reaching Europe
What better way to improve the team than reaching into Europe itself? Bill Foley is going to own 40% of Lorient in Ligue 1. Yet, he has no shame in stating that Bournemouth is the jewel of his multi-club crown.
“We don’t want [Lorient co-owner] Loic Fery to sell all of his best players. We want him to have the opportunity of reaching Europe. But if a player wants to move on, I don’t want him to move to Liverpool or Arsenal — I want him to move to us.”
Manchester City and RB Leipzig are two of the best at profiting from this mentality. Not only are players at a massive discount, but there can be consistency across how a team plays.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Action Plus
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