Relegation is a bitter pill to swallow, but the drop down into the second tier of English football could prove be a blessing in disguise.
Even if AFC Bournemouth had stayed in the Premier League, changes (big changes??) were needed, and were going to happen. The budget needed to be brought back under control and those on the periphery moved onto pastures new. Would this have happened if Eddie Howe had stayed? Will this happen with Tindall in charge? Jason Tindall seems to have started the process as we stay goodbye to Cherries stalwarts Simon Francis and Andrew Surman. Thanks for everything lads, never forgotten.
Staying up would have seen minimal movement. Ake was always on the move, and probably King and Wilson. But moves for Ramsdale and co would have been unlikely, but relegation has changed that. A reduced budget means that getting high earners off the wage bill is essential. Ryan Fraser, Brad Smith, Jordon Ibe, Andrew Surman, Artur Boruc and Simon Francis are no longer employees of AFC Bournemouth. This will save the club over £150,000k a week, but it is the opportunities that these departures will give to those further down the pecking order that will take the club forward. Opportunities that may have never – or taken a lot longer to happen – if we were still in the Premier League.
“This will save the club over £150,000k a week, but it is the opportunities that these departures will give to those further down the pecking order that will take the club forward”
A step down into the Championship will give those bright young things that Eddie Howe has been buying for the future the opportunity to step into the first team. Chris Mepham, Jack Stacey, Mark Travers, Lloyd Kelly, Lewis Cook, Dom Solanke, Sam Surridge have seen limited action in the Premier League, but with senior players heading elsewhere an opportunity awaits.
How often would Solanke get to start if Wilson and King stay? He is just one example of a player who will surely blossom in the Championship. All the aforementioned can gain precious experience without world class players crushing their confidence and microscopic analysis from the experts every time a mistake is made. It will also open up opportunities for the likes of Kilkenny and Ofoborh to force their way into the first team reckoning.
The step down to the second tier of football and restructuring of the club means Jason Tindall can put together a team that can get us out of the Championship and back to the Premier League without having to look too far beyond what he already has. By the time the 21/22 season starts we will have a team with another seasons experience under their belts, who will be another year older and better prepared for the challenge that the Premier League will bring. If we make it of course.