What a Difference 25 Years Makes: Congratulations to AFC Bournemouth   – by Rob Atkinson

Dean Court - Premier League ground

Dean Court – Premier League ground

A few days short of 25 years since Leeds United gained their last promotion to the top flight, AFC Bournemouth – the team we beat that quarter of a century ago to send us up (and them down) – have turned the tables, securing their own place at English football’s top table.

It’s all but mathematically certain – confirmation is a mere formality. For Bournemouth not to be a Premier League side next season, a ridiculous combination of results would be needed – it ain’t gonna happen. Bournemouth are Premier League – and how they deserve it.

The paradox apparent between the Cherries’ fantastic achievement this season, and the Whites triumph on that long-ago May bank holiday afternoon, is one of contrasts and similarities. Then, as now, we beat Bournemouth home and away – back in 1990, our victory at Dean Court secured the Second Division Championship for United; Bournemouth, meanwhile, were condemned by defeat to the drop into the third tier.

This season, it could easily have been Leeds going down as Bournemouth ascended to the Promised Land. Thankfully, things didn’t switch around quite that much. But surely, any Leeds fan watching Bournemouth’s stylish destruction of Bolton Wanderers tonight could not have failed to be impressed by and pleased for a small club that has never before played in the top league. It’s a massive thing for the South coast club – and accomplished in the most exemplary fashion.

Leeds United should take note; this is a small club, but a very well-run one. They have a manager in Eddie Howe who is a round peg in a round hole in that he is obviously happy where he is, benefiting from solid backing and very much in charge of team affairs. Bournemouth even have their own Russian tycoon bankrolling their progress – but this is no Chelski situation where there are billions to chuck around. The Cherries have done it on a budget, done it as a team, done it with style. It’s a blueprint for other clubs of ambition. Leeds can learn from Bournemouth, just as we should have learned from Swansea and Southampton before them.

Leeds United and Bournemouth have had very different seasons; Leeds may have won the battles between the two clubs, but the spoils of a season-long campaign belong very definitely to Watford (who beat us twice) and Eddie Howe’s ebulliently effective, stylishly efficient, irresistible AFC Bournemouth team.

Congratulations to the two promoted sides, and to whoever may join you via the play-offs. May we at Leeds United benefit and prosper by your examples – and may we join you up there sooner rather than later.

21 responses to “What a Difference 25 Years Makes: Congratulations to AFC Bournemouth   – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Well said Rob, we need to follow their example and maybe we will do as well.



  2. mad as hell manc white

    Here here rob well said,but………with these clowns runing things all thats left for us is to dream about such things.(some dreams do come true).


  3. martin moore

    My thoughts exactly. They were outstanding tonight. Played the game just the way it should. Really pleased for them. And nearly all lower league players which says oceans for their scouts…..
    Well done Bournemouth, could be a surprise package for Europa league!!!!!


  4. Many thanks. Very gracious post. Been following Bournemouth for 52 years and never ever dreamed this could happen to this club.


  5. Steven emsley

    I agree completely ,however deep down they will live the dream for only a short time span as the gates they get will not keep them in the top league. money rules the premier league more than any in the world and disaster for them will be high wages that they just can’t afford to pay.its a sad reflection of what British football has come to just look at Wigan and Blackpool ,I believe that if things do to change in the game that we all love for example the wider sharing of the TV revenues that the big boys get more will end up in with larger and larger debts


  6. Bournemouth and Watford are about to ram their snouts into Rupert’s trough.
    Their supporters can look forward to stadium developments, increased sponsorships and new exciting players.
    Their owners? Well, I don’t really know who they are. And that really tells a tale, doesn’t it?
    EVERYONE’s heard of the idiots WE’ve had at the helm: the vain fish-keeper; the cranky old beard, the suntanned whitened-teeth smiles holding employees prisoner; the bonkers manager-eater. All asset-stripping and squirrelling away as much cash as they could, behind their quirky smokescreens.
    Why can’t a huge city with just one club in it, a massive fanbase and world-recognised brand (sorry I live in Melbourne and I can guarantee nobody here would know that Bournemouth and Watford even HAVE football teams) attract a PROPER owner?


  7. White Aztec

    It`s fair and square that they got promoted. How long will they stay in the Premier?An easy six points for most next season.Just takes the English Premier league down .Soon it will be like the Scottish Premier, average gates of 15,000, no history,no chance, cannon fodder for the big guns.


  8. David Dean

    Very nice to read something positive for a change. Congratulations to them and to you Rob for acknowledging this amazing achievement. The first house we bought was in Dean Court, Oakwood about the time we became Champions of Europe – so I feel a connection tonight! They did play some great football and I was even impressed with Bolton to some extent. I love Redders and desperately want him to stay on but the writing is on the wall and if the clown does the unthinkable I am finished with them – but then I think about Jimmy and how proud I would be to have a black manager. I am so fickle – like all of us?


  9. We’ll done Bournemouth. A team with less than half our gate receipts and shirt sales goes up within FP it seems, our management by the suits in charge for the last twelve years are a disgrace.


  10. Well said Rob
    Congratulations Bournmouth.
    take note LUFC, look what happens when board, team and fans unite


  11. Thank you Rob!
    Lovely article full of good news for others and hope for us! Just hope the powers listen and give Redders back Thompson so that we can take our kids into the Promised Land next season!
    Best Wishes
    …and Many thanks for an entertaining year!


  12. Well done Bournemouth you deserve it . Just shows you what can be done with people in charge who care and work hard behind the scenes and who don’t just pay lip service to their loyal support then try to disrupt a club that was beginning to get somewhere. Watch and learn Mr Cellino . Congratulations AFC Bournemouth. Enjoy it…… M.O.T


  13. Good read Rob as always. For those of us Leeds fans who live in exile in the fair county of Dorset, their achievement will be good for the area, although its one of the worst grounds for getting to and even worse for street parking. Its also called the Goldsands Stadium now and I am sure it will be full every match next season. A great blueprint for a successful small club – why oh why can we not emulate it instead of surging from one crisis to the next?

    As a side note Rob I took my two sons (now either side of 20) to the Bernabeau last weekend for the Malaga match – what a stadium. We went to an amazing shop in the Parc Del Sol called Football Mania. It has dozens of large framed and signed photos all around the walls of all of the world’s footballing greats and one of Rooney as well ! It also carries team shirts from all of Europe’s top clubs from every country, and there, on a rail near the Juve shirts, was an Enterprise Insurance Leeds top. It made our day !!


  14. championwhites

    i wonder if they have a fan base who criticises the owner and players at every available opportunity?

    maybe they should have our motto and song because until we are MOT it should be banned.

    congrats to them


  15. wetherby white

    yep well done Bournemouth, but there not the only ones are they? Look at the success of Southampton, the continual promotion bids from teams like Ipswich and Norwich and in the past, Reading. Smaller clubs but well run, Starting every season with belief, confidence and settled teams, management and contented fans. Yes theyre not saddled with huge fan base expectaton and weighed down by the past but they just get on with it – every year.
    What does our future hold? It did look quite rosy until the season ending decision to sack Thompson. One little hint of hope and the morons who run Leeds United snuffed it out in an instant.


  16. I couldn’t name you one player of Bournemouths but, like Watford, they’ve scored a stack of goals and thoroughly deserve to enjoy the riches of the PL next season


  17. Gary liniker twerted that we “might have found the english special one” , hope he’s called that one right ,,, well done Bournemouth , enjoy


  18. Quality football played to give Bournemouth a well deserved win and promotion. It only seems like yesterday since we were the upstarts coming into the top league, what an adventure lay ahead. How the memories of those days have been sadly tarnished in recent years. I hope against hope that the whole club can recapture it’s mojo. Difficult decisions and days ahead. I live in skeptical hope 🙂


  19. milano whites

    You are totally spot on Rob and good luck to em. They are actually also fighting our fight, but doing a better a job of it with less resources (fans)…MO)T/YRA


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