Matt’s Monologue: Follow Bournemouth’s Lead

Go back in time six years. On April 18th 2009, Bournemouth beat Chester City (as they were then) 2-0 at the Deva Stadium in League Two.

That result lifted the Cherries four points clear of the relegation zone, having been deducted a whopping 17 earlier in the season for going into administration.

To even be outside the bottom two was an incredible effort, and as it turns out they went on to win their final couple of matches, securing a 21st place finish, nine points clear of danger as Grimsby and Luton were relegated.

Fast forward to the present day, April 18th 2015. Now, Bournemouth are playing Sheffield Wednesday. In the Championship.

In fact, not only are they in English football’s second tier, but just look at where they are in the table!

They have had a sensational season in the division and are in with an incredible chance of reaching the Premier League for the first time in their history.

It really is a stunning turn around over a six year period, one I am sure very few Bournemouth fans could have predicted.

There are a few factors behind their success.

One is the manager. Eddie Howe, over two spells, has enjoyed an incredible time in the hot-seat, winning two promotions either side of a period in charge of Burnley.

Another is the ownership. Maxim Victorvich Demin, a Russian businessman, is the man with the money, having bought the club back in 2011.

Perhaps he is the most important figure. An article in the Guardian, publish back in January, predicted that he had ploughed in “a lot more” than the £7,000,000 shown by club documents.

That is a serious amount of cash. Perhaps, you could argue, that it is the price you have to pay for success in this day and age (and then once you get into the Premier League, it is even more).

But plenty of Championship teams have spent a lot more than this and flopped miserably. This in turn shows how crucial it is to bring in the right players who blend together nicely and buy into what the management team and coaching staff are telling them to do.

So a lot of credit must go to Eddie Howe for the way he has transformed Bournemouth from League Two no-hopers to Premier League maybes.

The point of this piece is to show that it can be done. With ambition from the top, supporters can see their club’s fortunes completely turned around.

I think most Rovers fans would agree that in Mark and Nicola Palios, Tranmere have that, and they have spent a fair bit of money since arriving at Prenton Park. They have spoken with passion about the latest project in their careers – getting the Super White Army back on track. Turning them, once again, into a Deadly Submarine.

Now, obviously key to all their plans is staying in the Football League. If things stay as they are, that is not something the club will be tasting next season.

But if Tranmere manage to avoid the drop this year, then they should look no further than Bournemouth for the benchmark of what can be achieved.


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