Bournemouth have “achieved the impossible” after effectively sealing promotion to the Premier League, according to chairman Jeff Mostyn.
In 2008 the Cherries were five minutes away from being liquidated before Mostyn wrote a £100,000 cheque to save the club.
The following season they were close to going out of the Football League after starting in League Two on -17 points. “Six years ago we were on the edge of abyss,” Mostyn told BBC Radio Solent.
Seven years on, Bournemouth find themselves on the verge of playing in English football’s top flight for the first time.
The 3-0 victory over Bolton took the Cherries three points clear of third-placed Middlesbrough with just one game left. Only defeat, a Boro victory and a 20-goal swing on the final day of Championship action can deny them a place in the top flight.
We could not afford a first-class stamp’ Mostyn has been through the highs and lows with the Cherries and said the achievement was a moment for everyone at the club to savour. “We’ve climbed right through the leagues and into the Premier League.
It’s just incredible. I don’t think anybody, not even the craziest optimist, would ever have thought this was possible,” he said. “The reality is we are going to be rubbing shoulders with football’s glitterati next season and we’ll do ourselves proud.
“For me this is achieving the impossible. For all football fans, this is the perfect story and hopefully it gives hope for every club that you can come back from oblivion and get to the Premier League. “I am so proud of everybody and my total respect to the owner, the chief executive and all the staff. When I first arrived, we could not afford a first-class stamp.”
‘The club deserves its moment in the sun’ For manager Eddie Howe, the achievement will see him join an elite band of managers who have guided a club through the Football League and into the Premier League.
The 37-year-old has only been a manager for six years but he has transformed the fortunes of the club, while Russian billionaire owner Maxim Demin has done his bit off the field.
And Howe paid tribute to Demin, the players and the supporters who helped save the club at several points over the past two decades.
“This club was on its knees six years ago, we had nothing,” Howe told BBC Radio 5 live. “A group of supporters put their money in their pockets to keep the club alive and they are reaping the rewards. It is the club I watched as a kid, the club that gave me an opportunity in the game as a player and a manager.
“It shouldn’t be them thanking me, it should be me thanking them. It is a family club and deserves its moment in the sun. “It is never a journey we expected to go on but through some hard work and some investment we managed to do it. The players have been magnificent and it is an achievement they deserve.”
Bournemouth will now battle Watford for the Championship title on the final day of the season with the Hornets holding a one-point advantage over the Cherries.
And Howe says after allowing his players a night out to celebrate on Monday, they will be doing everything they can to win the league.
“After this moment when we’ve celebrated we’ll back the team to try to go to Charlton and win,” Howe told BBC Radio Solent.
“It would mean everything if we can do it. It’s not in our hands, but we’ll prepare in the right way and once we’ve got this celebration over we’ll get back out on the training pitch.”
‘We will survive in the Premier League’
The Cherries will head into next season’s campaign as huge underdogs but Mostyn says that will not faze Howe or his side.
“I think we’ll survive,” Mostyn said. “We are going up with Watford and we’ve got four points from them this year, we beat QPR last year and we should have got more points from Burnley. “The way we play football we’ll enhance the Premier League and I think of any team that has been promoted in recent years, we have as much chance as any of staying up.”