Howe to take a break af­ter leav­ing Bournemout­h

Man­ager plans to spend time with fam­ily be­fore re­turn­ing Hughton among the early con­tenders to re­place him

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Total Football - By Jeremy Wil­son

Ed­die Howe plans to take a break from foot­ball af­ter leav­ing Bournemout­h, the club at which he spent 25 years as player and man­ager, on Satur­day by mu­tual con­sent.

Al­though Crys­tal Palace are among those who ad­mire his work and could even­tu­ally of­fer him a route back into the Premier League, Roy Hodg­son signed a one-year con­tract in March and is plan­ning for next sea­son af­ter another gen­er­ally suc­cess­ful campaign in which his team beat Bournemout­h twice.

Howe had one year left on his con­tract and, while it is un­likely that Bournemout­h would have sacked their most suc­cess­ful man­ager, there were also con­cerns from their side over re­sults dur­ing the past 18 months. They hope to move quickly in hir­ing a new man­ager and Chris Hughton, who mas­ter­minded Cham­pi­onship pro­mo­tions at New­cas­tle United and Brighton, is among the early con­tenders.

Ja­son Tin­dall, Howe’s long-time as­sis­tant, has so far stayed and the club are hop­ing to avoid mass up­heaval be­hind the scenes.

Howe has been man­ag­ing con­tin­u­ously at Bournemout­h and Burn­ley since he be­came the Foot­ball League’s youngest man­ager at the age of 31 and, al­though now only 42, has al­ready taken charge of nearly 600 games.

Talks had been go­ing on be­tween Howe and Bournemout­h, no­tably owner Max Demin and chief ex­ec­u­tive Neill Blake, since Thurs­day and it was even­tu­ally de­cided on Satur­day that he would leave.

Al­though Howe had fre­quently cast doubt on his fu­ture over re­cent weeks, and may well have left even if Bournemout­h had stayed up, his de­par­ture still sur­prised staff.

Howe aims “to en­joy some qual­ity time with my fam­ily” – he has two young sons – but is ex­pected to re­sume his man­age­rial ca­reer when suf­fi­ciently recharged.

Al­though rel­e­ga­tion with Bournemout­h rep­re­sents the first sig­nif­i­cant set­back of his man­age­rial ca­reer, his suc­cess in tak­ing the club from 23rd in League Two to three pro­mo­tions and then five sea­sons in the top flight rep­re­sents an ex­tra­or­di­nary body of work.

The Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion rated him a fu­ture Eng­land man­ager in 2016 but backed away from hir­ing him over con­cerns that it would have been too early in his ca­reer.

Howe has since been in the frame for var­i­ous jobs, in­clud­ing those at Arse­nal, Tot­ten­ham, Ever­ton and Southamp­ton, but never looked se­ri­ously likely to leave Bournemout­h.

Howe’s pre­vi­ous suc­cess in keep­ing Bournemout­h up dur­ing four sea­sons in the Premier League had prompted ques­tions as to whether he had re­al­is­ti­cally taken the club as far as he could, but he was en­thused by plans to build a new sta­dium and train­ing ground. It may be sig­nif­i­cant that both projects have since been paused and, while land for the train­ing ground has been pur­chased and plan­ning per­mis­sion has been granted, he will be hugely dis­ap­pointed to have left be­fore that more con­crete legacy has been re­alised.

Harry Red­knapp, who man­aged Howe as a player and was the first man­ager to lead Bournemout­h even into the se­cond tier of English foot­ball, was shocked by his friend’s de­par­ture. “I felt sure he would look to get the club back up next sea­son,” he said. “He took a club strug­gling in the third tier into the cham­pi­onship – which was a mir­a­cle – and then into the Premier, which I thought was im­pos­si­ble to do. Then for five years he had us play­ing in­cred­i­ble foot­ball, beat­ing ev­ery­body at dif­fer­ent times – it has been amaz­ing.

“The sta­dium only holds 11,000 peo­ple, they had no right to get in the Premier League. For 100 years they were never out of di­vi­sion three or four.

“No dis­re­spect but it would be like Rochdale, or clubs like that, com­ing into the Premier League. It has been in­cred­i­ble.

“It will not be an easy job to fol­low him.”

Rest pe­riod: Ed­die Howe wants to recharge his bat­ter­ies and spend time with his young fam­ily af­ter tak­ing charge of nearly 600 games

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