A BOURNE SAVIOUR

Big In­ter­view with Jeff Mostyn, the man who kept Cher­ries in busi­ness

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Sam El­liott

HAVE you ever sat there and found your­self wish­ing you could wit­ness the mo­ment when an or­di­nary, de­serv­ing fam­ily find out they have scooped the jack­pot on the lot­tery?

Well, this is shap­ing up to be AFC Bournemouth’s Na­tional Lot­tery mo­ment. Five balls are out, and their num­bers match up. We’re wait­ing for that fi­nal drop – and we’ve all got a front row seat at what could be­come one of the best foot­ball sto­ries for decades.

Vul­tures

The Cher­ries came close to pop­ping only as re­cently as 2008. Not once, as it hap­pens. The club were within 24 hours of clo­sure three times in a six-month pe­riod.The liq­uida­tors were wait­ing in a ho­tel round the cor­ner, the game-hunt­ing as­set strip­pers eye­ing up their prize as the vul­tures cir­cled.

Jeff Mostyn wrote the cheque that kept Bournemouth, rust­ing in the Foot­ball League’s base­ment di­vi­sion, in ex­is­tence back in 2008.

He’s got too much class to say it, but the sim­ple fact of the mat­ter is that the six-fig­ure sum he signed off could yield a nine-fig­ure re­place­ment. Well over £130m, they’re say­ing. And the Pre­mier League haven’t sold the over­seas tele­vi­sion rights yet.

The Pre­mier League has never been more of a temp­ta­tion, the £5.1 bil­lion broad­cast deal has sent English foot­ball into an­other strato­sphere.

Busi­ness­man Mostyn was the man that told the des­per­ately fear­ful fans that ev­ery­thing was go­ing to be all right. With nine games to go, he can al­most taste the pay­back.

“It would be the great­est fairy­tale since Hans Chris­tian An­der­sen wrote his last one!” smiled the chair­man, who only got in­volved ten years ago af­ter be­ing pestered for in­vest­ment by then-manager and close friend, Kevin Bond.

“I’ve fallen in love with the club,” says Mostyn. “When I said yes, per­haps I didn’t know what I was get­ting my­self into back in 2005 but, at the mo­ment, I’m burst­ing with pride. Burst­ing. It’s amaz­ing, it’s a me­te­oric rise and I’m so thrilled to have played even a small part.

“Am I start­ing to dream? Of course, but I am also a re­al­ist. It is a fan­tasy, when you think of where this club has come from in the last five years you would prob­a­bly have to be a fan­ta­sist to think this club could ever even get into the Cham­pi­onship.

“You would be ly­ing to say the re­cent TV deal an­nounce­ment doesn’t mean any­thing – but we are not fo­cused on the fi­nances. Every­body dreams about the big pay day and, yes, it’s a big one. But I think about it for Maxim (Demin, owner). He is ded­i­cated, com­mit­ted and has spent an aw­ful lot on this foot­ball club, but it’s not about the money - if you start to fo­cus on the fi­nances, you lose fo­cus on where you are.

“I have been in­volved with the club for ten years. I'll be hon­est, that is the du­ra­tion of my sup­port. I'm a Manch­ester boy - City, of course. I have been a life­long fan of the Blues but I only got in­volved with Bournemouth be­cause my best friend was the manager and that I tend to be eas­ily per­suaded!

Dream

“We have had a taste of it, the at­ten­tion and the A-list stars. Liver­pool came here in the League Cup and it's whet­ted our ap­petite, I sup­pose. For­get the fi­nances, that's the per­sonal dream as far as I see it. It's not about

my lit­tle treats, it’s the big­ger pic­ture.

“I would like to think in the years I have been here, I have done my part in keep­ing the club afloat but I hope we do it for Maxim, the fans and those peo­ple who were there when it re­ally mat­tered.

“To take Bournemouth to the Eti­had? My God, that would be un­be­liev­able. To bring them down here? Even bet­ter! Could you imag­ine? Shak­ing the Sheikh’s hand and show­ing them around our lit­tle place, spe­cial wouldn’t even come close. Two games against City – it’s stuff dreams are made of re­ally.

“It’s so small here I would prob­a­bly have to hold their suit jack­ets as there’s nowhere to hang them!”

Make no mis­take, the tiny club’s dream with a back­drop of their ba­sic 12,000 ca­pac­ity sta­dium is close to be­com­ing a re­al­ity. Ad­mit­tedly still seen as the un­der­dogs but in a di­vi­sion im­pres­sive manager Ed­die Howe joked no-one wants to win, they ar­guably boast the least chal­leng­ing of the ti­tle-chasers’ run-ins.

Their foot­ball is prob­a­bly the best of them all, and their manager? Well, Mostyn be­lieves they have a num­ber one in their camp, re­gard­less of the out­come of the ti­tle race.

“Can we do it? I hon­estly be­lieve we can,” he said. “Last Fri­day at Ful­ham re­as­sured me.The goals had dried up, but they are back. Peo­ple thought the wheels had come off, but they haven’t.

“I think many of the neu­trals fol­low­ing this want a smaller club up there. If we won pro­mo­tion, make ab­so­lutely no mis­take, we would be the small­est club to ever play in the Pre­mier League, and prob­a­bly ever would be.

“We feel the Pre­mier League would be en­hanced by a team like ours, and a club that have come from the lower ech­e­lons of the game that would know what it means to be in that com­pany hav­ing come from where we have.

Best

“Ed­die Howe is the best manager in the Foot­ball League. Call me biased, call me what you want to, you’ll strug­gle to con­vince me oth­er­wise!

“Be­fore last week’s games with Wolves and Ful­ham, we were on a bit of a poor run. Ed­die was asked the ques- tion re­cently about be­ing five games with­out a win, what was Plan B? I love Ed­die be­cause he is so ar­tic­u­late. He an­swered ‘why would we need a Plan B when Plan A has taken us to the top of the di­vi­sion?’

“Some man­agers start to lose their cool when things aren’t go­ing right, but Ed­die is dif­fer­ent. He has stuck to his guns and we con­tinue to play what I de­scribe as thor­ough­bred foot­ball.

“Am I wor­ried we won’t be able to keep him if we don’t go up? No. What­ever will be, will be – he’s been with the club since he was ten. He is ded­i­cated to us, he is as com­mit­ted as any­one and wants to ful­fil his dream of man­ag­ing in the Pre­mier League.

“I be­lieve he will, and I be­lieve it will be with AFC Bournemouth.”

IM­PRES­SIVE: Ed­die Howe

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images & TGSPHOTO

START OF THE CLIMB: Bournemouth’s play­ers cel­e­brate with Jeff Mostyn af­ter win­ning pro­mo­tion from League Two in 2010, and chair­man Mostyn in more for­mal pose

RED-HOT: Brett Pit­man cel­e­brates in last week’s 5-1 romp at Ful­ham

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.