Located on England’s south coast, Bournemouth play in the 11,700-seat Vitality Stadium, the second-smallest venue in the history of the Premier League. But while their home park is small, their ambitions are not. The Cherries earned their place in the top-flight on their own merit, winning last season’s Championship for their third promotion in six seasons, all of which have come under the direction of 37-year-old manager Eddie Howe.
“It’s one of the great Cinderella stories in the history of English football,” NBC Sports lead PL play-by-play announcer Arlo White said.
Bournemouth are also relatively new to success, having played in the bottom two divisions of English football until 1987.
“When you look at the scale of where they’ve come, to where they’re just about to go into arguably the best league in the world, it’s an astonishing achievement,” said former Arsenal defender Lee Dixon.
The past three decades haven’t been sailing faster than the wind, either. The club was nearly liquidated in the 1990s, but the club’s then-chairman raised enough financial support from the club’s fans to save the team.
“There’s so many clubs the same size as Bournemouth that, quite frankly, some of them have gone out of business,” said Robbie Mustoe, the NBC Premier League analyst. “It really has been a very, very short, successful period for them.”