Howe steps down as Bournemouth manager after relegation

London, Aug 2 (IANS) Eddie Howe has left his job as Bournemouth manager, days after the club were relegated from the Premier League to the English Championship.The 42-year-old, who has managed the Cherries in more than 450 games across two spells at Vitality Stadium spanning more than a decade, made the decision together with club officials on Saturday, the club said in a statement.”Having spent a total of 25 years with the club as both a player and a manager this decision – made together with the club – is one of the hardest I’ve ever had to make,” Howe said in an open letter to supporters as put on the club’s official website,”However, although the affection and love I have for this football club will always remain, we collectively feel that now is the right time for the club to go in a new direction.”Bournemouth will always be in my heart, but I firmly believe that now is the right time for the club to have a change.”I have always ensured that every decision I have ever made as manager has been in the best interests of the club and its supporters, and this is no different.”AFC Bournemouth chief executive, Neill Blake, said: “Eddie Howe is synonymous with this football club, both as a player and a manager, and that will never change.”He is quite simply an AFC Bournemouth legend, having helped transform the identity and history of the club.”Myself, our owner Maxim Demin and the board’s gratitude and appreciation for Eddie’s achievements cannot and will never be underestimated.”A decision like this cannot be taken lightly, which is why this has been discussed together at length over the past few days. It is even harder given our close personal friendship.”–IANSdm/pks/vd

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