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AFC Bournemouth: Cherries will try to keep agents' fees to a minimum vows boss Eddie Howe
Howe, who was appointed as manager in October, was speaking after the league today published its findings for transactions between July 1, 2012 and June 30 this year.
Cherries’ eye-catching figure – a substantial rise on the £187,509 the club spent during the previous 12 months – was the highest in the third tier by more than £400,000 and ninth overall in the Football League.
The £688,666 outlay was made up of 30 new registrations/transfers, 11 updated contracts, 12 cancelled contracts and 14 loan deals.
The period saw Cherries embark on a squad revamp as Howe, on his return, quickly sought to trim the club’s wage bill while also improving his team with new additions – a process which proved key to Cherries’ promotion triumph.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Echo, Howe said: “Most people will assume that you pay agents when recruiting players but, in this case, I think there is quite a mixed bag.
“There are some fees that will also be associated to players leaving the club. Several players have left the club within the past year, terminating contracts early and saving the club money in the long term. Players will never terminate their contracts unless they feel it is in their best interests, just like the club.
“Sometimes, it is a long drawn-out process and the agents are heavily involved in the negotiation process, whether players are joining or leaving.
“Whenever we recruit a player or pay an agents’ fee, a lot of thought goes into that process and it is certainly not done without the due care and attention needed.”
Among the new recruits were top young prospects Matt Ritchie and Ryan Fraser – purchased for a combined sum believed to be in the region of £800,000. Howe also secured the cut-price signing of Brett Pitman and the free transfer of Ryan Allsop.
During the period, Cherries negotiated a number of contract cancellations with the likes of Lorenzo Davids and David James, both signed by Paul Groves during 2012-13, leaving the club.
Howe added: “A lot of the fees were paid prior to me returning to the football club. It is a big sum of money, we are aware of that and we will endeavour to keep down agents’ fees.
“But we believe there have also been some good purchases for the football club’s long-term future.”
Coventry City were League One’s next highest spenders with £252,256, while Championship outfit Blackburn splashed out in excess of £3.5million.
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