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Tributes to chairman Eddie Mitchell as he stands down from AFC Bournemouth
CHERRIES chairman Eddie Mitchell – who has stepped down and sold the family stake in the club – has been credited with "changing the face” of Bournemouth.
Cllr John Beesley, leader of Bournemouth Council, said: “AFC Bournemouth’s recent success has been great for the town and Eddie Mitchell has played the major part in making that happen.
“The club has gone from financial difficulty to a state of stability and success and much of that is down to Eddie. I’m sure everyone would like to say a big thank you to Eddie for his hugely successful work as chairman and wish him all the very best for the future.”
Deputy mayor and Cherries supporter Cllr Phil Stanley-Watts, said: “It’s a real surprise to hear that he’s going.
“He has invested so much time and effort into the club. He is a controversial figure, but to my mind there’s no denying that [investment]. I’d like to pay tribute to him for the energy he has put in, and he has changed the face of the town. He kept his promise that training facilities would be available to the public too.”
However, the councillor acknowledged that Mitchell wasn’t “everyone’s cup of tea”.
“He hasn’t always consulted residents living near Kings Park when he should have done,” he said.
Littledown and Iford ward councillor Lawrence Williams said: “I wish the person who takes over the very best, and hope that they will consult with local councillors and residents a little more than he did.”
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Before his involvement with the Cherries, Mitchell was known as chairman as Dorchester FC and for his company Seven Developments, which specialises in luxury seaside homes.
Its high-profile buildings include the £3.5 million Thunderbirds-themed house in Western Avenue, Branksome Park. In February, he revealed proposals for a modern restaurant and bar within the main car park at Sandbanks beach in Poole.
He is also behind the spruced-up Dean Court unveiled to fans in the summer of 2010, which includes extensive redecoration to many areas of the stadium, refitting the supporters’ bar on the middle floor, putting in balcony seating for 40 in one of the restaurants, work to the car park and a new club shop.
Many expressed shock that Mitchell was leaving his beloved Cherries, with Elaine Findlay, of the Friends of Kings Park, telling the Daily Echo: “I’m really shocked, especially given the assurances and promises he has made over the last two or three years.
“Why now, when the team have just gone up a division and made a record signing?”
Eddie Mitchell acquired a controlling interest in Cherries when he joined a consortium headed by Adam Murry, which bought the club in June 2009.
Mitchell and wife Brenda have both agreed a deal to sell their respective 25 per cent shareholdings in the club to Demin.
The couple’s youngest son Josh will also resign from the board, while Dave Roberts will step down as associate director.
Mitchell’s son-in-law Neill Blake and eldest son Tom Mitchell will remain at the club in their respective positions as chief executive and director of football.
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