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AFC Bournemouth: Mitchell keen to lend a hand to Poole Town's stadium bid
FORMER Cherries owner Eddie Mitchell wants to help nomadic non-league outfit Poole Town finally put down some firm roots in Dorset.
Mitchell, who sold his share in Cherries last month, has offered his support to the Dolphins as they bid to find a permanent new home.
Property developer Mitchell has already floated his proposals during discussions with Poole chairman Clive Robbins and vice-chairman Chris Reeves.
The Dolphins, founded in 1890, have been blighted by ground problems ever since being kicked out of Poole Stadium – their home for 61 years – in 1994.
And the club has faced a constant battle to find a new stadium despite putting the town on the map by climbing from the Hampshire League to the Southern League in the space of nine years.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Echo, ex-Cherries chairman Mitchell said: “I am always interested in new ventures. I have done my apprenticeship in football and Poole Town’s stadium situation is something I would like to help with.
“I have met with Clive and Chris and we have discussed the various ways forward. I believe my expertise could help them find somewhere sooner rather than later.
“I am always open to a challenge and would very much like to get involved in this one.
“I have already done a bit of work on it and have made some tentative enquiries. I have even gone as far as drawing up a design for a new stadium. Then, it would be a case of finding the right spot, getting the planning permission and building it.
“I haven’t got involved with purchasing any land or getting involved with the club in any other way. Nothing would stop me supporting Bournemouth every week because I love it too much. This is what I do for a living and I have been toying with a few ideas for Poole for a few weeks.”
Bournemouth-born Mitchell, who was reared in Parkstone, declined to discuss possible venues for a new stadium and all but ruled out a return to Wimborne Road, which is leased by Borough of Poole to Stadia UK.
Mitchell added: “I don’t think the leaseholders would entertain the football club going back there. It would be an ideal location and might suit Poole Town but I think it is a dead duck.
"I know the club has plans for a new stadium in Bearwood but it is a tough road to go down. They have wandered around a bit and it is a struggle to get the facilities they need where they are now.”
Poole are understood to be substantially short on funding for the Bearwood project and have recently been given planning permission to improve their facilities at Tatnam.
Dolphins vice-chairman Reeves said: “We have had so many false dawns over the years that we don’t get excited too quickly these days. But we have had conversations with Eddie. They have been very positive and we are looking forward to seeing how they progress.”
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