Rugby: New Lions chairman confident club can bounce back

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First published in Sport by

NEW chairman Phil Sinkinson insists Bournemouth are capable of getting back to where they “belong” without breaking the bank in their chase for a National Two South return.

Sinkinson, a 63-year-old retired diplomat, stepped up to the top role after being elected at Friday’s annual general meeting following a year as vice-chair to predecessor Denis Eveleigh.

His reign begins on the back of a testing season which saw Lions relegated under former Scotland captain Budge Pountney, who stood down at the end of the campaign for personal reasons.

Backs coach Crispin Cormack, who was drafted in during Pountney’s tenure, agreed to take the top job last month with the remainder of the existing coaching staff staying on, including head coach Paul Dunne.

Bournemouth’s prospects of maintaining fourth-tier status without a playing budget was a constant topic of debate during their two-year stint, but new man Sinkinson was steadfast in his belief that the club could push for a swift return while maintaining their amateur status.

Asked whether the club’s no-pay policy would be reconsidered, Sinkinson (pictured) told the Daily Echo: “It won’t change at the moment because, quite frankly, we can’t afford to pay players and that will be the case for the foreseeable future.

“I have nothing against paying players but would only sanction it if we were on a sound enough financial footing.

“We have a couple of irons in the fire in terms of commercial partnerships but we will be looking to consolidate (the club’s financial position) for the next two to three years.

“On the pitch, we will look to do as well as we can and push for promotion with a view to getting back to where we belong, but within that the philosophy of the club and our aim to play fast and open will not change.”

Meanwhile, Sinkinson reiterated the importance of the club’s up-and-coming youth section.

“We are a community club and will continue to be, our academy and mini sections are very important to us.

“We hope to build on the tremendous synergy between the teams at every level of the club,” he added.

Bournemouth also passed unanimously the motion to incorporate its business and assets in line with Rugby Football Union guidelines.

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