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Cherries: Mitchell confirms Howe approach (updated)
Howe, one of the most successful bosses in the club’s recent history, has always been the Cherries board’s first choice to replace Paul Groves, who was relieved of his duties last week.
Groves’s tenure was brought to an end following the club’s disastrous start to the season – with Howe immediately identified as the man to revive Cherries’ fortunes.
Howe earned hero status with Cherries supporters when he helped keep the club in the Football League in 2009 before leading them to an against-all-odds promotion 12 months later.
His exploits did not go unnoticed by clubs from a higher level and Cherries managed to fend off interest from Championship outfit Peterborough in November 2009.
However, despite resisting further attention from Crystal Palace and Charlton, Cherries reluctantly agreed to allow Howe to join Burnley in January 2011.
Although speculation suggested Mitchell had set his sights on bringing back Howe, the Cherries chairman only confirmed the official approach when contacted by the Daily Echo this evening.
And around an hour later – and after our story had spread like wild fire – Burnley posted an |article on their official |website which described the approach as “unwanted”.
Clarets chief executive Lee Hoos said in a statement: “Bournemouth have made an unsolicited and unwanted approach for manager Eddie Howe.
“Burnley Football Club would like to stress that no agreement has been reached and Eddie Howe is still Burnley manager. No permission has been granted for Bournemouth to speak to Eddie.”
Howe signed a three-and-a-half year deal at Turf Moor and took with him assistant boss Jason Tindall and fitness coach |Jon Dalzell, while backroom |staff Jason Blake and Des Taylor later followed.
Mitchell confirmed Cherries had tabled an offer of compensation for Howe and Tindall and said he hoped an agreement could be reached ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Leyton Orient to Goldsands Stadium. The proposed deal has been bankrolled by co-owner Maxim Demin.
Howe, who came through the youth ranks at Dean Court, made 311 appearances for Cherries, the popular defender twice winning the club’s prestigious player-of-the-year award.
His playing career was cut short due to a persistent knee injury, with Howe elevated to the coaching staff by former boss Kevin Bond in December 2006.
Sacked by the club’s former owners Sport-6 along with Bond in September 2008, Howe was quickly reinstated and was given a position in the centre of excellence.
He was handed his first managerial post on New Year’s Day 2009 – aged just 31 – with Cherries in deep trouble at the foot of League Two and masterminded an escape from relegation.
Despite Burnley’s attempts to keep their manager, Mitchell is hoping a deal will be concluded in time for the Howe and Tindall to be unveiled ahead of kick-off on Saturday.