AFC Bournemouth is set for a shock move from its home in Kings Park.

The Premier League club is in talks with the council to identify a suitable site for a new stadium as early as the 2020/21 season.

The news was announced by chief executive, Neill Blake, yesterday.

He said the club would not be "held to ransom" by the owners of the 11,000 capacity Vitality Stadium over the purchase price and that council planners had “made it clear they would not welcome a significantly bigger stadium in Kings Park, meaning we are severely constricted in what we can achieve on this site with regards to size, capacity and facilities".

The club sold the ground to Structadene in 2005 on a sale and leaseback arrangement when it was in financial difficulty.

Mr Blake said: “One recurring theme has been the Vitality Stadium, its limited capacity and its future.

“Earlier this year, the club submitted an application to redevelop the South Stand, which is due to go before planners later this month for approval.

“It has always been the board of directors’ preferred option to buy the stadium back from Structadene and develop a Premier League-standard stadium on the current site at Kings Park.

“However, following discussions over a number of months with both Structadene and Bournemouth Borough Council’s planning department, it has become apparent that this will not be possible.

“We are not going to develop a stadium we do not own and will not be held to ransom over a price to purchase the existing site.”

Mr Blake added: “We feel we have no other option but to find a new site.”

Since gaining promotion in 2015, the club has joined the richest football competition in the world. TV broadcasting rights for the Premier League this season are £7bn.

Mr Blake said the board and shareholders have given great thought to meet not only the needs, but also the expectations, of supporters.

“It is crucial that we have a capacity that meets the ever-growing demand for tickets, that we are able to provide access for disabled supporters that meets new government guidelines, that we can improve and increase our hospitality offering and that we have a stadium that is used throughout the year by the community, and not just on matchdays.

“The shareholders want to create a legacy of AFC Bournemouth becoming an established Premier League club in a stadium which is befitting of our status, and we believe that building a new stadium on a new site will allow us to deliver that.”

Last season, manager Eddie Howe spoke of his sadness that so many committed Cherries fans could not now get match tickets.

A new stadium could see a capacity of up to 25,000, more than double that of Dean Court.

David Pearl, chief executive of London-based Structadene, told the Daily Echo: “If AFC Bournemouth want to move, that is their decision. If they can find a better location, I wish them well.”

He said the club tried to buy the freehold a year or ago but the two sides could not agree terms.

Mr Pearl said there were around 15 years left on the lease and he had not given any thought to what he would do with the stadium if the football club left.

“That’s a long way off and and I am always happy to sit round a table. Jeff (Mostyn) knows where I am.”

Lifelong Cherries’ fan and the council’s cabinet member for planning Cllr David Smith said: “This has come as a big surprise to me. I thought they were still aiming to develop at King’s Park and buy the stadium back.

“It will be interesting to see what sites there are in the borough because it’s very limited. There has been talk for years about a site near the airport but that is obviously in Christchurch.”

He added: “I would be very sad to see us move. King’s Park is a lovely place to watch football but I understand the football club has to move forward and progress.”

Bill Cotton, executive director at Bournemouth council said: “Like everyone, we are extremely proud of the achievements of AFC Bournemouth and we recognise the importance of the club to both local residents and fans.

“We will continue to support the club and do all that we can to help in their search for potential sites. We will be seeking to ensure that the needs of the club are met alongside those of the local community, and within established planning policy.”