AS a Cherries fan since watching my first game at Dean Court as a five-year-old back in 1962, my initial reaction to Raymond Chilcott’s ‘They got us here’ letter (August 19) was to fully agree with him.

However, that was before I stood back, put aside the emotion involved and tried to put myself in the place of those players who have either left or are about to leave the club.

The fact remains that, whoever is or is not to blame, ‘Boscombe’ are now back in the Championship, do not have the financial clout they possessed as a Premier League club, despite the ‘parachute payments’ to be received, and have to look to cut costs accordingly.

Whatever else, the football club is a business and, with its reduction in status, has to find the best way of balancing its books, hopefully making a profit and being successful at the same time.

I certainly do not begrudge Nathan Ake, one of the finest players I have seen in a Cherries shirt, his chance to rub shoulders with some of the world’s top stars at Manchester City, and with the £41.5million fee, a £21.5m profit on the price paid to Chelsea, surely it has to be seen as excellent business.

Likewise the sale of goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, bought from Sheffield United for £800,000 and returning to his home city club to continue an impressive fledgling Premier League career with an £18.5m price received.

There is every chance that either or all of the likes of Callum Wilson, Joshua King and David Brooks could also decide to move on if the club decides any offer received meets their valuation of the player, although I desperately hope not.

Cruel though it may be, a professional footballer’s career at the top level can often be cut short by injury, loss of form or simply old age taking its toll.

The halcyon days of long-time club loyalists such as Bobby and Jack Charlton, Norman Hunter, Ron Harris and even Cherries’ own Simon Francis and Andrew Surman are waning fast.

Consequently, with the exception of Ryan Fraser, I am not sure that hurling “jumping ship” accusation helps anyone as Jason Tindall plots an immediate Premier League return.


Dark Street Lane, Plymouth