Bournemouth owner Bill Foley has insisted Gary O’Neill was sacked to offer the membership a “new identity” as he outlined his plans to move the membership to Europe under new boss Andoni Iraola.
Despite being in charge for a fifteenth season in charge, O’Neill was relieved of his duties earlier this month and replaced by the hugely respected Spanish boss Iraola.
Speaking to TalkSport about the selection, Foley said: “I’m a big fan of Gary O’Neill, he came on after starts and stops in January and then the team started to build from there.
“It wasn’t about Gary, it was about giving the club a new identity.”
“Gary will land on his feet. We weren’t happy to do it, it was just something we felt we had to do for the team. The team comes first.
Gary O’Neill sacked as Bournemouth manager despite Cherries staying in top flight
Owner Bill Foley claims he replaced O’Neill with Andoni Iraola (pictured) to give the club a “new identity”
“We just felt we had to change the style of football we wanted to play, we had to change management.”
He also claimed that Iraola was previously a target for the club and therefore had to act quickly after the former Rayo Vallecano boss received “significant offers” from elsewhere.
“His contract was up and we felt if we were going to do something, now was the time to do it,” he continued. “Give him the opportunity to add the players we need in certain positions based on his decisions.
“Our plan is to go with this coach, support him, and if it means that at the end of next season we will be relegated and we have made a mistake.”
Foley has discovered success elsewhere in his sports activities property portfolio 12 months after his NHL group’s Vegas Golden Knights won the Stanley Cup.
It came on schedule, six years after the American promised to win the match in six years.
When asked if Bournemouth will get into European football, Foley added: “I’m sure of it, but we still have to be patient.
“We finished 15th last season and I think maybe we would have done a bit better if we hadn’t lost four games.
Foley (left) plans to bring cherries to Europe in recent years
He believed they would have done better than last year’s 15th place finish
“We have a terrible start to the program, people will have to be patient because we have some difficult games to start.”
Bournemouth will face Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea, Brighton and Arsenal in the Premier League before the start of September.
He continued: “If we can move up a few places every year, then we can drive Europe. We can do it. More infrastructure will be needed. We need to do something about our stadium, whether it’s building a brand new stadium or improving the current one.
The owner went on to debate a brand new training facility that will be available in 2024, however made it clear that there will even be funding for the membership of the workers, as he claimed that the membership will “indicate the players you’re not associated with in the previous Bournemouth”.