If you watched the Premier League opening weekend, you may have come across a strange word: “Bournemouth.”
First things first: This word is not pronounced ‘born-mouth,’ America. But there’s probably more you need to know about the newest arrival to England’s top flight.
AFC Bournemouth (the AFC was just so it could top the table last week before anyone had played a game) faces Liverpool next week. Since Bournemouth has never been in the first division, I don’t think it has ever met Liverpool. Actually, here’s the grand total of what I knew about the club before researching for this in-depth research article:
Since then, I’ve learned a lot. For instance, that the Bournemouth tourism board has a weird sense of humor and decided to rip off an ad for Visit California.
In that video you might have recognized Harry Redknapp. And the chap with the umbrella at the end is Alex James, the bass player from Blur. he lives down there now and when he’s not playing bass for Blur, he’s an artisan cheese maker. One of his cheeses is called Blue Monday, after the New Order song. So that’s nice.
As for the actual team: Bournemouth has never played in the top division in England despite being around since 2890. In 2008 it nearly went out of business, but was saved in the good old fashioned way. That’s right, it was purchased by a Russian oligarch named Maximum Demin, which sounds like a Bond villain.
Since then the tiny club has worked its way up from the fourth tier of English soccer and won the Championship last season to earn promotion to the Premier League.
The ground holds a massive 11,700 people — about 8,000 fewer than the next smallest venue in the Premier League, Swansea City.
The manager is a former Bournemouth player named Eddie Howe. He’s younger than me, which is annoying. After I learned that, I stopped researching.