Bournemouth have put plans to build a new stadium for the summer of 2020 on hold, admitting the club were “overly optimistic” in redevelopment ambitions.
The Cherries had been determined to move from the Vitality Stadium, which with a capacity of around 11,500 is the lowest in the Premier League and is leased from a property company.
At the end of 2016, plans had been put forward to redevelop Kings Park, which already includes the club’s training pitches and an athletics stadium.
However, on Thursday morning, Bournemouth – promoted to the Premier League for the first time in 2015 – released a statement announcing a rethink on the investment in a new ground, with the short-term focus firmly to remain on supporting the team.
“There is a strong vision for the future of AFC Bournemouth, which will take time, patience and the necessary financial resources to create,” a club statement from shareholders and board of directors read.
“This vision revolves crucially, and as a priority, around a team that is stable, established and competitive in the Premier League.”
The statement continued: “Part of the club’s vision includes, in time where resources allow, to build first class facilities for the squad, staff and supporters.
“We have demonstrated our commitment to this with the purchase of land for the development of a new multimillion-pound training ground.
“The board acknowledge we were overly optimistic that a new stadium would be completed by the summer of 2020.
“Any future developments will be undertaken around a healthy financial strategy that does not take away our ability to perform at our strongest levels on the pitch and risk what has been achieved to date.
“With regard to the developments, when we have a reliable timeframe we will make those facts known.”
Bournemouth have enjoyed a positive start to the new Premier League campaign, currently seventh in the table, and travel to Watford on Saturday.