Pick Of The Cherries - March 28th, 2002 - EDDIE DEPARTS FOR FRATTON PARK

Last updated : 29 March 2002 By Andy Burton
The move will not come as a surprise to fans as the Club has tried to sell Eddie on a number of occasions already this season. Notably to Wigan Athletic and Oldham Athletic. Eddie has been the centre of speculation, regarding his future, as the likes of Charlton Athletic and Southampton have been linked.

But is Bournemouth’s ex-manager, Harry Redknapp who has swooped for the 24 year old having already denied he was going to sign Eddie before the transfer deadline. As it is the deal was completed this morning (28/3/02). Speaking of Eddie, Harry is quoted in the Portsmouth Evening News as saying “Eddie is a very, very good player who is wasted in the Second Division”.

Speaking of the sale, Chairman Tony Swaisland is quoted as saying: “Eddie has always wanted to play at a much higher level and we felt it would be unfair of AFC Bournemouth to stop him from doing that. In addition to that everyone knows the type of financial position we were in so when a club offers you that sort of money you have to take it. Eddie has been at this football club for an awful long time and we knew he would move up one day. It's just a shame that we have been forced to let him go in the middle of a relegation battle”.

The money will also help Bournemouth clear the remaining debt to the PFA, which will see the transfer embargo lifted. With the current gloom over the collapse of ITV Digital, the money will ease the pain that is going to be caused as a result of that shortfall in income.

Supporters back at Dean Court will be disappointed to see Eddie Howe move on, especially given the current struggle against the drop to Division 3, but given the current financial state of the Club many recognise that the sale was inevitable, especially with all the speculation over the past few weeks.

Eddie is the first out-going money transfer since Mark Ovendale left for Luton Town almost 2 years ago.