Bournemouth set to be Premier League's smallest club

Eddie Howe has masterminded their charge. Credit: PA

Bournemouth will effectively win promotion from the Championship to the Premier League if they beat Bolton at home on Monday.

How have a club on the south coast with a capacity of 12,000 found themselves on the verge of becoming a competitor in the world's wealthiest league?

Nicknamed the Cherries, Bournemouth were in England's fourth tier as recently as 2010.

Since 2003 they've faced the prospect of extinction and two severe points deductions, which almost cost them their place in the Football League.

Five years ago the club were battling to stay in the Football League having been sanctioned to the tune of a 17-point deduction.

In order to save them that season they appointed club stalwart and the league's youngest manager, 31-year-old Eddie Howe.

The youthful coach kept them in the division and ensured they would continue to rise from then on.

Howe took them into League One in 2010 and got them into the play-offs in the first season back in the second tier, before departing for a year in charge of Burnley.

Players like Matt Ritchie have fired them upwards. Credit: PA

Lee Bradbury replaced Howe at the helm, with his most infamous moment in charge being when the Russian owner's wife took the half-time talk, despite a lack of 'football intelligence' and ability to speak English, but the club have become more professional since then.

When things didn't work out personally for Howe, he return to Dean Court to re-energise the Cherries.

In 2011 Russian Maxim Demin became the club's co-owner, with his financial support aiding the club's success.

From this point on healthy investment has been put into the squad. IN the last two years they've spent a combined total of over £5million on strikers Tokelo Rantie and Callum Wilson.

In an attempt to boost their promotion charge in January the club lodged a number of bids, up to £3.5million, for Birmingham teenager Demarai Gray, but had them turned down by their Championship rivals, but it was a sign of intent.

Callum Wilson cost more than £2million. Credit: PA

As well as the the big money signings, Howe has incorporated the likes of Harry Arter, a midfielder bought for £4,000 from non-league Woking, Matt Ritchie came from Swindon and has now scored 23 league goals in 90 appearances on the left-hand side of midfield.

Bournemouth haven't forgotten their lowly days in the fourth tier; local hero Steve Fletcher is still at the club where he made over 700 appearances, working as head of recruitment alongside his former team-mate Howe.

Despite their success, Bournemouth can only boast an average attendance slightly north of 10,000, more than 6,000 below the league average, and hope to expand the Goldsands Stadium to 18,000 in the future.

Howe was recently named Football League Manager of the Decade for the work he has done with Bournemouth and looks set to crown it with a triumph, which seemed like an impossible achievement until recently.

The Goldsands Stadium only holds 12,000. Credit: PA

Alongside the fairytale are some overhanging questions about owner Demin. The Russian, a petrochemicals trader, has a house near Poole, but lives in Switzerland and does not speak to the media.

His UK business, Wintel Petrochemicals, is owned by a trust based in Guernsey and little is known about how he made his fortune.

Demin's money has been significant for the club, especially considering the fact they recorded a £15.3million in 2012-13 season, but they have managed to pass all Financial Fair Play checks recently.

Bournemouth look set to be displaying their colours in the Premier League next season. Credit: PA

Regardless of the legitimate concerns, from outside the club, surrounding the ownership, ascending to the Premier League will be the culmination of careful planning by Howe and the board.

Whether their success can continue in the top-flight is an unknown, but their structure and articulate manager will give them the best chance of survival in the Premier League.