Dorset [UK], Aug 2 (ANI): Bournemouth on Saturday announced that manager Eddie Howe has left the club by mutual consent.

"AFC Bournemouth can confirm that Eddie Howe has left the club by mutual consent. The 42-year-old, who has managed the Cherries in more than 450 games across two spells at Vitality Stadium spanning more than a decade, made the decision together with club officials on Saturday," the club said in a statement.

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Howe penned an open letter to supporters in which he wrote that it was 'one of the hardest' decisions he has ever had to make.

"Having spent a total of 25 years with the club as both a player and a manager this decision - made together with the club - is one of the hardest I've ever had to make," the club's official website quoted Howe as saying in the letter.

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"However, although the affection and love I have for this football club will always remain, we collectively feel that now is the right time for the club to go in a new direction. Bournemouth will always be in my heart, but I firmly believe that now is the right time for the club to have a change," he added.

The club finished on the 18th spot in the recently concluded 2019-2020 season of the Premier League.

Bournemouth chief executive, Neill Blake, said Howe is "simply an AFC Bournemouth legend"

"Eddie Howe is synonymous with this football club, both as a player and a manager, and that will never change. He is quite simply an AFC Bournemouth legend, having helped transform the identity and history of the club," Blake said.

"Myself, our owner Maxim Demin and the board's gratitude and appreciation for Eddie's achievements cannot and will never be underestimated. A decision like this cannot be taken lightly, which is why this has been discussed together at length over the past few days. It is even harder given our close personal friendship. We wish Eddie well for whatever the future holds and hope he enjoys some much-deserved and well-earned time with his family," he added. (ANI)

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