Salford City co-owner Paul Scholes has revealed that AFC Bournemouth are the Premier League side he is trying to replicate for his National League club.
It came as the former Manchester United player was talking of his long-term plan for Salford, and he believes that it is possible to do what Eddie Howe’s side have managed to do in climbing through the leagues and to the top.
Scholes revealed to ESPN FC: “You’ll probably laugh here, but I think about Bournemouth.”
“At the start, I’d say the ambition was to get to the Football League, but you’re not going to get to the Football League and be like, ‘That’s it everything’s done, we don’t care anymore.’ We want it to go as far as we possibly can and the model that Bournemouth have looks achievable to me.”
In 2008, Bournemouth were 10 points deducted for entering administration before going on to be relegated to League Two. They started the 2008/09 season with a 17 point deduction, but avoided relegation from the Football League in that season before they were promoted to League One at the end of the following season. Bournemouth won promotion to the Championship at the end of the 2012/13 season, reaching the second tier for the second time in their history. In the 2014/15 season, they won the Championship title, earned promotion to the Premier League for the first time in their history and currently sit 6th.
For Salford, they’ve been promoted three times in the last four seasons, and are eyeing a fourth this season with the club sat in 3rd behind Wrexham and Leyton Orient right now.
SALFORD CITY’S LEAGUE HISTORY (last 11 seasons):
2nd – North West Counties Football League Division One (2007/08) (promoted)
20th – Northern Premier League Division One North (2008/09)
11th – Northern Premier League Division One North (2009/10)
12th – Northern Premier League Division One North (2010/11)
13th – Northern Premier League Division One North (2011/12)
16th – Northern Premier League Division One North (2012/13)
12th – Northern Premier League Division One North (2013/14)
1st – Northern Premier League Division One North (2014/15) (promoted)
3rd – Northern Premier League (2015/16) (promoted via playoffs)
4th – National League North (2016/17) (lost in playoff semi final)
1st – National League North (2017/18) (promoted)
In March 2014, news broke of the proposed takeover of the club by former Manchester United players Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt.
Takeover was complete and the new ownership team were present at pre-season training in July 2014, at which Giggs suggested the consortium had ambitious aims for the non league club, with a target of Championship level football within 15 years.
In September 2014, the ownership team announced that they had agreed to sell a 50% stake in the club to Singapore–based billionaire Peter Lim, the owner of Valencia CF.
Since then the attendance has gone from 383 to 1,626 as well as redeveloping their ground at Moor Lane which was unveiled by Sir Alex Ferguson on the 19 of October, as the newly named Peninsula Stadium.