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Invisible man gives Bournemouth their moment in the sun | David Conn


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Russian owner Maxim Demin is rarely seen but victory at home to Liverpool in the FA Cup would undoubtedly raise his profile

Liverpool's southward trek to the 12,000-capacity confines of Bournemouth's Dean Court ground seems to promise a classic FA Cup fourth-round hazard for a Premier League institution, playing a doughty small-town club dreaming of a glorious long shot. Yet a glance at where Bournemouth currently compete in the Football League will surprise many who instinctively associate the club with long-suffering crowds in the third tier and perennial financial wreckage.

The Cherries are in the Championship, only the club's second stint at that level in 90 years of Football League membership, the previous short visit being 1987-90, during Harry Redknapp's tenure on the first rung of his managerial ladder. Bournemouth have twice collapsed into insolvency since, first in 1997, then 11 years later, and after starting the 2008-09 season in League Two with 17 points deducted for failing to agree a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), just scraped clear of relegation to the Conference.

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