Italian job for business community

SUMMER FUN: Guests at the AFC Business Al Fresco Evening enjoy the sunshine on the balcony of Bubbles Champagne Lounge at the club’s Vitality Stadium

The first event to be hosted by AFC Business in conjunction with a match staged by AFC Bournemouth has taken place at the club’s Vitality Stadium.

Almost 70 business people attended the AFC Business Al Fresco Evening before the Premier League club’s penultimate pre-season friendly against Italian Serie A giants Lazio.

They enjoyed the chance for networking in style in Bubbles Champagne Lounge before dining and then enjoying the evening match – with a Dorset cream tea served at half time.

Cherries Chairman Jeff Mostyn welcomed guests by emphasising the importance of the very close working relationship AFC Bournemouth enjoys with so many local and regional businesses.

He said: “The club is at the very heart of the business community and we feel our partnership with so many forward-thinking and vibrant companies and organisations has played a vital role in our progression.”

The Cherries’ new signing from Club Brugge, the Dutch winger Arnaut Danjuma was introduced to the gathering and took part in a Q&A session with Sky Sports presenter Jamie Weir, who will be working with AFC Bournemouth this season.

Amy Marks, the club’s Partnerships Manager, said: “This was an excellent event which enabled a great many people to see AFC Bournemouth play against international opposition – a pre-season friendly was the ideal time for this.

“We felt it important that as the commercial arm of AFC Bournemouth we should be able to offer AFC Business members the chance to see the team in action, something which is not often possible due to size constraints of Vitality Stadium.

“Such was the interest in this event from right across the regional business community that we will certainly consider staging another one in the future.”

Lazio, managed by Simone Inzaghi, are two-time Champions of Italy and have they have won the Coppa Italia seven times, the Supercoppa Italiana four times and both the Cup Winners’ Cup and Super Cup.

Although they haven’t won the Italian title for 19 years, they provided strong opposition for Eddie Howe’s side, with the Biancocelesti running out 4-3 winners in an entertaining game, notable for the use of VAR which ruled out one Lazio goal.

However, home supporters were able to see new signing Jack Stacey in action for the first time, as well as many of the younger squad members, as the Cherries prepared for the start of the Premier League season.

AFC Business, the free to join business club with almost 1,800 members, is the engine for all the club’s commercial activities.

It was launched in 2009 and gives members exclusive offers at AFC Bournemouth, access to events and is a great chance to meet local businesses.

AFC Business’ main partners are Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dorset Search & Rescue, Global Reach, Hill Osborne and Strategic Solutions.

The next AFC Business event is the September Breakfast at Vitality Stadium, being held on Wednesday, September 4.

For further information about the business club, email your details to Aysia Smith at