'Good to see they're in touch': Fury at football boss as his stunning Russian wife flaunts $182k Bentley despite club money woes
Russian beauty Alesya Blake, the wife of 41-year-old club chief executive Neill, posed with the Bentley she had been gifted by him in her latest glamorous snap on her Instagram account, which she was forced to lock as news of the luxurious purchase spread.
Players and staff sacrificed wages at the club as the pandemic hit football earlier this year, with the Cherries' hierarchy receiving fierce criticism as financial figures revealed that pay for their directors had risen by 876% between 2013 and 2019.
"Warms the cockles of the heart to see Bournemouth's CEO buy his young Russian wife a £140,000 [$182k] Bentley as an early Christmas present," wrote a football finance expert on Twitter.
Warms the cockles of the heart to see Bournemouth CEO buy his young Russian wife a £140,000 Bentley as an early Christmas present. Good to see those in charge of the British Virgin Islands owned club, that used the furlough before fans complained, are in touch with the fans #AFCBpic.twitter.com/UjVGbz7yN8— PriceOfFootball (@KieranMaguire) November 29, 2020
Harsh mate. We’re all suffering in this pandemic! Poor girl would have got a £300k Rolls if it weren’t for Covid, times are tough for us all— Clive 💎 (@bear_simply) November 29, 2020
Why, sir, it warms the very cockles of my heart to read such a charitable Dickensian tale such as this!— The Global Obsession (@GlobalObsession) November 29, 2020
"Good to see those in charge of the [tax haven] British Virgin Islands-owned club, that used the furlough before fans complained, are in touch with the fans."
Supporters rowed over the picture of Blake with the car, which had a private numberplate bearing her first name.
"The disconnection between those above and us on the ground is just too vast - it's unreal," said one, while another added: "If you have a banger on the driveway and can’t afford your bills, you should be furious."
What's the issue here🤷♂️. He's spending his own money on a car for his family. What a ridiculous tweet— Adam Somers (@AdamSomers11) November 29, 2020
I will be then. He used taxpayers cash (i.e yours and mine) to furlough staff this year when he’s absolutely minted and runs the club through a tax evading structure). Get it yet, Adam?— Chappers (@ilfordchap) November 29, 2020
Ive been on furlough since this started and not sure when I will be able 2 go back 2 work. Just not gonna cry over a rich man buying a car 4 his wife ffs. Get over it— Adam Somers (@AdamSomers11) November 29, 2020
An angry respondent claimed: "He used furlough, then bought the Bentley. So in effect, we collectively bought his missus this car."
Others drew a distinction between the extravagant present and the fortunes of the club, which is owned by Russian businessman Maxim Demin and was relegated from the Premier League to the Championship at the end of last season.
"Tricky one for me, this," said one. "While I agree with the sentiment, this bloke should be able to buy his wife what he likes with his money. I suppose the daft bit is [her] announcing it to everyone."
I thought everything at Bournemouth was a fairytale...— Nathan Crook (@callcrookie) November 29, 2020
Absolutely spot on. The romance of Bournemouth’s rise to the premier league is one of the biggest myths in football. That said, she looks a worthwhile investment.— Wallingford Paul (@PaulWallingford) November 29, 2020
She's taller than Peter Crouch.Might be worth chucking her on when they're chasing a game with five minutes to go?— Alfonso Alonso (@alfalonso) November 29, 2020
Little is known about owner Demin, although Sky Sports has reported that he owns a petrochemical firm and another company based in the UK, with assets valued at more than $130 million in 2015.
The reserved investor's wife gave a team talk to the club's players at half-time during a game in 2012, a year after he initally bought half of the club.
Former manager Eddie Howe, who was among the staff to take a paycut this year, once described him as "caring deeply".
In a rare announcement on the club's official website after Bournemouth dropped out of the top flight, Demin said he wanted to "create new memories".
not quite sure what the purpose of his tweet is. Gaslighting the “plucky little Bournemouth” crowd I presume. And the comments about his wife being young and Russian seem completely superfluous to what is already a superfluous story.— Ben (@RampantRico) November 29, 2020
This is why the country is ran by morons, people that don't care how their taxes are spent because "its not my problem" If he uses the furlough scheme (same as any other business) he should be paying into the British tax pot not just employing British people.— Mr Wright (@mr_wright_54321) November 29, 2020
Loads of wealthy people buy expensive presents for their partners. No issue with that at all. Putting it on social media having used the furlough and when asking for financial assistance for the club shows at best a lack of awareness at worst a total disregard.— PriceOfFootball (@KieranMaguire) November 29, 2020
“I am committed to taking this club back to the Premier League as soon as possible, to a level I believe we belong at," he told fans.
“AFC Bournemouth is built on unity. Whatever challenges this club has faced historically, togetherness has always been its greatest strength."
Bournemouth's annual accounts showed that the club's highest paid director was paid around $2.5 million in 2019.
Former assistant boss Jason Tindall - another member of staff to help the club during its apparent financial worries - has guided Bournemouth to second in the Championship table with almost a third of the season gone.Also on rt.com 'Nasty insults': Stepdaughter of Zenit boss Semak blocks fans over abuse as latest loss fuels rumors Russian faces chop