AFC Bournemouth owner Maxim Demin has conducted his first interview since becoming involved with the Cherries.
In November 2011 Russian Businessman Maxim Demin purchased Jeff Mostyn’s 44% and Steve Sly’s 6% share of the football club and became then AFC Bournemouth chairman Eddie Mitchell’s 50-50 partner.
During his 22 months as co-owner, Demin never spoke to the media, but was often seen at Dean Court as the Cherries pushed for promotion to the Championship.
On 2nd September 2013 Demin purchased the remaining 50% shareholding of the club from the Mitchell family, with Eddie Mitchell stepping down as chairman, with Jeff Mostyn instated as the Cherries chairman.
Demin has still not spoken to the English media, but has now conducted his first interview as part of an AFC Bournemouth feature on Russian television.
The video attached is a Russian TV broadcast, sent into AFCB Vital by one of the websites readers and they have also included a brief translation.
The programme was broadcast a few weeks ago on NTV Plus, which is the Russian equivalent of Sky Sports; it’s a pay to watch cable broadcaster. They cover English football a lot.
Obviously, it’s all in Russian, but here’s the gist of what was said. Read it in conjunction with the film. It’s not a word for word translation, but the main ideas are clear. There are a few dotted gaps where I didn’t understand enough of what was said:
Mostyn: He (Demin) has just changed the club. Our aims changed when he arrived.
Howe: Ten years ago we had no infrastructure, no facilities and not enough players. Everything has changed.
Long standing fan Sheila Eaton: I dreamed of us having a Russian owner; something between Abramovich and Gaydamak, if we were lucky. The reality has exceeded our dreams.
Commentary: The English town of Bournemouth. A Mediterranean resort located on the English Channel. Quiet, sunny and warm and absolutely not thinking about sport. The local football club was around the basement of Division Two, without any illusions or aims. To survive was enough….. Sun, air and water were the most important things. All the rest was nothing. One day came the Russian businessman, Maxim Demin. He bought a house here and then went to watch football. When he saw the players and the fans he decided to change everything. The club was inexpensive. In a few years it has lifted itself from the very bottom to the edge of the Premiership……. Demin gives no interviews to the local media and wants minimum attention for himself. The fans still wouldn’t recognise him if they saw him.
AFCB Vital user zzzzzz: Have you ever seen him? I haven’t met him.
Sheila: It seems he was at the stadium once.
Journalist: He’s a man who can run by the sea in the morning. Such sea air! You won’t find his photo on the Internet. No interviews. No articles. Nevertheless, he agreed to an interview for a Russian TV company. So here he is: meet Maxim Demin, owner of Bournemouth Football Club……
Demin: Bournemouth was a rustic club. An unambitious, backwoods club without ambitions or aims. No normal commercial department, financial department, no normal restaurant. Everything was at a fairly low level.
Commentary: Construction of the club began with essential details. The club attracted money from local companies, reconstructed the stadium, and the appearance of a club shop. Every month the range of range of merchandise widens and now it looks just like the best Premier League club shops, but there is one thing different.
Barry Evans, Club Shop Manager: I want to show you our club legend, Steve Fletcher, animated. He’s wearing the kit which he wore on his last appearance. Press the button…and he runs and runs; much faster than the real one did!
Commentator: ……It’s unlikely Fletcher would be such a favourite if Bournemouth’s results had been more modest. First they had to find a trainer; the unbelievably young Eddie Howe. He was a club legend as a player and has become the same on the trainer’s bench. At 31 he took the team over when it was really struggling at the bottom of Division Two. At 36 they are dreaming of the Premier League.
Howe: The age thing has never bothered me. I was very young when I started coaching. But I didn’t see it as a special pressure on me. I paid attention to hard work. As for my principles. Yes, I’m not very experienced, but I had an idea how we should play and where I wanted to take the team.
Commentary: …West Ham have happily loaned Jack Collison and Steve Henderson. Bournemouth have signed South African international, Tokolo Rantie, from Swedish club, Malmo, for a record two million pounds. The club has signed famous Irish international, Ian Harte, and a player whose best years were spent in the Premier League at Portsmouth, Richard Hughes.
Hughes: This season could be a turning point for Bournemouth. The first time in the Championship for a very long time. It’s taken us a bit of time to adapt. It’s a very difficult league. Every game is hard. But I think we are adapting quicker than some others. It is a very competitive league.
Commentary: As well as this unexpected success, the fans got a further surprise in the summer.
zzzzzz: It was weird the way it happened.
Sheila: It was a pinch yourself moment. I didn’t want it to end.
Demin: It was suggested to us that we could invite Real Madrid. We said, let’s do it! We asked, onwhat conditions. They said they’d come to have a look. They liked Bournemouth. They liked the stadium. They liked the atmosphere. We agreed everything and they came.
Commentary: On joining the Championship Bournemouth needed to increase income through their stadium. Firstly by additional income from ticket sales. The conditions of Financial Fair Play made it a necessity. Whereas visiting clubs’ fans earlier numbered 200-300, there are now more like 2-3,000…………And then Real. All the tickets sold out in a remarkably short time.
Mostyn: ……..One of our fans had his arm broken by a Ronaldo shot. That was publicised around the world………
Commentary: The game ended as expected – Real’s first team beat Bournemouth’s first team 6-0. But the club achieved it’s main aim: it raised the image of the club in the media, and won the faith of fans. People are now talking of a bright future.
Sheila: (Speaking about the Premier League) Earlier we didn’t really believe, but now I do believe it’s possible. I really do. Do you?
zzzzzz: Everything is possible because other such clubs have done it, and I guess that if if Mr Demin wants it enough, then he can make it happen.
Howe: I’ll take the long term view. We very much want to reach the Premier League but every club in the Championship thinks the same way…………….Maybe we can go further, but I think it will take a bit of time.
Mostyn: I have to think about 3 or 4 different audiences…….; that’s for the Russian audience, this year, I want to impress them to show how ambitious we are. And for the English audience – this year!
Demin: I think everything is possible. It’s difficult to say whether we will, or not. But in any case, we need to aim high.
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