Effigies of Peter Lim & Gary Neville burnt by Valencia fans angry about club’s La Liga performance
In football, fortunes change faster than the financial markets.
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Valencia football club’s Singaporean billionaire owner Peter Lim (net worth: S$3 billion) , chairwoman Chan Lay Hoon and manager Gary Neville were featured prominently in the celebrations of Las Fallas, the Spanish city’s festival of fire.
Their effigies were set on fire by frustrated fans on Friday, March 25.
— AS English (@English_AS) March 25, 2016
Las Fallas, an annual festival held every March, sees the Valencian people welcome spring where the hope is that something better will rise up from the ashes of the flames.
Here was how Peter Lim’s effigy looked like before catching fire:
Lim, the Singaporean tycoon who is eighth out of Singapore’s 50 richest, has come under increasing criticism in recent months as the England coach he appointed has failed to turn the La Liga club’s fortunes around since arriving at the Mestalla.
Neville, a former Manchester United and England right-back, who is now known for being a hugely popular pundit on television, has struggled with getting the club out of the rut, where it had been even before he joined.
Valencia currently sits in 14th position in the La Liga, and Neville is rumoured to be leaving in the summer.
His side won just 10 of his 28 matches since he took over at the start of December. Only three of those wins have come in the league.
Valencia is only six points above the relegation zone with eight matches left this season.
This turn of events is a stark reminder that football fans are as fickle as the markets.
In October 2014, Lim was greeted with a hero’s welcome for being the saviour, after he reportedly sunk some $306 million euros (S$530 million) to wipe out Valencia’s debt and promised another $40 million euros (S$70 million) to buy new players.
The 62-year-old’s pull on Valencia was evidently strong enough last August to induce the Spanish top flight side to put up an SG50 logo as a tribute to Singapore’s Jubilee year.