Rostislav Murzagulov, the chairman of the board of directors of Russian Premier League football club Ufa, has quit just one day after publishing pictures from a raunchy photo session with sports presenter Ulyana Trigubchak.
Murzagulov was seen cuddling up to Trigubchak – a former cheerleader-turned-presenter at local hockey club Salavat Yulaev – in a series of images posted on his Instagram account on Monday.
Blonde blogger Trigubchak, who is either topless or clad in lingerie in most of the snaps, is pictured perching on Murzagulov’s knee and seductively raising her leg across him in one image, while another shows the tattooed and bearded Ufa director with his arm wrapped around her waist.
Speaking to Russian outlet Sport-Express on Monday, Murzagulov had said he was braced for the consequences from the photoshoot in his home Republic of Bashkortostan in central Russia, which has a large Muslim population.
“I understand that in conservative Bashkiria [Bashkortostan] many will condemn me for this photo session,” he said.
“I’m almost certain that I’ll cease to be the head of Ufa.
“However, this is a smart decision. Now those fools who offer to give up football in Bashkiria will see how popular this sport is in our republic.
“If they are morons, let them understand that my photo session has such consequences.
“I don’t want to dig the grave of football, but if anyone thinks that the problem is with me, then OK.
“Let them find another manager who is photographed fully dressed.
“But the main thing is to keep football. I won’t be lost. I have no problem with job offers.”
Sure enough, just one day after the pictures were posted Murzagulov announced he was walking away from his role at the Russian Premier league strugglers – who finished 13th in the table last season, narrowly avoiding relegation.
However, the 43-year-old did not reveal if he had jumped or was pushed.
“Well that’s it, freedom with a clear conscience,” Murzagulov wrote on Instagram, sharing a picture of himself shirtless while holding balloons in the form of chains.
“Power and politics clearly don’t suit me…”
Also sharing pictures of a hand-written letter of resignation, Murzagulov added sarcastically: “My sincere congratulations to everyone who waited for so long! Choose a new reason for all the troubles of Bashkiria.
“I’m looking for a job. No, it would be more correct to say – I’m looking for new motivation in life.”
Somewhat tangentially, Murzagulov launched into a diatribe taking aim at the inequalities in the world, referring to the rich and powerful as ‘goats’ – a common Russian insult.
“Commanding everyone is not motivation for me. I don’t understand at all how one person can command millions,” he wrote.
“He can’t be a million times smarter. Someday everything will change, but so far in the world, 28 goats own the state of half of the planet.
“Power is concentrated in much the same way. I would sleep for 20 years… Does anyone have such a pill or a powder?”
Ufa have yet to respond formally to the announcement from Murzagulov, who had only held the position since August 2020.
In a follow-up interview with Russian outlet Sport24, Murzagulov did not mention the steamy photo session but hinted that he wanted to “shake up” the team with his departure.
“Even without me, FC Ufa lives on,” he said.
“[Former manager Rashid] Rakhimov left the club and said he did it in order to shake up the team. I’m doing it for exactly the same [reasons]…
“Now we need to carry out a set of formal measures, which I’m now doing.
“There are job offers, but so far there is no understanding about my future. This is not the time to talk about it.”
Photoshoot partner Trigubchak, 28, continues to boost her online profile as one of Russia’s hottest sporting hostesses.
A former KHL ice girl, the blonde stunner had graduated to present a show for local club Salavat Yulaev.
Trigubchak first made major headlines in 2019 when she pledged to do a topless photoshoot if her team reached the KHL playoffs.
When they did, she duly honored the pledge – much to the delight of fans.
Trigubchak went on to begin her own YouTube show, ‘Totality’, which she launched by dressing up in a skimpy bodysuit styled on the video game ‘Mortal Kombat’.
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“I’m not ready to talk about my personal life, but Rostislav is really a close person to me,” Trigubchak said this week in her own comments on the revealing photoshoot with Murzagulov.
“And it so happens that people do joint photo sessions… We came up with the idea jointly.”