Embattled Owners of FC Levski Offer Club's Shares to PM, Offer Is Declined
May 13 (BTA) - The embattled owners of FC Levski offered
the club's shares to Prime Minister Boyko Borissov on Wednesday
but the offer was declined. The shares were broght by renowned
journalist Sasho Dikov to the government HQ where he was met by
Sport Minister Krassen Kralev and the head of the government
press office, Sevdalina Arnaoudova, to tell him that he should
find somebody else to give the shares to.
FC Levski has been in dire financial straits since its patron
and former majority owner, Vassil Bojkov, was charged in January
2020 with evasion of more than 700 million leva in gambling
licensing fees, money laundering, extortion, bribery, murder,
rape, leading an organized crime group since 2014, trading in
influence, and unlawful possession of cultural assets.
Once considered to be the wealthiest person in Bulgaria with
assets worth between 1.5 and 3 billion leva, Bojkov lost this
gambling business after the legislature banned privately
operated lottery companies, and turned ino a fugitive from
justice, refusing to return to Bulgaria from the United Arab
Emirates where, after three weeks in prison after being arrested
on an Interpol Red Notice on Bulgaria's request, he has been a
free man with resident status.
Last week basketball coach and die-hard Levski fan Konstantin
Papazov said that Bojkov was going to mail him the Levski shares
and make him the club's owner. On Tuesday, Bozhkov and his
partner Georgi Popov, who is the present Levski majority
shareholder and is also in the UAE fleeing Bulgarian justice,
said that they were going to endorse the Levski shares to "the
person who is responsible for the demise
of the club, Boyko Borissov".
Bojkov's Nove Holding has blamed Levski's situatuion on "the
deliberate and unlawful destruction of the companies which
provided its financing", by the government of Boyko Borissov. In
a bTV interview by phone earlier in May, Bojkov argued that
the PM used the prosecution service, the State Agency for
National Security and the National Revenue Agency as "baseball
bats" to force him out of business.
Journalist Sasho Dikov said that Bojkov asked him to take the
shares to Borissov in a phone call. He tried to contact the
government spokesperson but as she did not answer his calls, he
decided to personally go to the Prime Minister's office.
Spokesperson Arnaoudova said that the whole situation with Dikov
bringing the shares is humiliating and insulting. The Sport
Minister added that the Prime Minister cannot be the owner of
Levski or any other football club.
He suggested that the right thing to do is assign them to the
club's fans. "They showed that they have clout and are not going
to allow the club to fail," said Kralev.
He also said that once the fans enter in possession of the
shares, the government will seek ways to help the club.
The Club Z e-zine reported that after Borissov refused to accept
the shares and after a text message from Bojkov, Dikov took the
shares to Levski's Gerena Stadium but what decision will be
made there remains to be seen. LN/RI