Hundreds of angry CSKA Sofia supporters laid siege to the Bulgarian football union’s headquarters on Saturday, some throwing stones and smashing windows as the once mighty club faced an uncertain future.
“A thousand supporters demonstrated in front of the BFU headquarters, and around 60 or 70 of them committed acts of vandalism,” said Pavel Kolev, a spokesman for the BFU.
Protesters threw stones at the building, breaking windows and destroying the BFU’s neon sign, he said.
Shouting “Mafia!”, fans then briefly blocked traffic at one of Sofia’s main intersections before heading to the CSKA Sofia to vent their anger against the club’s owners.
CSKA, Bulgarian champions 31 times, have been struggling for some time with financial difficulties as well as with frequent changes of manager and poor results on the field.
With debts of between 12-17 million leva (6-9 million euros, $8-11 million) the club’s lawyer has said that the 65-year-old club may have to be declared insolvent.
National and CSKA legend Hristo Stoichkov, who became coach on June 5, has emerged as a possible white knight, seeking financial backing to create a debt-free “new” CSKA.
But the BFU on Friday rejected a proposal that the new club stays in the first division by merging with another club, meaning it would have to work its way up from the third