Stoichkov to become CSKA Sofia president

Former European Footballer of the Year Hristo Stoichkov will take over as the president of the 31-time Bulgarian champions CSKA Sofia, a lawmaker of the ruling GERB party said on Saturday.

"Yes, I can confirm that Hristo Stoichkov will be the new president of CSKA," Emil Dimitrov, who is also a president of the second division team Chavdar Etropole, told local media.

Stoichkov, who is still a Litex Lovech coach, is considered the best Bulgarian footballer of all time but is also known for his aggressive manner on the field and frequent arguments with referees and other players.

He refused to confirm the move.

"When I'm working somewhere, I respect people I work with," Stoichkov told reporters. "At this point, I'm entirely focused on Litex and my commitment and loyalty to the club are the same."

Flamboyant Stoichkov led Bulgaria to the semi-finals at the 1994 World Cup in the United States - the Balkan country's biggest achievement in its football history.

Stoichkov, 46, who won three league titles and four national cups as CSKA player in 1980s, is expected to confirm his new post at a news conference later on Saturday.


Dimitrov said he and several "very rich businessmen" will take a controlling share in CSKA after reaching agreement with the Sofia-club owners.

"I would like to say that the new CSKA will not have a single majority owner as the shares will be divided," said Dimitrov.

"The idea is to have the Spanish model of management, like in Barcelona and Real Madrid and the fans will also have the right to hold shares."

"But there'll be a news conference on Wednesday and then you'll learn many interesting details."

CSKA, the most successful Bulgarian club, reached semi-finals in Europe three times between 1967 and 1989 but have struggled to revive their former glory in recent years and have not won the domestic title since 2008.

The Reds, heavily in debt, have been handed a transfer ban until August 31 by the Bulgarian Football Union over irregular signing of the Madagascar international Anicet from Chernomorets Burgas.

Last week, CSKA were lambasted by the local media after they were beaten over two legs by Slovenia's Mura 05 on the away goals rule after a 1-1 draw on aggregate in the Europa League's second qualifying round.

After "the most shameful failure in the club's history", CSKA have sacked nine players, including captain Todor Yanchev, citing lack of effort and professionalism.