Fans offer to donate blood to save Berbatov's former club | inside World Soccer


Fans offer to donate blood to save Berbatov's former club

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Several dozen supporters of Dimitar Berbatov's home town club, Pirin Blagoevgrad, have offered to donate their blood to raise funds for the cash-strapped Bulgarian club.

Pirin Blagoevgrad fans have offered to donate their blood to raise cash for the club
Pirin Blagoevgrad fans have offered to donate their blood to raise cash for the club

Pirin, for whom the Manchester United striker first played as a teenager, owe over €200,000 in unpaid player and staff wages, taxes and other debts.

Under league rules, the club, which located in a small town 96 kilometers from Sofia, is facing expulsion from the Bulgarian first division if they cannot clear their debts.

"It's a shame," Ivan Berbatov, Dimitar's father, told Reuters. "We still have the best youth academy in the country and look what's happening with our first team.

"But this is the reality. You can't expect to survive in professional football without money."

Pirin press officer Velislav Elezov added: "We're paying the price for the lack of good managers and healthy sponsors.

"Wherever we go, they say how talented our players are. On Saturday, we beat Europa League hopefuls Lokomotiv Plovdiv 3-1 in a pre-season friendly and a 15-year-old lad scored a goal.

"But we became a laughing stock and we still don't know whether we will play in the first division next season."

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