The football club “CSKA – Sofia” of businessman Grisha Ganchev has been using the state stadium “Bulgarian Army” since May 1 this year, without paying a penny to the state. The “free period” for CSKA – Sofia will last at least until March 1 next year. In this way, in the worst period of the economic crisis, the private club of the businessman Ganchev will, in practice, receive interest-free state aid in the amount of over 520,000 BGN, which he will pay only after the end of this term.
The “state aid” for CSKA is part of the secret annex to the contract for the lease of the “Bulgarian Army” stadium, which the former Minister of Youth and Sports Radostin Vassilev refused to reveal even to the deputies of Democratic Bulgaria in the last National Assembly. The annex, which Tribune.bg has, was solemnly signed on May 5 this year at the Ministry of Youth and Sports in the presence of Minister Vasilev and Grisha Ganchev’s son – Danail.
“The parties agree that in connection with the preparation for the Project and the Notarial Transaction, including the necessary corporate and other decisions and approvals, the due date of the Stadium Rent payments from the TENANT to the LESSOR for the period from 01.05.2022 to the earlier date between the date of the Notarial transaction and 01.03.2023 (each of them referred to as the “Date of conclusion of the transaction for the Project”), is changed, and the due date for the amount of rent for this period is due from the TENANT to the LESSOR within a period of 5 (five) working days from the occurrence of the earlier date of those specified here above (the date of the notarial transaction or 01.03.2023)”, reads article 3 of the annex, signed by the persons Evgeni Marchev and Filip Filipov.
At that time, Marchev was the head of the lessor – the state company of the Ministry of Sports “Serdika Sports Properties”, and Filipov was the executive director of the tenant PFC “CSKA – Sofia”. In paragraph 2 of Art. 5 of the annex, it is determined that if a notarial deal for the construction of a new stadium on the site of “Bulgarian Army” is not reached, then CSKA will start paying the monthly installments for the rent of BGN 52,080 only after March 5, 2023.
“We don’t give money to CSKA. We only give them the opportunity to build their own stadium”, Radostin Vassilev announced on May 12, but spared this detail that Grisha Ganchev’s club is, in practice, exempt from paying rent for “Bulgarian Army” ” until March 2023.
Something else is also clear from the texts of the annex – that as of May this year (and so far) there is no notarial transaction regarding the construction of a new CSKA stadium. At the same time, on May 5, Radostin Vasilev announced: “There will be no new company (for the construction of the stadium). For us, this does not work. It is not the right legal approach. This is a notarial transaction.” But to this day there is no notarial transaction.
At the beginning of May 2022, a partnership agreement was signed between MMC and PFC CSKA for the construction of a new “Bulgarian Army” stadium. According to Sports Minister Radostin Vasilev, the agreement guarantees that CSKA will implement its new business plan and will have the right to build its stadium. Vassilev does not explain how relations between CSKA and the ministry are settled. He only says that “this is a unique event” and an “extremely detailed notarial transaction.” “There will be no joint venture.” plan,” assures Vassilev, without revealing more details.
On 21.05.2022, it was surprisingly announced at a press conference that the new CSKA-Sofia stadium in Borisova gradina will cost, according to preliminary calculations, 80-90 million BGN, which are secured by the owners Grisha Ganchev and Julian Indjov, and the club is not bound by this investment. There is a contract with the state for 30 years, but the terms are not specified. A bank loan is also provided.
It is also not announced who she is. It is emphasized that the club is not bound by the investment (because of UEFA’s financial fair play rule), which contradicts Vassilev’s assurances from the beginning of May that “CSKA will implement its new business plan” and “CSKA will have the right to build its stadium”.
On June 21, a preliminary schedule for the implementation of the project was announced: “On July 1, studies and preparation of construction documentation will begin, and according to preliminary estimates, the demolition of the old stadium should start on April 1, 2023. Construction is planned to start in 2024 and if everything is in order – from the summer of 2025, CSKA-Sofia should play at the new stadium.”