SOFIA, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Bulgarian first division soccer club Minyor Pernik are on the brink of collapse due to spiralling debts and could drop out of the domestic championship, their coach said on Tuesday.
“The owner has not decided yet whether the club will continue to exist,” Nikolay Todorov told reporters.
Players and coaches at Minyor have not received salaries for several months and the Pernik-based side owe money to the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU), the state and other creditors.
Pernik mayor Rositsa Yanakieva told local media the total debts exceeded three million levs ($2.05 million).
In November, Minyor sacked four leading players who refused to take part in two matches because of unpaid wages.
Todorov said he had now told players that they could train “only if they want” as the club could not guarantee them any payment.
The 16-team Bulgarian league is on its mid-season break and resumes on March 2. Minyor are fourth from bottom with 12 points from 15 matches, two points adrift of the safety zone.
Many Bulgarian clubs are facing infrastructure difficulties and are struggling to meet administrative, legal and financial conditions laid down by European soccer’s governing body UEFA.
The BFU has already said that the top division will be cut to 14 teams by the 2013/14 season in a bid to improve standards. ($1 = 1.4634 Bulgarian levs) (Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Clare Fallon)