CSKA, giants of the past, stare into the abyss

In Bulgaria, the mighty have fallen. CSKA Sofia, the country’s most successful club, has lost its license because of its level of indebtedness. Both CSKA and Lokomotiv, two instantly-recognisable names from cold war Bulgarian football, could start the 2015-16 season in the lowly fourth level. For Lokomotiv, that also means they cannot compete in the Europa League next season. CSKA owes the equivalent of EUR 5.6m to the Bulgarian tax office, the National Revenue Agency. CSKA have won the Bulgarian championship 31 times, the last being in 2007-08. Six of those successes came in the 1970s when CSKA were among … Continue reading CSKA, giants of the past, stare into the abyss

When we really did fear Bulgarians

With so many scare stories about the tide of Bulgarians and Romanians heading to Britain in January 2014, it’s worth recalling that before the Iron Curtain was torn apart, both countries were even more shrouded in mystery than they are today. This was certainly true of the footballing world, with any trip to Bulgaria or Romania treated as a journey into the unknown. Clubs from Eastern Europe were invariably tagged as “the disciplined East Germans”, the “mighty Magyars” and of course, the “crack Bulgarians”. Cunning and strong Today, Bulgarian teams are less problematical than the feral dogs that roam Sofia … Continue reading When we really did fear Bulgarians