Young Fan of Bulgaria’s Ruling Party Wants to Own Unwanted Shares of FC Levski

Atanas Tchobanov

A young Bulgarian man, Ventsislav Manchovski, 20, from the northwestern village of Gorna Kremena has requested ownership of the shares of FC Levski Sofia, one of the oldest and most popular football clubs in Bulgaria, according to a report by TV channel bTV. This happened after fugitive gambling tycoon Vassil “The Skull” Bozhkov mockingly transferred the shares to Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, accusing him of causing the Club’s financial troubles, which stirred media frenzy. Borisov refused to accept the shares, labeling the move an insult.

In a letter sent to bTV, Manchovski promises to give the Club 80% of the annual revenues of his company G-P-Group Bulgaria. This sounds like a joke and a reference to the close to the government infamous company GP Group. If not a joke, it is a quite vague and untenable proposal. G-P-Group Bulgaria has been registered in January 2020 and has a capital of BGN 10.

Bivol reached Manchovski and asked him what income he intended to use to support the club. “This will become clear at a later stage,” he said.

Manchovski bragged that his company G-P-Group Bulgaria had a turnover of “nearly BGN 1 million in a few months” from “construction and repairs on the territory of the European Union”.

“I am not proposing that the company receives Levski’s shares but to personally deal with Levski, as I believe that the prospects I have, such as communication skills and contacts, will help Levski a lot”, he said.

Asked if he relied on financial resources from this company, Manchovski said that he did not rely only on this company but on many companies. However, he is officially the owner of only one company. Prior to that, Manchovski has worked as a manager in the company “Alpha Tech Bulgaria”, which has posted modest revenues from commercial activities in 2018 – BGN 68,000.

The young businessman also said that his company had won two public contracts, which it had completed but failed specify what they had involved. According to him, the company had over 46 full-time employees and subcontractors. However, the public procurement register does not list any contracts awarded to G-P-Group Bulgaria.
Asked about the similarity in names between G-P-Group Bulgaria and GP Group linked to former Lukoil Bulgaria boss Valentin Zlatev, he denied any connection.

Manchovski’s company website, which has been in existence for a week, listed large-scale infrastructure projects such as construction of highways and airports but is no longer active.

With the help of the “Norwegian Mechanism”

The page dedicated to Manchovski as Executive Director of G-P-Group Bulgaria informed that he had won in 2019 a project funded by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism for cross-border cooperation between Bulgaria and Cyprus and had participated in the project as coordinator for Bulgaria. During the implementation of the project, the Labor Directorate in the capital city of Sofia had sent 25 employees to be trained in Cyprus where they had participated in the creation of a multi-family residential building dubbed Neon.

The enterprising young man claims on his Facebook page that he has studied at Sofia University, worked as Deputy Chairman of the TelecUmmunications Department (the spelling is original) and Contact Services of the Chamber of Employers in the Republic of Bulgaria. He has also listed a job in the company Let Direct Stroy but such a company cannot be found in the Commercial Register.

Manchovski is not from a wealthy family. His parents live in the village of Gorna Kremena and have garnishments by the National Revenue Agency on several modest family properties, which speaks of their rather modest financial means. The financial director of his new company is his grandmother Vera Manchovska, who has been “chief accountant of lime factories in the town of Mezdra and executor of large infrastructure projects as part of HPPs, TPPs, has built housing for refugees and dealt with improvement of the infrastructure of the Vidin Region, among others.”

Several projects with GERB

However, Manchowski’s political sympathies are clearly defined. He is a fan of Bulgaria’s ruling party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, GERB, and campaigns for the party on his Facebook page, boasting pictures with high-level GERB functionaries.

Asked about his connection with GERB, Manchovski said that he had carried out several projects together with the former Deputy Chairman of GERB Tsvetan Tsvetanov.

Probed for details, he said that Tsvetan Tsvetanov had helped him to equip a computer room in his former school in the northwestern town of Mezdra. The GERB Parliamentary Group and the Technopolis appliance and computer store had donated the computers.

Manchovski denied that his intention to take over Levski’s shares was politically motivated. He defines himself as a supporter of the Club who wants to help it.

“You can see that I am not hiding. I stand quite responsibly behind my proposal to stabilize Levski,” concluded the young entrepreneur.

Ventsislav Manchovski’s name is not the focus of public attention for the first time. Three years ago, the prosecutor’s office in the second largest city of Plovdiv launched an investigation into a forged document of the Bulgarian UNESCO mission, which involved Manchovski. The document was used by a group of young people to justify ticket sales for a sham charity concert to help orphans.

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