Soccer-Todorov refuses wages to help troubled Bulgarian club

Reuters

SOFIA, July 25 (Reuters) - Former Premier League player Svetoslav Todorov, manager of Bulgarian second division side Dobrudzha, has refused to accept wages in an attempt to help the financially-troubled club cut their costs.

"It's not important what I've given up," the 35-year-old, capped 41 times by Bulgaria between 1998 and 2007, wrote on Facebook on Friday. "It's important what compromises were made by my boys."

Former Bulgaria striker Todorov won four domestic league titles with Litex Lovech and played for West Ham United, Portsmouth, Wigan Athletic and Charlton Athletic before returning to his home club, based in Dobrich, as manager last year.

"All of my players can go somewhere and earn more money but they chose to stay here. We must respect them," Todorov added.

Bulgarian second division players' incomes are so low that many of them are unable to pay for food and rent. Dobrudzha players get less than 500 levs ($340) per month.

Todorov is also paying his players' bills at a local restaurant and pays the wages of an English fitness coach.

Under Todorov, Dobrudzha narrowly missed out on promotion to the top flight last season. They finished third, level on points with promoted Haskovo.

Many Bulgarian clubs are struggling to meet administrative, legal and financial conditions set by European governing body UEFA. ($1 = 1.4561 Bulgarian Levs) (Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; editing by Toby Davis)

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