Bulgarian prime minister announced that he himself will supervise the construction of Botev Plovdiv's new stadium. Will the curse finally be taken off the unfinished stadium?
Almost exactly a year ago we wrote that finally work should be restarted at the new Stadion Hristo Botev in Plovdiv. And it was true for a while, machinery arrived and site clearing began. But despite work officially ongoing for a long time, almost no progress was made, due to insufficient funding.
In September two cranes were even erected but then they were disassembled again in December. Many issues were caused by legality of work that was to be financed publicly while the football club still had its 35-year concession on the land. Supporters of derby rival Lokomotiv even threatened prosecution, should the investment restart without the proper paperwork.
Earlier in 2020 the stadium was finally returned to the city and is no longer under Botev's authority. Meanwhile, last week the council of ministers approved funding for both Plovdiv stadiums, respectively BGN 25 million (€12.75m) for Botev and BGN 12 million (€6.15m) for Lokomotiv.
On Saturday the prime minister himself arrived at the near-abandoned construction site. “As you know, we are giving away 25 million for the stadium. If the money is not enough, we will help with more. Personally, I will be construction supervisor. From now on you are calling on Mayor Ziko and the governor to put things into action.” prime minister Bojko Borisov said.
Construction of the new Botev stadium began as a private project in 2012 and was supposed to be delivered in 2015. But the project's financing collapsed with the arrest of club owner and investor in 2014. Despite numerous efforts construction has effectively remained on hold since then.