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Bulgaria’s player union has signed a new deal with the national league and federation that lifts the monthly minimum wage for first-division players by 30 percent to 1,300 leva (about 665 euros).

The agreement is part of the third collective bargaining agreement between the three parties. The minimum wage in the second division rises to 650 leva from 500 leva. The national minimum wage in Bulgaria is 210 leva.

The accord was communicated to club captains by the union, the Association of Bulgarian Footballers (ABF), in Sofia. Svetoslav Dyakov (pictured, left), captain of the Bulgarian national team and Ludogorets, was elected as chairman of the council of captains.

The deal prohibits teams from making players train on their own or with the youth team – a measure used by some clubs to put pressure on footballers to sign a new contract or leave.

It gives players the right to break their contract if their pay is a month overdue. That rule is in line with national legislation, according to Vice-President Mila Hristova. FIFA rules require players to wait three months without pay before lawfully breaking their contracts -- which world player union FIFPro contends is far too long.

ABF officials also discussed with club captains plans to set up two funds to support footballers.

One proposed fund would guarantee the salaries of players if their club becomes insolvent. In 2013, CSKA Sofia was declared bankrupt, leaving players without pay.

A second fund would help players in need, like those who need to pay for urgent medical treatment.

Picture below: Bulgarian club captains discuss a new minimum wage and other issues with union officials in Sofia.

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