Hebar Pazardzhik, a prominent Bulgarian volleyball club, faces a challenging time in current season. The team, known for its significant achievements in recent years, including two national championships (2021, 2022), will conclude this season with a youth lineup. This decision follows the departure of eight key players to various international teams, such as Michele Baranowicz to Italy’s Cisterna and Jacopo Massari to Catania. Other players like Nikolay Kartev, Krasimir Georgiev, and Rozalin Penchev have also left the team.
Compounding these exits, head coach Alberto Giuliani recently announced his departure. The club’s tumultuous phase coincides with Pazardzhik’s mayoral change, leading to severe financial constraints. The new mayor, Kulenski, criticized the previous administration’s spending habits, alleging mismanagement and illegal diversion of funds. Kulenski plans to prioritize other municipal needs over sports clubs and intends to report these financial irregularities to the prosecutor’s office.
Despite these challenges, Hebar has had a commendable record, playing in the Bulgarian Championship final for four consecutive years and competing in the Champions League’s group stage in the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons.