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By ESPN Staff

Levski fans must behave better, says club owner

SOFIA, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Levski Sofia fans need to start behaving better and help the club to improve their image, owner Todor Batkov said on Monday.

This season Levski have become the first Bulgarian team to compete in the Champions League's group stage but their matches have often been marred by violence.

Last week, the 24-times Bulgarian champions were fined 50,000 Swiss francs ($40,230) by UEFA because of crowd trouble during their Champions League match against Chelsea on Sept. 27.

The Sofia club were fined $117,000 in total by the European governing body last season because of the bad behaviour of fans during the team's run to the UEFA Cup quarter-finals.

'Bulgaria will join the European Union (next year) while we make claims that Levski are already part of Europe's elite,' said Batkov.

'We'll have to show European behaviour,' he said two days before Levski's home match against champions Barcelona in group A of Europe's premier competition.

Batkov, a respected lawyer, said Levski would not tolerate any hooliganism during matches.

'Our name is always on the blacklists...and no one has an interest in paying fines,' added Batkov.