01 Nov 19 Pomorie‘Well, not for the first time,’ my half-sister Mariya announced, ‘you’ve surprised us. Last time we were sitting here you were telling us how much you were enjoying football management.’

We were back at Incanto, the bistro, in the coastal town of Burgas, that Mariya and her husband Tsvetan favour.

‘I was,’ I said. ‘And I intend to continue to do so. Just not at Pomorie.’

‘Why did you resign?’ Tsvetan is rarely indirect.

‘The official reason,’ I explained, ‘concerns my contract. That’s what I told the President of the club. You see, when they offered me an extension it was for one year only. And the only way I could get them to extend that to two was by taking a 20% pay cut.

‘I agreed to it at the time. But on reflection I felt that I had been made to stoop. And, as you know, I choose…’

‘Never to stoop,’ interrupted Mariya. ‘How many times have I heard that over the years!’

‘And the other reason?’ asked Tsvetan.

‘Well, there’s no reason to go into details…’

‘Ah, a woman,’ Mariya interrupted again. ‘Same old Grigor. You’re 60 now. Really, you should have learnt to keep your trousers on. But go on…’

‘Yes, a Pomorie woman. Her name was Beta,’ I said. I think it’s a short form for Elizabeth or Elisheba or something. From Russian. Or is it Hebrew. Or both?

‘Anyhow, the bottom line is she wanted me to commit. And I was minded to. Had even bought the ring, damn it. And then one night I woke up rather suddenly and found myself shouting, “No! I don’t want to commit to Beta!“. And that was it: I knew the relationship  was over.’


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