Du Malone writes: Neal Ascherson’s Black Sea is a fascinating book but also a frustrating one.

In the introduction he explains that his study begins in Crimea and then ‘goes in many directions. It is not a guide-book and I am not a circumnavigator. Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania all get less attention than they deserve’.

You can say that again!

The itinerary

This blog attempts to correct the balance.

It began in Bulgaria with Grigor Pasha‘s Beta experience in Pomorie. And it will continue there with the first save under FM proper, which as I write is due for release tomorrow .

After that the expectation — I say ‘expectation’, because you never quite know with Grigor — is that we will circumnavigate the Black Sea in a clockwise direction, travelling up the Bulgarian coast to Romania and then onwards to Ukraine, Russia, and Georgia (if I can access an appropriate database).

This means we are scheduled only to come to Turkey at the end of the journey. But since Pasha’s father, and indeed his surname, are Turkish, I think we can trust him to arrive there eventually.

No doubt, though he won’t be able to manage them, he’ll want to watch the team he supports, namely 1461 Trabzon.

Candidate clubs

In FM20 saves revealed — well, almost! I listed the clubs on the Black Sea littoral that might have the questionable honour of contracting Grigor’s services as manager.

Here I list them in clockwise order:

  • Bulgaria: Neftochimic 1962; Pomorie; Cherno More; Spartak 1918; Chernomorets Balchik
  • Romania: Viitorul Constanta; FC Farul
  • Ukraine: Chornomorets Odesa; Mykolaiv; Mariupol;
  • Russia: PFC Sochi
  • Georgia: Kolkheti 1913; Kolkheti Khobi; and Dinamo Batumi
  • Turkey: Caykur Rizespor; Trabonspor; Hekimoglu Trabzon; Giresunspor; Samsunspor; and Zonguldak Komurspor

There are other clubs that, though not strictly on the coast, certainly belong to the Black Sea region, They include, in Russia, Rostov-on-Don and Krasnodar and the Istanbul clubs. But I think Grigor has enough candidates already, without straying from the coast.



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