Grigor Pasha writes: It’s a relief to be able to confirm the news: I’ve been appointed manager of Chernomorets Balchik, on the Black sea coast up in the north of Bulgaria.

Rumours have been circulating, ever since a photo emerged, a few hours before the embargo time, of me in the changing room at Balchik Stadium.

I don’t know how that photo got into the public domain.

I guess some of Balchik’s older supporters will remember my playing days, as a dour anchor man, in regional football. If so, they’ll be hoping that I can keep their club at a higher level than I ever played at myself. They’re in the second tier.

To the rest of the Bulgarian public I dare say I’m unknown.

During the formalities the club’s President, Emil Todorov, did ask me to commit to the club vision, which included the expectation that we’ll stay clear of the relegation battle.

I’d been expecting this moment and had practised my response in the mirror many times, so that when I said ‘That seems very realistic to me” it wouldn’t betray the voice in my head that was saying, “With this squad? With me in charge? No, mate: no chance!”

I think I got away with it.



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