Grigor Pasha writes: It’s early December, 2022. The winter break has just started here in the Ukraine. Time to take stock.

As we entered the winter break in 2019-21, MFC Mykolaiv were one place above the relegation zone. At the same time in 2020-21, we were one place below that. And now, in my third season as manager, we’re again just inside the relegation zone.

So much endeavour, so little to show for it.

My aspiration as a manager has always been to create positive cycles. in other words, the aim has been to create, through good husbandry, a surplus that I could then spend on such things as better physio, enhanced coaching staff, and enhanced bonuses in player contracts — things that could act as levers, enabling further success, further surpluses, and so on.

But here I’ve failed to do that. I can’t really point to any positive cycles under development. All I’m doing is hanging on grimly, one season at a time.

It strikes me that one day we’ll have some bad luck and so, instead of escaping relegation by the skin of our teeth, the trapdoor will open. Where’s the fun in waiting for that?

The truth is, I’ve not risen to the challenge of the Mykolaiv.


Later in the day I go to my favoured travel agent. I’m old school like that: so long as travel agents exist, I’ll use them rather than booking a flight via the Interweb-thing. I like to be served, you see.

I explain that I’d like a ticket to Bulgaria, just before (their) Christmas time.

“Single or return, Mr Pasha?”

“Er, single.”


You might say I’m being a coward, fleeing before I get sacked. Quite the reverse: I’m sacking myself.

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