While we wait for FM21: a constructive approach

Du Malone writes: Now that the publication date for FM21 has been announced, I looked back to see how I was writing at a similar stage last year. Below is the text of a blog post from that time. I find that my thinking hasn't changed: I believe now, as then, that this time of … Continue reading While we wait for FM21: a constructive approach

Player acquisition and contracts: the role of the intermediary

Du Malone writes: This post is the tenth in a series on contracts in FM. Do you grow all your own food? And make all your own clothes? For most people, the answer will be No. Which is an indication that (a) they benefit from the services of intermediaries (for example, retailers, distributors, and wholesalers) … Continue reading Player acquisition and contracts: the role of the intermediary

How paying agents more can save your club money

Du Malone writes: This is the ninth of a series of posts on the theme of contracts, negotiation, and agents on FM. In the leagues I've tended to manage in, in recent years -- typically, the Balkans and eastern Europe, starting in the second tier -- not all players have agents, but some do. And … Continue reading How paying agents more can save your club money

Working with, rather than against, the agent’s bias

Du Malone writes: This post is the eighth of an extended series on the topic of contracts in FM. If you are managing in a league in which players have agents, it helps in the negotiation of contracts to recognise that agents are biased. This might seem like a statement of the blindingly obvious. I … Continue reading Working with, rather than against, the agent’s bias

Say not the struggle nought availeth

30 May 2020. Central Stadium, Mykolaiv. Goalkeeping coach Roman Chumak is in the stand, watching the final fixture of the league campaign.¬†There are two relegation places to be decided and four teams in danger of the drop, of which MFC Mykolaiv are one. Mykolaiv are at home to Obolon-Brewer, who have secured a place in … Continue reading Say not the struggle nought availeth

Will we go down to the third tier?

30 May 2020. Central Stadium, Mykolaiv. Goalkeeping coach Roman Chumak is in the stand, watching the final fixture of the league campaign. There are two relegation places to be decided and four teams in danger of the drop, of which MFC Mykolaiv are one. Mykolaiv are at home to Obolon-Brewer, who have secured a place … Continue reading Will we go down to the third tier?

Elegy written in a west Ukrainian stadium

23 May 2020. Yunist Stadium, western Ukraine. Grigor Pasha, manager of Mykolaiv in the Ukrainian second tier, is reflecting after the game. After that drubbing at Prykarpattya, I was expecting the sack. It didn't happen. I guess they reasoned that, with only four fixtures left, it was too late to make a change. I made … Continue reading Elegy written in a west Ukrainian stadium

What the goalie said to himself

25 April 2020. The Karpathian foothills. Goalkeeper Amir Agalarov is on the MFC Mykolaiv bench, waiting for the game at¬†Prykarpattya to get under way. I'm hoping that Yaroslav Kotlyarov will get injured in the first minute. Not badly, of course: I wouldn't wish that on anyone. But just enough for him to have to come … Continue reading What the goalie said to himself

Revival or a dead cat bounce? Diary of a manager

Spring 2020. Southern Ukraine. Extracts from the diary of Grigor Pasha, manager of second-tier MFC Mykolaiv. 23 March So, we had some fun hosting some friendly competitions -- the Black Sea Shield and the Black Sea Trophy. We got our squad match fit and, most importantly, our so-called sharp shooters -- Kravchenko, Soldatov, and Malyarchuk … Continue reading Revival or a dead cat bounce? Diary of a manager

The best investment a football club can make

Early January 2020. The Atmosfera Bar, Mykolaiv, Ukraine. The medical team of second-tier club MFC Mykolaiv are enjoying pre-Christmas drinks. Dramatis personae: Olexiy Zhuravlev (Head Physio) Vasyl Kandaurov (Physio) Taras Kaval (Head of Sports Science) Rustam Ignatjev (Sport Scientist) Dmytro Binevskiy (Club doctor) BINEVSKIY: Well, gents, now we're half a season into the gaffer's reign, … Continue reading The best investment a football club can make