Official Site of Pafos FC

It has been more than half a year since Total Sports Investments took FC Pafos under its management and it is only now that we got an opportunity for an extensive interview with the co-owner and company’s president Roman Dubov.


- Good afternoon. We had to wait for a long time to schedule this interview, what was the reason?

- I believe that people should be judged by their actions, so before making any promises or statements, I think it was more correct to start doing something for the club, and only then talk about it.


- You have been with the club for more than 6 months already, so tell us, what happened at the club since its purchase, what difficulties have you faced in this period? What good and what negative have you discovered on your way?

- The best thing there was about the Club when we just came, and the thing remaining the best so far is the Pafos fans and the people of Cyprus. Their support inspires us and drives us forward. Actually, it was an interesting and challenging period. I would say that there was and there still is a lot of difficulties, but I wouldn’t call it negative. With all due respect to the club and its traditions, when we came to the club, what there was is 2 deflated balls and a cat on the training base, and we had to basically start from the scratch.


- How did you decide to put your investment in Cyprus, and why Pafos?

- My business partner and I are familiar with Cyprus for quite a long time, not only as tourists but also as investors in various forms of business. This decision was not spontaneous. We noticed Paphos because the city has only 1 team and vast opportunities for further growth and excellent infrastructure. When we received an offer from previous owners, we examined all of the aspects very thoroughly, discussed and consulted, and the we just looked at each other and made a decision… flipped a coin, just in case, and football club Pafos got its new owners.


- Your company was involved with football in Russia, Ukraine, England and Latvia. What is the difference between football in Cyprus and in other countries? Is there any specific nature?

- To be honest, we greatly underestimated Cypriot championship, it is quite strong and interesting. The level of players is growing every year, young talents and experienced players from all over the world come here not to finish their career, but to win and become players. The championship is under constant attention of scouts from all other championships. TV contracts are becoming significant. CFA does the right things by popularizing football in the country. The number of fields and people interested in football is huge, this is a plus. If we talk about problems, I would like to note two things - first, youth football. We see that the number of Cypriot players in the top championships is very small, the national team is giving up its positions, even in the championship of Cyprus, with the exception of a few, it is difficult for players to get into the team and compete with players from other countries, so I think it's more important to pay attention to youth football and educating the youth. The second problem, which is a very important one, is refereeing. This discussion keeps going in every single round of the championship. I'm not a big fan of these kind of conversations, but I think that if you win 6-0 there should be no problem, but the problem is there, and if everyone continues to turn a blind eye to the problems of refereeing, football in Cyprus will stop developing and eventually die. There will be no strong players, no investments, no infrastructure development. It's time to slam a fist on a table and say “stop, enough”. Whose table is it going to be? Infantino’s? Cheferina’s? Mine? I have not yet decided. Of course, this is a joke, there are enough similar problems in other countries, but they need to be solved together by all the clubs.


- The club had a good start this season, but then got bad luck in several games, what are you linking it to? Is it the reason why you replaced the coach?

- So, obviously, many underestimated us at the start of the season, players were on the rise after signing contracts and in several games we just got lucky. Then, we were tested, players lost a little of their self-confidence, and neither the coach nor the management, nor myself could change this situation. Thus, together with the previous coach, we decided that the club needs new blood, a little shaking-up and new emotions. We parted on good terms, and Luca Elsner still benefits the club, though in a different capacity. Then our winter transfer campaign has failed. We planned to sign four of the best players for the positions in the championship of Cyprus. This did not happen, so we decided to make changes in our scouting department. At the end of the season, we'll look at the financial result and we'll be able to promote some or ask others to quit. We are not a charitable organization, we are a business project and management should always bear this in mind.


- - Who do you rely on in the club, who is the core, how do you select people?

- As you can see, management is not our strongest side yet, but we will try to improve many aspects of the club's work in the nearest future. I would like the staff, as well as the team to be unified, act as a one unit. New Zealand national Rugby team, which is dominating in the world for many years, has a rule when players clean the locker room after each game by themselves. And if you clean your place, then your teammates will not have to do it for you, neither now nor in the game. It is an important principle of team building. - We value people only by their professional qualities and their capabilities. There are a lot of people who want to be involved, but only few who are ready to take responsibility for the results. In 8 months I’ve only received 3 CVs, from candidates who want to work in the club. Where is everyone? I hope not everyone is on the beach already.. We will announce a contest for those who want to work for our football club in the nearest future, but for now we are waiting for all those who are interested to apply by sending a CV by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


- We are doing this interview after a painful defeat from Apoel during the last minutes, what do you have to say about the game? Are there any reasons for the defeat? How do you feel about the reaction of Apoel coach on Steve Presley’s question?

- The game was interesting and intense, I think we gave a good fight to Apoel. Apoel is a big solid club, one of the region’s football leaders, with excellent infrastructure, huge army of great fans, it is always interesting to play against such a team. Talking about the result of the game, I think Apoel win was fair, they do have higher level of the players and the level of synergy is better, it is yet hard to compete with them, but we will get closer every day. Why Apoel’s coach disrespect towards our coach? Its agony, its his great fear - he understands that he has his team's budget almost 10 times exceeding Pafos’s, 3 times Appolon’s, he has the unspoken support of referees and almost half of the island's population, and he can’t even win the championship. What did he try to show with his words? What kind of example is he showing to the kids? He is watched by hundreds or little Apoel fans. Respect for the opponent and collect is the base in football. I'm sure his professional career is coming to an end, the “football god” does not forgive such things. I bet a bottle of fine whiskey that he will not last more than 2 years in Apoel. But let's leave him alone, he is already more nervous now than we are.


- What are your plans, what do you want to achieve with the club?

- Obviously, this is a business project for us, and we want it to fulfill its full potential. From the first day we spoke about the fact that we do not plan to shock Cyprus with our claims, but within 3-4 years we want to enter the top 6 of the Cyprus championship, build a decent infrastructure, improve the academy, attract fans to the stands, try ourselves in European tournaments. But, still, you have to be a maximalist, and probably We are ready to repeat the words, if I recall correctly, of Sir Alex Ferguson on his first day with Manchester United - "we came here to move everyone from the first place”. At least we will try to do everything possible for this, even if it takes a long time.


- Could you tell us an interesting story from your football experience to make the interview less official?

- There was an interesting story when we were looking for a forward, had scouts searching, writing reports, consulting and finally we came to an agreement for a player to come for a trial. He flew to our camps in Spain at 4 am, at 9 am he showed at the field, was absolutely the best, but after the game without changing his clothes he jumped into the fountain near the hotel…. Though we agreed on the terms of the contract very fast, it was the weirdest player I’ve ever seen for 25 years being involved in sport: he got up, kissed my hand, signed a contract, and then went home to Africa and finished with football. I have never heard about him again.


- How did Paphos people react to you, are there any problems?

- We feel support from both the citizens and the fans, from people who are not connected with sport as well. Paphos government, and Geroskipou are constantly supporting us and we appreciate this support. We do not have so many sponsors as of now, but we are working in this direction. Every sponsor and every partner is and will be appreciated by the Club. And every one who lent us a helping hand at the start of our journey, will certainly share the minutes of success with us. Korantina is our largest partner, no Cypriot club is receiving such support, whether it’s financial, an advice, or joint promotions. And I think that is just the beginning. We will always remember this help. Come to the Pafos games, support our team! If you have any ideas on possible cooperation, we will be happy to hear them out!