Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Anatomy of a Transfer

Contract talks begin. Club makes "excellent offer". Agent refuses as "Gerrard has lost more than that down the back of his couch." Contract talks break down.

Manager questioned by media about rumoured bid from big time London club. Manager dismisses rumours as "blatant lies," informs media that "it's a disgrace, some of the rubbish you lot come out with."

Manager overheard on phone saying "tell you what Jose, throw in Geremi and I'll think about it."

Score winner in local derby to keep club out of relegation zone. Run to fans and kiss badge in celebration, but after turning back towards centre circle, do that pointing with thumbs to name on back of jersey thing, reaffirming status as 'the man' at club.

In post-match interview, refer to goal being "for fans". Wife calls, tell her goal is "for her". Agent calls, tell him goal is for him "to get me another 20k on my next contract".

Contract talks resume. Manager and chief executive refuse wage demands, complaining "that's Lucas Neill money you're talking there son!". Contract talks break down.

Tell media that you're sure that something will be worked out, that you love playing for club and are looking forward to winning things "for fans". Tell agent to "get me the hell out of this dump, I should be winning titles at this stage of my career."

Club in 15th place, safe from relegation, no hope of Europe. Manager under pressure after several seasons of underachievement, despite heavy investment from club's local pie magnate sugar daddy.

Questioned about pressure on manager, tell media that "the boys are all behind the gaffer, we have to take responsibility for our performances." Tell agent that "the fucker would have got the sack ages ago if it wasn't for me."

Inform teammates that you are running book on successor. Manager hears of players betting on his replacement. Sticks £500 on Keegan.

Contract talks resume again. This time chief executive accompanied not by manager, but by two men, one in leather jacket and shades, the other dressed neatly but with a scar across cheek. Man with scar translates wage demands to man in leather jacket. Argument ensues between them in strange language, during which man in leather jacket performs throat-slitting gesture. Finally, man in leather jacket removes shades and says "nyet". Contract talks break down.

Local pie magnate sugar daddy announces sale of club to man in leather jacket, informs media that man in leather jacket "supported the club as a boy in Turkmenistan". Manager expresses excitement at "being part of an exciting new era for the club". Man in leather jacket seen performing throat-slitting gesture.

With club now awash with man in leather jacket's money, visit manager's office in hope that inflated wage demands will now be met. Find manager sitting alone in empty office, cardboard box with belongings on desk, drinking whisky while tearily holding photo of himself with Rodney Marsh and Greavsie from 1970s. Contract talks, and manager, break down.

Holiday in Dubai interrupted by call from agent. Informed of Wigan's interest. Tell agent to hang tough, as you would "rather go back to that other shithole than go to Wigan."

Approached by holidaying fans in bar. Inform them that you would "be gutted if the club decided to sell me." Fans claim you are "legend" and vow to start campaign. Call agent. Still no other offers, "not even 'Boro."

Agent leaks rumour that Blackburn, Everton, Newcastle and "one of big four" have expressed strong interest. None deny due to proliferation of too many groundless rumours to deny all. Agent follows up with leaked rumour of enquiry from "unnamed Italian giant," assures you that "frenzy" about to commence.

Mark Hughes, David Moyes and Sam Allardyce meet at charity golf day; Hughes idly mentions their reported mutual interest. All laugh, call agent "shithead".

Sign for Wigan.


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