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  1. Thanks both, greatly appreciated! Will take a look around. November 2019 --- Copenhagen? Jim looked at the text message again. Why on earth would Copenhagen be interested? He closed the message, and rang Harry’s mobile. He picked up immediately. “Are you messing me about?” “Course not. You like the idea of Copenhagen?” “I guess. I mean, I’ve never even been to Denmark, but don’t see why not. But surely Copenhagen aren’t interested? They’re a huge club.” “Oh, no. It’s another club. But in Copenhagen. Bronshoj, they’re called. How to say it, no idea.” “Ah. OK. So, are they the less famous rivals?” “Don’t think so. To be honest, as far as I can figure out Denmark have just put all the football clubs in Copenhagen. I guess it cuts down on travel.” “Alright, so what do you know?” “Last guy’s been there 7 years, sacked. Won one game in fifteen. Most of the staff are volunteers, the best player is a 32 year old striker and they’ve got no more money for players.” “Is this really the best we can do?” “Well, I’ve just spent the best part of two months trying to pimp you out in the Bulgarian second division and the best I got was a phone call to say they’re going to stick with a Bulgarian. So yes. And at least the Danish players will speak English.” “Fine. I guess at least I’ll go and have a chat with them. See if we’re on the same page.” “Good stuff. Their stadium, 10am tomorrow morning with the chairman.” So much for free will. Mind you, if this was the first bite in five months, Harry was right. He had to go. “Alright, I’ll be there. Any word on salary?” “I reckon I can get 150 out of them, a year. You should know though, I’m doing this because we’ve worked together for so long, and because I reckon there’s a faint chance of you becoming a half-decent manager. By the time I’ve done the currency conversions I reckon my cut will be about enough for a packet of crisps.” “Well, it’s a bit of a cut from the old days, but 150 is OK. I can deal with that… although, is that pounds or euros?” “Denmark? It’s krone.” “What the hell is 150,000 krone?” “Sorry, Jim, got another call coming in. Call me after!” He ended the call. Jim pulled up a search window, and typed in the calculation. 150,000 Danish krone was worth… £16,700. Football. Bloody hell.
  2. June 2019 --- “You know Jim, I’m your agent - not your therapist.” Harry threw his head back and rapped his knuckles on the desk. Dust flew off the scattered papers, and slowly sank back again. Some contracts, a laptop, three mobile phones and a fax machine. It occurred to Jim at that moment that these were all of the qualifications required to become an agent. “Could’ve fooled me.” Laughing, Harry squeezed out of his chair and walked past Jim to the other side of his office. He pointed at one of the framed photographs. “We did alright in the end, didn’t we?” Jim squinted, but he couldn’t see clearly enough. He felt in his pocket for his glasses, but they weren’t there. “I guess so.” “Point is, relax. You weren’t sure about the step up to the Championship, but I told you you were good enough. And next minute you’ve won player of the year.” “Maybe, but that team was s***.” “You made it slightly less s***. That’s how I originally pitched you to the gaffer.” Jim ran his fingers through his hair. He had to laugh, really. Some people would call him a club icon, but they really had been a terrible side. Perhaps he should have pushed for a move into the Premiership, but he’d seen enough of his former teammates end up bouncing from one club to another, never playing. Harry, for the most part, had respected that. And that was why Jim was still sat in this musty Fleet Street office. If nothing else, he’d been a consistent player. And the supporters had enough time to come up with a song or two about him. Anyway. It was time to move on now. That was old history. “I’m so glad I kept you on as my agent. I take it you’re using the same approach now with the chairmen?” “More or less. Had a chat with a guy in Germany, said he was looking for a Guardiola type. I said I had a poor man’s Big Sam that I needed to shift. Just waiting for him to call back.” In other words, no-one was biting. “Thanks, you’ve got that profile nailed.” “Seriously, though. I could get you a gig in England, no problem. The old place would have you back in a heartbeat - I heard they’re looking for a youth manager or something.” “No, I’m done with this country. I can’t go around seeing all the same faces, having the same conversations.” “Just because of Cathy? I mean, I like her even less than your mum does, but really?” Turns out that even if you’re not playing away in Europe, it’s pretty easy to get cheated on. “At least you don’t have any kids,” his dad had commented. Which over the last year was about the best summary of his eleven year marriage anyone had come up with. “Look, I’m not changing my mind. And who’d want to manage here anyway? How many managers have Leeds had now?” Harry came back to his desk. “No, I know. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned about you, it’s that you’re stubborn. If you want to manage outside England, I’ll make it happen. But don’t expect it to be tomorrow.” “I know.” He paused for a moment. “I’ll be in Berlin. Text me.” “With Heinz?” “Yeah.” They’d played together for five years, and there was no-one Jim trusted more. One of the few footballers he’d played with who didn’t believe the hype and would actually call a spade a spade. The kind of person that the press secretary would try to physically kick during press conferences. That was Jim’s kind of person. They shook hands, and Jim made his way through the maze of corridors and flagged down a black cab. His phone vibrated. Message from Harry. “Braintree?” Reply: “F*** off”
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