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The Apprentice (FGC)

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I've admitted defeat in the actual challenge, well I was sacked :o :D So i've decided to give it another go using CM03/04, in the hope that it will be fun rather than a challenge. I expect this means that this thread isn't eligible for the challenge anymore, 03/04 was notoriously easy, but I would like to keep the thread going allbeit with a new name and storyline. Sorry about that. :thup:

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The Format

Sir Alan Caster is world renowned for his no nonsense approach to business and tell it like it is attitude. He made his name in the football world when he purchased Arsenal in 1991. Ten years later he sold his majority share in the club and described his time there as “a waste of my life”.

His falling out with football didn’t last long though and in 2002 he purchased the Italian outfit Fiorentina for a knock down price after their much publicised fall from grace. In 2003, following the Calcio Catania scandal Fiorentina were automatically promoted to Serie B. However, their long serving manager Rico Federico De Rico decided that all the controversy was too much for one man to handle and resigned, leaving Sir Alan with a position to be filled.

Over the next 10 months 11 candidates will be put through their paces in a series of gruelling tasks and the first prize is the job of Fiorentina manager, with a five figure salary.

The rules are simple. Each month Sir Alan will brief the team on the task ahead. The team will appoint a Monthly Manager and this person is responsible for leading the task. Throughout the tasks Sir Alan’s adviser Nick Mountford will shadow the team and report back to Sir Alan in the boardroom. At the end of each monthly task the candidates will be called to the boardroom to face Sir Alan. Win or lose the monthly manager will be selecting two fellow contestants to come back into the boardroom with him and Sir Alan will fire one.

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The Candidates

At 27 years old, Markus Svenson is the baby of the bunch. A relative rookie, he has coaching experience with a number of Swedish teams, but no managerial experience.

Armand Van den Bosch is a seasoned pro, managing a variety of Dutch and Belgian teams, with mixed results, over a 20 year career. This could be his big break.

Arturo Fantini, born in Italy but made one appearance for San Marino before a career ending injury. He has no management or coaching experience, but local support makes him a fan’s favourite.

Adolf Ratzinger, was a scout at Bayern Munich for many years, well respected in the game and a veteran of the football world. He speaks his mind and demands maximum effort.

Brazil is well known for it’s flair and style on the football pitch and Lucio hopes to bring some of that to Fiorentina. The former Corinthians stopper has almost a dozen stints as caretaker manager under his belt, but hasn’t found the club for him as yet.

Louis de Crale is a self confessed ladies man, who found himself on the front pages more often than the back pages during his career. He claims that he has settled down and is ready to take his first steps in club management.

No stranger to controversy, Julio Jesus should fit right in at Fiorentina. Drugs scandals, match fixing, assaulting referees, been there done that got the t shirt.

Dave Smith, the token Englishman. Some suggest he’s just here to make up the numbers, but the former IT consultant and Forest Green captain says he’s in it to win it and ready to make his uncle Alan proud.

The wild eyed, foul mouthed, alco Scot, Trevor McSporran is a hard task master and excellent tactician. He once sacked an entire defence for being caught offside, and people are already suggesting that he will clash with Sir Alan.

Carl Cafferty is a former International manager. He was in temporary charge when the Solomon Islands were at their peak. They say he's making up the numbers, he says his dreams are about to come true.

Yvegeni Matsus is a former soldier and businessman from Russia. He's rough, tough and ready for action and describes himself as Schwarzenegger without the California.

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Nice :) Love the show so I'll be following Elrithral

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Nice idea, good start. I'll be following this as I'm one of those people that shouts 'you fools' at the TV whenever these prima donnas choose crap products or ideas such as trying to sell a rocking horse at a baby exhibition or using 'Pants Man' to try and sell breakfast cereal

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Episode One

The camera pans out to reveal eleven men walking over a bridge. They swagger along, chests puffed out, stern looks on their faces as a closeup of each contestant appears and a posh man tells us about them. Cut to a reception area. Some sit, some stand, none talk. The telephone rings and the receptionist tells them that Sir Alan is ready to see them.

Sat around a glass table, the camera zooms in on shaking legs, twitching hands and sweaty upper lips. A shadow appears at the doors opposite, the door opens, Sir Alan and Nick enter the room and sit down.

“Gentlemen.” Sir Alan begins. “We all know why you’re here, can’t say I’m looking forward to it, but needs must eh?”

A few nervous laughs and grins.

“You’ll tell me that you’re the next Fergie or Special One, but I aint interested in that. I aint interested in where you’ve been and what you’ve done, this is about the here and now, I need performers, not talkers. This is a results business and there’s no friends in this game. I expect promotion and if I don’t get it I’ll fire every bloomin’ one of ya. Now I’ll be throwing you in at the deep end, we are away to Atalanta tomorrow so off you go, Nick will accompany you to the ground, and I’ll see you back here at the end of the month.”

The candidates mutter thank yous and exit the room.


At the house, the night before the game and they sit on huge settees jibbering about their “qualities”.

“I’m great with people, I mean f***** fantastic, a real people person.” Claims Smith.

“Yeah, me too, and I love getting my hands dirty. Getting stuck in.” Zatinger.

“I’m happy to put myself forward as monthly manager for this task.” Lucio

“Oh yeah, what do you bring to the team?” Smirks McSporran.

“I give 110%, plenty of experience with a variety of clubs and I thrive under pressure.” Lucio.

“Well, I don’t see a problem with you taking the slack this time.” Matsus smiles.

A chorus of ayes and good lucks, a few winks are shared.


In the minibus and Lucio is handing out jobs.

“Arturo, you’re gonna be my right hand man. Dave, you can look after finances, I want you to give him a hand Carl. Training, I want Armand and Julio all over that like a rash. Adolf, you are dealing with team talks and the rest of you are in the boxes, schmoozin’ with the big boys and sorting out PR.”

Quick shot of Louis rolling his eyes.


Kick off and various shaky shots of the candidates in areas around the stadium. They all have microphones and every so often there’s a sound bite from each.

“What do you think of Adolf?”

“He’s a t***, I dealt with him before and he’s got his head up his a***.”


“Hmmm, I preferred my time in Switzerland.”

The match ends 5-1 an opening day win for Fiorentina and four goals for on loan striker Graffiedi. All the candidates are in the dressing room, shaking hands with the players slapping backs, giving compliments. The players look at the camera with eyebrows raised.

Minibus on the way home and the candidates are shouting over each other. All trying to make out they did more than the other.


The next match is another win, 3-0 against Pescara, but after that comes the first loss of the season, 2-0 away to Vicenza.

“What sort of team talk was that you gave them? We were ok until half time.” Asks Lucio.

“I told them not to get complacent.” Adolf.

“Hahaha, you what? You never tell a bunch of footballers not to get complacent.” Carl.

“Aye, like you’d f***** know.” Yvegeni.

“It’s one loss lads, we can bounce back. Now I’m the monthly manager and what I say goes, so get behind the team and get behind each other.” Lucio.

“So what’s your bright idea for Triestina?” Trevor.

“I’m thinking 4-2-3-1.” Lucio.


3-0 win against Triestina, 3-2 loss against Albinoleffe and 0-0 against Piacenza.

There’s silence on the bus to the office, they look out the windows and stare at their feet. Cut to clips of individuals.

“If you ask me he’s out of his depth and if he tries anything on me then he’s got a fight on his hands.” Carl.

“His biggest mistake? Leaving me in the stands when I should been on the front line.” Louis.

“I don’t think I have anything to worry about, I did my job and I did it bloody well.” Arturo.

They are sitting in reception again, the phone rings and the receptionist tells them Sir Alan is ready.


Back at the glass table, the camera shows more sweaty brows, shaking legs and twitching fingers. Sir Alan enters, with Nick and sits down.

“Afternoon. So, Lucio you were monthly manager, talk me through how you went about your job.”

“Well, Sir Alan, I decided Arturo should be beside me, pitchside. Dave was going to deal with finances…”

“How’d that worked out?”

“Well, I’m not too sure…”

“Wadya mean you’re not too sure, did you not ask him?”

“I did, he said it seemed to be going ok, but I never took a close look so I had to take his word for it.”

“I think I handled it quite well Sir Alan.” Dave.

“A £720k loss in the first month is dealing with finances quite well is it?”

A couple of gasps as the camera focuses on Dave, who stutters;

“But that’s with wages and….”

“Of course it’s with bloody wages, do you think they don’t count or something? What’s this I hear about training? Who was dealing with that?”

“That was me, Sir Alan.” Carl.

“How’d that go?”

“It went well, the players seemed to enjoy it and take everything I had to say on board.”

“They didn’t really listen to you did they?” Nick.

“I think they did, I didn’t have any complaints.”

“Who’s going to complain when they can do what they want?”

“Bloody hell lads, this isn’t looking good. What about the results? What went wrong?” Sir Alan.

“I don’t think anything went wrong….” Lucio.

“Three wins out of six isn’t convincing sunshine.”

“I, I, I….”

“Oh for Christ sake, it’s lucky you weren’t doing the bloody team talks. Right, I’ve had enough, who are you bringing back in here?”

“I think I have to bring Dave back and Louis, sorry, but he didn’t pull his weight.”

The camera zooms to Louis who has opened his mouth as if lost for words.

“Right, the rest of you can go and wait outside.”

They get up and shuffle towards the door, shaking hands with the other three and wishing them luck.


“Right. Who’s going to start off then?” Sir Alan.

“I think I will”. Louis. “I have absolutely no idea why I’ve been brought back in here.”

“Well he says you didn’t pull your weight.”

“I didn’t have a chance, Sir Alan. I was dumped upstairs and didn’t get the chance to show anything, didn’t get a chance to give a hand.”

“In fairness, there are so many people involved, I had to give someone the smaller tasks.” Lucio.

“It’s called man management sunshine, look it up. Dave, what’s all this wages stuff, do you know how finances work?” Sir Alan.

“Yes, of course I do, but I was looking at profit and….”

“We all love to look at profit, but it doesn’t matter how much you make if you’re wasting money elsewhere. Why shouldn’t I fire you right now?”

“I have so much to give, Sir Alan. I can make a real difference to this club and yeah, finances might not be my strong point, but there are so many important things that need to be taken care of and I think I can excel when given the chance.”

“Finances aren’t your strong point! So many important things, let me tell you something, in my game finances are number one. I’m sorry, but you’ve signed your own death warrant. Dave, you’re fired.”

Lucio puffs a huge sigh of relief as Louis shakes Dave’s hand. They exit the office and shake hands, Dave goes out one door the other two go through another and back to the house.

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