It’s the time of year when clubs dispose of the useless managers that have guided them into the mire of failure and say hello to the new one, hoping that he won’t repeat the same mistakes but quietly knowing that it won’t be long before another P45 is printed out.
For the new manager however, everything is rosy and nothing can possibly go wrong.
Or at least that’s what he says. But what does he really mean…?
WHAT HE SAYS: ‘I’m excited to be here and am looking forward to a long and successful tenure in charge of this great club.’
WHAT HE MEANS: ‘I thought I’d cooked my goose after my last job when I dodged the drop on the last day with a 22% win-rate. The chump running this place seems to have overlooked that time I said something racist when I was doing some drunk punditry too. Might be last chance saloon so I’ve negotiated a hefty signing-on fee.’
WHAT HE SAYS: ‘I’ve always had a strong admiration for this club – they do things the right way and I’m proud to be given the opportunity to manage them.’
WHAT HE MEANS: ‘This is the sixth job I’ve applied for since the end of the season but beggars can’t be choosers. I honestly thought this dump was near Manchester but it’s in the West Midlands or something. Still, there’s nothing to do so the local dogging scene might be half-decent…’
WHAT HE SAYS: ‘The fans here are magnificent – even when I used to come here as a player, I knew they were something special.’
WHAT HE MEANS: ‘These days, players cover their mouths when they talk but when I was up against these f***ers, I had to cover my mouth every time I went over to take a throw because they all spat out bits of pie crust when they shouted at me. Actually it might have been Rotherham – these s***holes are all the same.’
WHAT HE SAYS: ‘I had a long conversation with the owner before accepting his offer to manage the club and it’s great that we’ve both got the same aims going forward.’
WHAT HE MEANS: ‘He says he’ll be over the moon if we finish above the local rivals up the road because it’ll keep the idiot fans off his back – even if we’re second bottom. Plus he said he’d give me a £5k bonus if we can get through a whole season without any angry fans keying his motor.’
WHAT HE SAYS: ‘I don’t want to discuss the transfer budget too openly but I’m happy with the funds that will be available to me.’
WHAT HE MEANS: ‘There’s f*** all to spend. If I can offload the fat striker who’s on £30k a week, apparently I can use his wages to bring in some free transfers. I know an agent who’s trying to tout around a couple of angry Serbs. Might be worth getting them in and it’ll look like I’ve got some kind of continental scouting system going on. The truth is that my kid recommends me good players from his Football Manager iPad game.’
WHAT HE SAYS: ‘It’s too soon to talk about who’ll be coming in and who’ll be going out – I’ll need a few days to assess the squad and we’ll take it from there.’
WHAT HE MEANS: ‘I know exactly what I’m going to have on my hands here. A couple of booze monsters, at least one who pretends he’s got a string of niggling injuries. There’ll be one who keeps bursting into tears when we lose and another who disappears for two days during the week and comes back with scratches all over his body. Oh, and a half-blind one who won’t do anything about it. Give me two months and I’ll be praying for the sack.’