Wow . I thought, as I made the short journey to Bucks Bisons’ training ground for the first time. This is it. A deal that had been weeks, months even in the making had all boiled down to this. Officially, manager of Bucks Bisons. Unofficially, something much, much more sinister.
I turned off onto a wide, American style road flanked by hedges just off a conservative grey pavement. From here, it was clear that the training facilities were impressive. Of course, they were modern. But they were also sophisticated. Sleek. Yet complex and High-Tec. Immediately I noticed a few of the outbuildings on the sight, each seemed to contain a laboratory style room alongside a much more attractive office leading through.
There were, obviously, no players, though
. That was going to be my biggest challenge. I’d literally been handed a wad of cash, and was expected to turn it into players. And not just any players. But sustainable, multiple promotion getting players. Challenge accepted
I parked up, locked the car and headed for what I thought was the front entrance. After a brief and friendly chat with the receptionist, I headed out to meet the man fronting this new project: club president, Gareth Pack. Like me, Gareth was fully aware of the real reason this football club had been summoned out of thin air, but, also like me, he was here to do a job
. That job remained solely on the pitch. And off it, of course. But all football related.
Gareth had to be seen to have a decent amount of wealth. He did, as well: for a while back, he was managing director of Audi, more recently he took over as CEO at Hewlett-Packard and, shortly before retiring at the ripe old age of 46, owned his own business analysis company, working with the likes of Nestle, Coca-Cola and even Apple.
He sat at the table with piercing green eyes and a look that gave you the impression he was not just watching, logging your every move, but analysing it. Processing it through the large and super intelligent CPU that was Gareth’s brain. His hair was black. Nothing eccentric; relatively short, but not ‘chav’ short. He had the look of an efficient, purposeful worker who knows what he needs to do and how to do it.
I assume that was why he was chosen. He clearly had experience with regard to the law, whether for or against… he just gave you that feeling. The sort of thing that sends shivers through your body. I spent a while contemplating the man sat in front of me, and, as I stared shallowly into his black coffee, I was rather startled by his start to the discussion.