The Contract Meeting
9:00am on a very frosty 21st of September, the day after our last game of the season where we had ruined Selfoss’ day and snatched a First Division Title from their grasp. The newspaper that morning loved it, hyping up the drama of it all and presumably, in my opinion, making more of what the Selfoss manager had said in his post-match interview. It was still nice seeing my name in the paper though, something I don’t think I will ever get used to. The article was only small but it was basically saying that I fluked it by leading HK to safety in the remainder of the season and that everyone involved in Icelandic football and fans of HK and every other club were positive that I would fail to do anything in the next season should HK decide to offer me that full-time contract. If?
I thought, how about when?
Because as far as I was concerned that contract was mine as I had fulfilled my end of the bargain with the chairman and I wasn’t going to let him screw me over without putting up a damn fight!
My phone buzzed, it was the Chairmen, just a text message informing me that he and the rest of the board wanted me in their office within the hour to discuss my future. I quickly got myself ready and on my way. My nerves were sky rocketing and my adrenaline pumping, I was expecting the worst and was fully prepared to fight my case should they decide to tell me they were not going to give me a contract. I arrived at the office 20 minutes early and knocked on the door. A familiar voice called for me to enter the room so I walked in and sat on the solitary chair in the room facing a desk in which the chairman, Sigurjón, and another four members of the board whos names I did not know having never met them before were sitting behind.
“So“ Sigurjón started, “You have kept up your end of our arrangement, by successfully avoiding relagation in our remaining games. Congratulations for achieving this goal, however, before we agree on anything long term, I think myself and my collegues would like to hear from you explain why we should keep you as HK manager“
A fair question I suppose
. I mean, it has to be, I was still an inexperienced manager by all accounts and although I showed potential and garnered some good performances in my short time, one swallow doesn‘t make a summer as they say back home. I took a deep breath and decided I would say what they wanted to hear and be ambitious with the hopes that they like the sound of what I was waffling about.
“Well, first of all I would like to thank you personally Sigurjón, and of course the rest of the board for giving me this oppertunity. I don‘t think anyone else was willing to hire me and I appreciate that you all took a huge gamble when you decided to make me an offer. However, sometimes you have to bet big to win big! I promise you all right here and right now that if given the job full-time I will work day and night, with passion, ambition and guile to ensure that in the next season HK will win promotion, no, not just promotion, but the Division, and get back to the top league in the country. Not only that, I will make us competetive in the two cup competitions and who knows we may even come home with a trophy? This is what you would get if you keep me on. I am a young, ambitious manager who is hungry for success and I firmly believe that I can pass on those feelings to the players and bring glory to HK. I love this town, I have settled well and I am even picking up more of the language witch the lads all like to take the piss out of me for! There may be doubters but I am here to prove them wrong!“
I waffled on too long didn‘t I?
Panic set in, my mind was all over the place. I‘ve aimed too high, they want someone with more realistic targets! It was too late now however, as I had given my speech and judging by the looks on everyones faces they didn‘t buy into it at all. My head was already on a plane back to England with my tail between my legs and thinking of how embarrassing it will be explaining it to everyone especially my mate!
“Hmph, a..aha. Ah ha ha ah!“ Sigurjón, the chairman, just started laughing. What the... “YES!“ He boomed. “Yes! This is good! This is what we need“ He looked to his left and then his right to his colleagues who all nodded in agreement, although they didn‘t look as ecstatic as Sigurjón who had a goofy looking wide grin on his face at this point. I was starting to realise he was a bit of an eccentric man. “You will have the job Mr Fairbairn! You show great ambition and desire to win, two qualities I like to see. I will give you another year here at HK and you will deliver this success. I can feel it already! Though I must warn you, failure to deliver a good, no, fantastic season will result in the termination of your services as manager.“
“Of... Of course Sigurjón. Thank you so much!“ I mustered. I can‘t believe he bought into that. I really couldn‘t believe it, surely any sensible man in charge would have let me go home straight away and started looking for my replacement. Sigurjón was no ordinary man though I was slowly starting to discover, and I hoped that that was a good thing, but when I really thought about it, those types of people were usually trouble...
I shook everyones hand, with Sigurjón grabbing my hand and pulling me into a tight embrace. Ok that was definitley weird
. I took my leave and put a message in the players group chat, I had secured another year at the club and would be managing them next season. The replies all seemed to be positive on the whole, they had made me feel welcome since my arrival and to be honest I was quite lucky to have them. They could have just as easily turned on me and our recovery last season would have been a different story.
So with another new sence of drive and determination, I went back home and started making preperations for next season. I did say I would be working around the clock didn‘t I?
Hopefully the success would come and I would not end up regretting that decision...