Ah, the final board meeting of the 2021 season.
I thought to myself, walking through the revolving entrance doors of Raatin Stadion. At the beginning of this campaign I was completely distraught, devastated by the silly accusations thrown at me over the Niilo Makinen affair - that still hasn't yet concluded.
"Morning darling," I said to my girlfriend Leena, who was now head of club communications after a promotion from secretary. "Are you coming to mine after work tonight or are you busy?"
"Sure, I'll be round at your house at about seven o'clock, is that OK?" She replied with her beautiful gleaming smile.
"Sounds good to me," I smiled back at her. "Just got the end of season meeting through there and I'll be out of here."
I always thought of the first days of working at Oulu whenever I walked through the newly renovated corridors of the building, leading towards the boardroom. Memories of my initial hiring in late December 2017 flooded back every time.
"Good morning gentlemen!" I cheerfully said as I swung open the door of the boardroom.
"Ah! Aapo! How are you this fine afternoon?" asked the managing director Petteri Haapala. The rest of the room were standing, with great big beaming corporate smiles in their expensive suits, all ready to greet me.
Once the pleasantries were over, I took a seat opposite to the six board members as we prepared to discuss end-of-season matters.
"First things first, Aapo," the chairman Risto Ihalainen started. "This will be the last time we have meetings like this in the quarters of the clubs stadium. We'll be moving to a new operating office in March where pretty much all of the clubs paperwork and all the boring stuff will be done,
"But please, let us all thank you for what has been the greatest year of all our memories with running this club since we began almost twenty years ago now." the rest of the room nodded in agreement, with a thumbs up from one of the other directors. "This year, the club finished the season with an overall balance of €19,200,000 - quite frankly one of the biggest balances in the history of any club in Finnish football,"
"And to that, we owe it all down to you," chimed Ville Pukka, clasping his hands together on the far-right of the table.
"Absolutely Ville," agreed the chairman Risto Ihalainen. "And to really give back to you and you achievements in the past few years, but most of all this seasons outstanding performance, we have sorted a few great things for you,"
"I'd absolutely love to hear them!" I said gleefully as I anticipated the predictably good news.
The clubs financial director, Pasi Moilanen tapped a pile of papers that he was holding onto on the wooden table, asserting his upcoming introduction into the conversation.
"Yes, absolutely Risto," he said, picking out certain documents and passing them over to me on the other side. "What we have for the 2022 season are some drastically positive changes, as a result of the rewards received from reaching the Champions League group stage.
"We are handing you a transfer budget of sixteen million Euros
as well as a wage budget of just over one-hundred thousand Euros per week
The words 'sixteen million' rang around my mind as if I'd just been hit on the head with the entire weight of the sum! I had only ever operated on a budget of €3,000,000 at most!
"On top of this, the transition of the club from semi-professional to a professional football club has been successfully completed in the past few months," Moisanen continued, as if he was unleashing a train of good news hurtling towards me. "And even more great news is that the board have sanctioned a €2.3million upgrade of Oulu's training and youth facilities, expected to be completed in around mid-April this year."
Risto Ihalainen interjected once more in proceedings by adding: "Yes, it's all fantastic news, and to add to it all we sent Pasi down to the bank the other day and we have finally paid off the remaining €900,000 loan with immediate effect."
It was the
perfect board meeting.
Cheers mate, the Porto result did come as a slight consolation despite losing simply because it wasn't as bad as the other results earlier against Arsenal and PSG
But you're right, the financial boost has been astronomical this season as a result of our advancement into the group stages. Long live Aapo Virtanen!