CSKA MOSKVA OFFERS BENDIŠ ESCAPE
Bendiš has been plying his trade down in the boroughs of the Croatian football league, for just a bit over a year and a half, and, so far has managed to do great things with Hajduk, staving off the creditors and leading the club out of the dire financial straits that they were in, playing with young players, and for the past season, entirely with a home-grown team.
And, until this morning, he thought no one noticed...
At 7 in the morning, Bendiš followed his routine. He, one of the lowest paid managers in Croatia, arrived at his café, "kod Bendiš-a" and unlocked the door. Made a cup of coffee as he sat on Riva going through the mail. Most of it was local youngsters requesting trials. Every couple minutes someone would walk and sit down next to the manager, and they'd chat for a few minutes, before Bendiš would return to work.
Near the bottom of the stack of letters, Bendiš grew bored, and took the newspaper and read a few headlines. The usual: Corruption in the parliament, the European Union, some oil squabble in Ukraine before the winter, nothing out of the ordinary. Barcelona were down in 9th place, while Athletic Bilbao lead Real Madrid by a solitary point, 11 games in... On the TV, a rerun of the win over Twente was on mute.
The clock tower chimed 8, then 8.30... training started at 11.00 every morning, but most of his players were early, thankfully. No Carlos Tevez Bendiš had to deal with. He thought it over: that was the benefit of home-grown players. Everyone loved playing for their home team, so it wasn't really about individuals playing better, but about the team playing better together. If he had to guess, Kiš and Džoni were probably the first to show up in the morning... they're probably there already... Every once in a while, one of his players stopped by at his café, not this morning though...
Bendiš finished the crossword a few minutes later, before moving back to his stack of letters, after writing back to a few more youngsters and giving them trials with the U19s, he came along, at the very bottom something... different.
Addressed to his full name - rarely did the local youngsters use his second name: Ivo - the envelope was made from a much thicker paper than usual, a "luxury" envelope if you will... Hajduk didn't have such extravagances, as the manager didn't even have a personal assistant anymore... which is why he was the one reading his letters in his café on a Tuesday morning. In the corner was a return address in Moscow, and when he turned the envelope over, he ran into a sturdy wax seal. Before he managed to open it, an old family friend stopped by and had a cup of coffee, the time was closer to 9 now, but, at 9.30, Bendiš finally managed to open the letter, and read the first few lines, and he immediately got in his car and left for home.
See, inside the envelope was this:
Split 21 000
To Mr. Timmy Ivo Bendiš:
The board would like to offer you the position as General Manager of PFC CSKA Moskva. The contract expires in 2017, the yearly salary is 187 500 €. Please be in touch.
Chairman of the Board of Directors
PFC CSKA Moskva