Flares, Fireworks and the FFA
The recent appointment of David Gallop to the CEO position of Football Federation Australia might have seen his first day on the job go something like this.
Frank Lowy, Ben Buckley and Gallop celebrated Gallop’s appointment with cigars, which Frank lit by ripping the top off a flare. “I’ve bought every flare in Australia,” Lowy said. “No football fan can get their hands on them. The downside is a lot of ships are going to get lost at sea because they don’t have a distress device, but we’ll come up with something.
“Now, David, Ben’s going to work on the TV deal but if you know anyone at Channel Nine who can explain how they’ll pay a billion bucks and only televise one live game a week, pass their name onto Ben, OK?
“In the meantime, David, get Lyle Gorman on the line and tell him that for the rest of the Wanderers’ pre-season, he needs to send the schedule to me. What I’m going to do is adjust it and send it to the Telegraph so when they turn up to cover a game, they’ll be in the wrong place. When they see no-one’s at the ground, they’ll think they’ve done their job.
“Let him know we can’t have the Wanderers losing to old NSL clubs too – not a good look. Lucky for us that goose threw a fire cracker last Wednesday and everyone forgot that Sydney United won the game.
“While you’re at it, contact the bid team from Canberra and let them know that’s one of the big reasons we can’t let them into the league yet – not while any loony can buy fireworks down there legally. God, the press’ll have a field day!
“When you’re done there, get on the phone to Harry Kewell and see how his mother-in-law is. Find out if we can move her and the family back here and give her the best medical treatment in the world. But be sensitive, OK? I don’t want you getting the family offside – I remember the Stewarts! I need some Kewell pre-season media for the league.
“If he’s interested in Stoke, remind him he can play for the Melbourne Heart if he wants – they’ve got the same strip and there’s still six weeks to the derby opener. God, how good would that be? Harry versus the Victory? The headlines write themselves. Unless you’re that Smithies bloke, he’s already written a headline for that one.
“Sorry, thinking laterally there. Talk to Ange as well. Ange who? Oh, come on David, get yourself up to speed. Ange Postecoglou, the guy who’s changing the way we play the game. Yeah, THAT Ange. Let him know we need the Victory to live up to their name a bit more this season, OK?
No greater sight than seeing Docklands packed to the rafters for a play-off game, festooned in navy and white. That Demetriou chap will wonder what all those Carlton fans are doing at a game. By the way, David, Carlton actually made an NSL grand final in the 90s, bet you didn’t know that.
“Take a trip up the F3 too, say hi to Arnie for me on the way and then find out where Tinkler’s head is at right now. I read in the paper his luck’s run out. Good Lord, that’s all I need, him crying poor to us as the season’s about to start.
You know him from your league days – have a chat to him and slip in somewhere in the conversation that the Jets have won a premiership a lot more recently than the Knights. He likes winners, might help his mindset if you mention it.
“That’s probably enough for the morning. We can get to Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Wellington later today. Leave Sydney FC for the moment – I don’t want the press moaning and saying I’m showing them favours or they’re the new Hakoah or any of that garbage.
“The only other thing you need to do is set up a meeting with Holger. I copped it from Ferguson and McKinna after Scotland beat us – you ever have a Scotsman take the p*ss out of you, David? Never mind, we’ve got a World Cup qualifier coming up against Jordan.
“What’s that? Yes, mate, we have to qualify for a World Cup, unless we get to host one. But don’t even mention that, OK?”
Welcome to football, David Gallop. And let’s get this A-League season underway!
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