A former Premier League manager approached us here at Tales and asked that we publish his diaries, so he could show the public what life is like out of the game. His only request was that he remained anonymous. Below is this week’s entry:

Today I’m finally going to get around to finding a new agent. My current agent, Derek Latham, is letting me down with his cheese based ventures. I haven’t heard from him since I called him a few weeks ago (as I noted in a previous diary) and to be perfectly honest I now consider the man deceased. I pay him a percentage of my earnings and he has the gall to ignore my calls? Pah! No, now it is time to get back on the horse! The managerial horse, of course, not heroin. I would like to make it clear, I have never partaken in any illegal drugs, just a lager and lime for me please.

I rang a few ex-players of mine and did a bit of mild googling to compile my candidate list. I arranged for them to all visit me on one day in my office at Chez [REDACTED]. I had prepared a short set of questions and laid out the interview room. I decided I would sit in a large high-backed leather chair to make myself more imposing. I need this new agent to know I mean business. I found an old folding wooden garden chair that had gone a bit rotten. The candidate could sit on that, I need to know they can operate in the worst of conditions. I also filled a jug with water with ice in and two glasses. I decided that my early power play would be to pour the drinks but pointedly give them less than myself. Petty, yes; but effective. I had found two candidates worth interviewing. I looked forward to their arrival, although I had to keep replacing the melting ice and had run out by the time the interviews began.

The first candidate entered a little over an hour after I had set up the office. He was a very large man with dark, closely curled hair. He filled the room, both literally and figuratively. This man had gravitas, he had power and he had charisma. However, he also had arrived with another man by his side. This man was much shorter than both me and the candidate but was immaculately groomed. He was also wearing some bright white gloves, a bit like Mickey Mouse.
‘Greetings. We are here for the interview,’ the small man said. The larger man was surveying the room.
‘Er…yes,’ I spluttered. ‘Which one of you am I interviewing today?’ This is good, quality humour, showing them who’s in charge early in proceedings.
‘Why, the boss,’ said the small man, motioning to the larger man, who was now running his fingers through my curtains.
‘Let’s get started,’ I said, sitting in my chair and pouring a glass of water for myself. I knew this glass of water technique would be worth all that trouble of hunting down a jug, regardless of the nettle stings I had received rummaging through the garage.

The pair moved forwards towards my desk. Before either of them got close enough to sit on the chair, the large man threw up his arms and bellowed in a foreign language. The smaller man moved forward in a single bound, grasping the chair in his gloves.
‘This will not do,’ the small man said curtly. ‘Are there any better chairs?’
This was ridiculous. This man wasn’t the agent for me. Who needs an entourage for an interview? Why has he brought this odd man with him to meet me? What will this man do to my picnic chair?
‘I’m sorry, it’s that chair or no chair,’ I said, staring the small man down.
The small man turned and muttered something to the boss. The large man looked deeply offended, turned to leave and barked an order at his compatriot.
‘Wait, what are you-’
Before I could finish he had raised the chair over his head and smashed it on the ground. The boss was laughing now as he left, knocking over a vase on his way out. The small man just kept smashing the chair against the ground as I looked on, horrified at how badly this interview had gone. Are all agents terrible people? I thought they were supposed to help their clients, not destroy their lives for their own personal gain? Once the small man had decided he had sufficiently destroyed the chair, he followed his employer out the room, wiping his gloves with a golden handkerchief.

I sat dejected behind my desk, looking on eBay for a new picnic chair. Once I discovered that the seemingly worthless chair turned out to be worth quite a few thousand pounds, I shut my computer down, drew the curtains and sat in the darkness. I was tired of being out of the game, tired of all the meaningless tripe that filled my days between being a manager and being this pathetic lump who can’t even find a competent agent.

Suddenly, there was a knock at the door.
‘Not now Carol, I’m busy,’ I groaned.
‘Sorry, I’m not late for the interview am I?’ A young woman had poked her head in my office. The second candidate! I’d completely forgotten! I checked my watch. Oh dear I thought, she was over an hour late.
‘Yes, sorry, I had actually made it to your house but your neighbour said it had been condemned and I must have got the wrong address.’
Curse him! I made a mental note to steal his post in the morning.
‘Ah, yes, sorry. That man is mentally deranged. Please, take a seat.’
She looked at the pile of wood, then at the large chair.
‘Oh, right,’ I said, ‘we’ve had a little bit of trouble with the other candidates. You can take the chair, I’ll stand.’
She sat down, adjusted her pencil skirt and made sure her blazer buttons were still attached. We sat and talked for about an hour. I didn’t even remember to neglect to pour the water. This woman actually knew what the job would entail, what other gigs she could get me involved in and didn’t destroy any of my furniture.
‘Sorry, I didn’t catch your name?’ I said as I escorted her out.
‘Julie Taylor.’
‘Well, Julie, consider yourself hired.’
She shrieked with glee. I said we would draw up a contract in the morning when she started.

After she had left, my phone buzzed. It was Derek. He had texted me to say that a Qatari investor had backed his car cheese idea and he was launching it next week. I scrolled through my contacts and deleted his number.

Things were looking up for old [REDACTED].