A Boardroom Coup!

Technical Directors, much like Grand Viziers, tend to be scheming megalomaniacs.  In our case, it was actually in the job description, due to a brief but torrid love affair between the Chairman and the novels of Terry Pratchett, to wit: “Technical Director (Job Code: TD0032/A). Are you a devious, plotting, unreliable madman? Ah, good, then you can be my most trusted advisor.  Send references and salary requirements to HR.”  This process, amazingly, did not result in a flood of qualified applicants, so we instead turned to our aging forward, Conrad van Hilst.

Van Hilst then turned his attentions to the Chairman, shamelessly flattering him, while working in the occasional suggestion that Manager Danny Budde be ushered into retirement.  This did not work as well as one might have suspected since, while the Chairman certainly loved the brown-nosing, it was outweighed by the Chairman’s love of not spending any money.

Frustrated, van Hilst then turned to the board in an attempt to outflank the Chairman, and found greater success there.  Matters came to a head at today’s meeting, as a group of minority shareholders introduced a resolution calling for Budde’s firing and replacement by van Hilst, and started making noises about triggering the buy-sell clauses in their participation agreements should the Chairman defy their wishes.

The prospect of having to pay off the shareholders or lose control of the club seemed to have the Chairman on the brink of caving, when Lenin Ladines, a former Bago wingback who went on to become the CEO of our largest sponsor piped up to threaten to pull his support if Budde were replaced by van Hilst. Frankly, this turn of events shocked me as I had thought Ladines and van Hilst were friends dating back to their playing days, but there you have it.

Seemingly without options, the Chairman was about to cry havoc and let slip the dogs of commercial litigation, likely condemning us years of chaos.  Instead, it was van Hilst, of all people, who brokered a compromise.  While Budde was to be ushered into retirement, Ladines was placated by having club captain Mariusz Chylstek named manager instead of van Hilst.  Meanwhile, while the minority shareholders were denied their choice of manager, they were satisfied by van Hilst’s promotion to Director of Football, a nebulous title carrying with it an improved parking spot and total control over transfers.  Peace was restored, though bad feelings remained between everyone except, oddly, Ladines and van Hilst, who I saw dining amicably immediately following the meeting.

One hastily arranged press conference, and the deed was done.  Budde resigned in order to spend more time with his family, presumably in order to complain about being fired.  We have a new manager, albeit one without the final say in picking our players.  Van Hilst was mum about his plans for developing the squad, though his past proposals lead me to believe that change will be coming, and soon.



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