Ivan Gazidis’s office. Ivan is inside booking a flight to Dubai using his Emirates staff discount card. There is a knock at the door:


Ivan: “Come in”

Arsène: “Errr… hello Ivan”

Ivan: “Ah, Arsène, thanks for popping ’round. Please, take a seat”

(Arsène sits down)

Ivan: “Enjoying the sun?”

Arsène: “So, so”

Ivan: “Indeed. Anyway … I have some bad news. Real Madrid called on Saturday night and it’s a no-go on Higuaín sadly. They ain’t selling”

Arsène: “Oh dear”

Ivan: “Oh dear indeed”

(The two men start laughing)

Ivan: “Phew hey! Imagine us paying that much for a player. I mean, the wages alone”

Arsène: “It would have been crazy Ivan. With that much money I can buy 23 French teenagers and a couple of African ones too”

Ivan: “More Arsène, more. I’ve been told about a dozen nine-year-olds from Mozambique who are absolutely terrific and would cost no more than a few pennies each”

(Arsène pulls his wallet out of his pocket and flicks through the contents): “Hmmm … yes I can afford that”

Ivan: “WE can afford that Arsène, WE”

(Arsène smiles): “Yes Ivan, WE”

Ivan: “Anyway, we’ve dodged a bullet there, but the fans are still grumbling. They want a big signing … or at least for us to try and make a big signing”

(Arsène sighs)

Ivan: “I know how you feel about this Arsène but you have to understand it from their point of view. I mean … it’s been eight years since Arsenal won a -”

Arsène: “We qualify for the Champions League every season Ivan!”

Ivan: “I know Arsène, I know. And the board are very grateful. But we have to listen to the fans. Or at least pretend to listen to them”

Arsène: “Yes, yes”

Ivan: “Don’t panic – I have a plan. I’m going to call Liverpool up again and tell them we want to improve our bid for Luis Suárez

Arsène: “Ivan, no. I’ve told you already, I don’t want that madman anywhere near here. He’ll try and eat the players”

Ivan: “Relax Arsène, I know what I’m doing. I’m going to increase our bid to £35m – there’s no way Liverpool will accept that. But the fans will be happy because they’ll think we’re serious about spending lots of money, signing big players, and meanwhile we can concentrate on the kids. You know, the ones from Mozambique I was telling you about.”

Arsène: “OK Ivan, if you think that will work, let’s do it. But we mustn’t go up to £40m. We cannot risk Liverpool saying yes”

Ivan: “Don’t worry Arsène, we won’t. £35m and then we stop”

Arsène: “OK”

Ivan: “Excellent. Don’t mean to be rude Arsène, but I’m kind of in the middle of something here”

Arsène: “Oh, sorry. I’ll go”

Ivan: “Great. Shut the door on the way out will you”

(Arsène stands up and leaves the room)


culled from Guardian.co.uk