More footballing woes. In 2006 England got lumbered with incompetent, Graham Taylor Mark 2, Steve McLaren. How things could have been different though. We almost landed Brazilian World Cup winner, then Portugal boss and now Chelsea-bound ‘Big Phil’ Scolari. The man credited with making Arsenal such a business operation to be envied, David Dein, shared in yesterday’s Guardian (read in the delightful ‘Coffee @ Brick Lane’) fascinating insight from his close involvement with England’s ultimately unsuccessful approach to Scolari:
“My experience of doing deals in football is, if you want somebody, you never leave the scene until you have the guy signed up. Never let the guy leave the room. Once you do, somebody else will come in, the price will go up. When you are eyeballing somebody you have to keep that going, camp there, until you finish the deal. If you think you have a chance you put the lid on the bottle.”
“For some reason there was a gap of time given for him to make a decision, which was fatal. At that stage the Portugal prime minister got involved. Scolari’s kids at school got mentally attacked – ‘Your dad’s going to betray Portugal’. In the end the heat got so [high]. There was a gap in time where he went off the worm.”
How many times have you left a meeting spending the commission in your head, only to later lose out? This is a great example of making sure you (to use footie parlance) ‘finish’.