An entry from the diary of Piotr Stichupavitch Arshalavin, Georgian billionaire and owner of Farceski Boomshakalaka football team.
It’s not been a good month. I spend two years building up this team with the money I got when natural gas reserves were discovered beneath the turnip farm I “inherited” when my neighbour had an unfortunate accident and fell into the slurry mixer.
Things were looking up when I won the local election for regional governor and I was able to supply employment for many out of work ex-special forces security experts in managing the supply and the pipeline we built to 3rd world countries like England that have frittered away their own reserves and sold control of their supplies to people like me. I have made a massive fortune by quadrupling the cost per unit and threatening to cut supplies in the height of winter if the new prices are resisted.
I needed somewhere for tax reasons to invest my money and where better than in my home town football club? I had a dream that I could make Boomshakalaka into one of the great clubs of Europe. We may only have been in the Georgian 2nd Division and we did have a problem with stray goats on the training pitch but a few million roubles, sorry euros soon put that right. It’s amazing how many skilful players there are from impoverished backgrounds who will play wherever the money is, even if the standard of football is rubbish and they only have to play two competitive games a season. Last year, having clinched promotion, we beat Nureyev Dynamos and qualified for the Europa League.
The thing is, I am not the only one from the former soviet socialist republic that got lucky in this way. My grandfather Gollum Illitch Stichupavitch always used to say to me, “Remember Piotr, there are always bigger fishessesss in the sea”. (He had developed an unusual taste for raw fish and vodka having been obliged to spend many years underground beneath the Misty Mountains in his youth.) We all did rather well in the post communism years but some did better than others. Fierce rivalries developed amongst former friends and colleagues. The real power rests with the first of the few that have stayed in with the source of real power, he who must not be named. The holder of the poisoned tipped umbrella and assassination squads operating with impunity across the globe.
I thought I was one of the inner circle but I clearly put somebody’s nose out of joint. This became clear when I received a warning call from my cousin Aleksander, who owns a meerkat comparison website based in the UK. Before I knew what was going on, I was arrested on corruption charges and found guilty and sentenced to 30 years in jail and a 100 billion Euro fine. I had to put all of Boomshakalaka’s players up for sale to raise the money. Luckily there were no shortage of buyers. North London Whites outbid Scouse Reds for Billian and he went to London for a medical and to sign a 5 year contract at the start of the week.
Then I received another ‘phone call. It was from a former friend who had followed a similar path to my own. He has proved to be an even bigger player, a real member of the inner circle, close friend of the bare chested one, especially since he helped to pull off the allocation of the World Cup to Russia. He has offered me an extra 2 million euros for Billian. His public image is quiet, you see him at the occasional game but virtually never see interviews or see him speaking in public. No one has any doubt about his influence though. He bought West London Blues after a previous owner died in a tragic helicopter accident and has filled it up with some of the most expensive players in the world, buying much success.
I know some of his innermost secrets. We used to sit and watch James Bond films on his Betamax in the dacha by the lake. His favourite was Thunderball. “One day, I’m going to own a boat like that, Piotr” he would say as Largo’s yacht jettisoned its rear pod, machine guns blazing and jetted away from the US navy. His favourite film of all was Scarface, followed by the Godfather. When he rang the other day, he reminisced at first about those films. Then he made me the offer. “You know Tony’s big mistake, Piotr? He didn’t know when he was beaten, when he had bitten off more than he could chew. Then when the Big Fish’s army showed up at his mansion, it was too late to save himself.” The mention of the Big Fish brought grandfather’s words back to me. “By the way, I have had a word with He Who Must Be Obeyed and he has agreed to quash your prison sentence and reduce your fine by 50%. Isn’t that good news? Damn, it’s started to rain here, I must dig out my old umbrella. There’s a blogger for a football fan site who is becoming a bit of a nuisance. Now, about Billian…”
Come on, what would you do? Freedom and an extra 52 billion euros in my pocket. No contest. Sorry North London Whites.
***This article is pure fiction and for your amusement. Any resemblance to any real life situations or characters, alive or dead is purely coincidental***