Position:Manager of the Republic of Ireland senior football team and guardian of a nation’s hopes and dreams.
Employer: Football Association of Ireland. Based in Dublin, this is a world-famous sports organisation that demands the best of its employees and its fans, renowned for its ability to produce labyrinthine financial accounts, to promote sell-out friendlies involving foreign clubs, and to stick its head in the sand regarding the lack of quality youngsters being developed in Ireland.
Salary:Negotiable – depending on whether our Sugar Daddy who helps us out with running the show thinks you are worth six or seven figures. Put it this way: if you have a foreign accent and a bit of a reputation, we can probably guarantee you more than if you are a native. Wages can also be supplemented by a handy few bob in endorsements if the national economy picks up and the team starts winning. Eh, perhaps best not to factor either of those into your earnings just yet.
Qualifications:It would help if you can speak English but it’s not essential because some of our players aren’t that fluent in it anyway. We aren’t the kind of high-maintenance association that will make you learn the language just because you are drawing down over a million euros per year. We also find that the inability to speak the language helps avoid awkward questions from reporters. Not to mention that when in trouble in press conferences resorting to some sort of impersonation of Manuel from Fawlty Towers can be a charming way out of trouble. Also, having an attractive female interpreter has been known to serve as a cute distraction in times of crisis. Something to bear in mind.
Experience.The last guy we had was one of the most experienced managers still working in the game. He’d seen and done it all. However, before that we opted for a poor chap who was an assistant at Walsall where his main job was coaching the defenders. So, as you can see, we are open to just about anybody who has ever kicked a ball or managed a team as long as he’s not from Cork and is not obsessed with excellence and overachieving and all that uppity nonsense. Anybody who has ever pointed out the deficiencies in the FAI and muttered any blasphemy about the blazers being treated better than those who wore the jersey need not apply either.
Location: Well, now that you mention it, this one is a bit tricky. You can live in any country you want but we’d like you to travel to Britain at the weekends to watch our best players playing and to try to ascertain the usual boring stuff involving what kind of form they are in, what sort of positions they are being played in etc…Now, if you have an impressive enough CV, we might look the other way on this score and just bang you over a few DVDS every Sunday night. We had that arrangement with the last fella and it worked out fine until the results started going bad. Then we made him get on a plane every so often just to give the supporters one less thing to moan about. Again, this one is negotiable. From time to time you will have to show your face around Ireland though. Our incredibly hard-working chief executive has visited 5 million clubs over the past two years and he’d like you to pop along with him the odd time especially if there’s a pitch or a trophy being named after him (this happens a lot). Maybe if you are good enough at your job, they might name something after you too. In fact, let’s put that in as a bonus perk of the position.
Additional requirements: You must not be a fan of the Champions’ League. None of our players really play there anymore and the way things are going that situation is unlikely to change during your tenure. We do have one guy with Celtic who might be mixing it with the best players in the world this season but he hasn’t been in the international squad for a while, not since his life began to read like a sample script from an especially bizarre episode of Love/Hate. Anyway, what we’re trying to say is you better tape the Barcelona and Bayern matches because you’ll be spending your Tuesday nights knocking around the Championship and League One (Wolverhampton is lovely in November). The grounds are much smaller but the atmosphere can be just as good.
The successful candidate must also be willing to accept unusual practices. International caps are often given out to players in airport bars. The chief executive is a YouTube sensation who likes to go onto the pitch after winning important games to sing with the fans and to offer them his green tie. No matter how bad things are, manager must be able to put on a brave face and pretend things are looking up and the future is bright. Again, lack of basic English may be a boon in this regard.
How to apply: Send a CV to Stephen Driver at FAI Human Resources. It might also not hinder your candidacy if you run a parallel campaign in the media. Get people who are still “in” with the leaders of the game in Ireland to talk up your credentials on television and radio and in print. Start with a well-placed leak to a newspaper or with a hefty wager on yourself up to push you up near the top of the board in the betting shops. Then get somebody to talk about how you are a great man-manager, the kind players love to play for. Whatever you do, don’t let anybody mention how your teams were usually dour and unattractive but capable of eking out results. We have to convince our fans the new guy will make the team more entertaining.
Closing date for applications: We aren’t sure yet. That’s the way we operate.