MEDIATION IN A UK SOCCER DISPUTE
31 JANUARY 2024
FTFC FIGHTS ON TWO FRONTS
Episode 2 concluded;-
“Ms Chair rolls up her sleeves. She calls in a few favours from well placed Box Owners who are active in property. Her priority is to get The Striker’s family to Felixstowe and the property has to be substantial enough to accommodate the Striker’s family and regular visits from both sets of parents.
But while this is happening, the No 5 with the roving eye – and more – is spending evenings in the bars and Clubs of London’s West End.”
Ms Chair is used to fire fighting. She is very hands-on and her career in the Docks at Felixstowe dealing with Vessel Captains, Dockers, Trade Unions, Tug Captains, Health + Safety Inspectors, Planners, Insurers et al has provided her with sound training in dispute resolution and a strong mind for handling players, coaches, administrative staff and demanding FTFC fans.
Ms Chair is married with two teenage children. She has risen up through the ranks, challenging vested interests, male chauvinism, bankers, and entrepreneurs, and accumulated much experience from demanding Ship Masters, Tug Boat Captains, Forwarding Agents and the Unions. She has “come up the hard way” and gained respect from the people she encounters on a daily basis. She is focused and committed to the Port of Felixstowe and, with equal ardour, to the fans, players and staff of FTFC – Felixstowe Town Football Club.
She faces two main problems – first, The Striker who has been fined for late arrival at the training ground. Leaving him to one side, Ms Chair – drawing on favours from two owners of FTFC Club Boxes – invites them to look for a five bedroom property with an annex for the respective parents, including a covered heated pool. The Striker’s family needs to be wowed. It has to be a top notch property for the Striker and his family – the player does score a minimum of twenty goals per season.
His talent is there. He will succeed but only if the wife is won over and a quality school can accommodate the sons of the Striker and his wife. With his family settled, The Striker will be free of worry about his family and allow him to prove himself with goals and more goals.
Schools for The Striker’s teenage sons are a priority. Through the FTFC Youth Programme, Ms Chair has cultivated the Heads of local schools and approaches a prominent school that includes Soccer in its curriculum. She also seeks information about the interests of the wife of The Striker. Actually she enjoys pottery as a hobby and Ms Chair instructs her PA to investigate local Arts and Crafts Clubs. She is nothing if not creative. Problem solving is her strength.
But she senses that she has more of a problem with the No 5 central defender and his eye for the ladies. There are two problems; first, fitness and focus are essential qualities for a successful player. He needs rest from the demands of top flight football – not night clubs. And, second, the spirit of the squad will be quickly undermined if he makes any approaches to the wives/girl friends of fellow FTFC players.
Ms Chair senses this is going to be a problem that needs her attention. But how to handle? Speak to the player or his agent? Players have “hangers-on” – maybe a quiet word with No 5’s closest friends? Or even the Italian Club from which he was signed as they will have knowledge about No 5’s character and weaknesses, and his ability to combine work and play. And Ms Chair did strike up a rapport with her opposite number at the Club from which No 5 was signed. Ms Chair puts on her thinking cap. She knows she has a problem.
EPISODE 4 – THE CHAIR ACTS.