The Liverpool Problem: The Infamous Helicopter

The call came as I was enjoying the dregs of sleeping in. Just conscious enough to appreciate the warmth, I savoured my imprint on my mattress. Sunlight was slicing sneaklily in through the blinds and I could almost hear the blue sky cloudlessly humming by. The peace was interrupted by my phone beginning to ring.

As it was morning and I was still in sleep mode, my voice emerged from my mouth like a drunken caveman from his cave the morning after.

‘Urhhlo?’. The voice that shot down the other end was lean and officious. It was an American.

‘Mr Daniel Leydon?’

‘Is this about my passport?’

‘No. This is John W Henry. I head up the Fenway Sports Group. We’ve recently purchased Liverpool Football Club and are aiming to have the management area fully staffed on a permanent contractual basis as soon as we can’. Due to my dim witted slumber, his side of the conversation was entering my head akin to the manner in which a square peg would fit in a round hole.

‘I don’t really see how my passport comes into it though’.

‘Mr Leydon we are en route to your house for a meeting. This is serious. Is there anywhere we can land?’. I opened my eyes.


John Henry emerged from beneath the titanic blades of his chopper, which was occupying all of my front garden and had squashed my neighbours shed (which I didn’t really worry about as he had lent me weed killer that turned my tarmac lime green). Henry was bent over, one hand holding his glasses, one thrust out to shake my hand as he ran towards me. His mouth looked like it was saying ‘Mr Leydon, good to meet you’ but the deafening blast coming from the still running chopper drowned everything else to mute. I stood there gapemouthed as he shook my hand.

‘Mr Leydon I am very sorry for the dramatic urgency, but we need you to come to Melwood immediately’

‘I haven’t had my breakfast yet. I was just gonna eat it’ I said, pointing back at my house ‘I could go then?’. Henry looked a bit bemused. He ummed, checked his watch and then looked at the chopper pilot.

‘We could get you whatever food you want when we get to Melwood?’ he said hopefully as he looked back at me.

‘I’ve already got the water boiling inside. Poached eggs?’

John W Henry liked his eggs soft and his toast lightly buttered.

As I watched my house fall away with the rest of the ground I saw my mothers car pull into the driveway. Her face gazed up through the window, her mouth hanging open. I jerked my thumb in the direction we were going and mouthed the words ‘I’m going out, be back later’. The car disappeared beneath us.

‘John is this the same helicopter that brought Ryan Babel to London that time?’. He laughed and in doing so completely ignored my question. Then fixing me a stare, he spoke.

‘Daniel, this is-’

‘Call me Dan’

‘Okay. Dan I’m just going to be straight up. FSG needs you to be the next manager of Liverpool Football Club. We will pull out all the stops to get you. What do we have to do to ensure you take the post?’. Incredulous, I hazarded a question.

‘You are aware of who I am right?’.

‘I understand this seems like insanity to you Daniel-’


‘I understand this seems like isanity to you Dan, but we have air tight logic that points to you, for whatever reason, as the definite choice for the job. The intellect that has chosen you has never in my long and varied history of dealing with it, been proven wrong. I have no reason to doubt it. So when it informs me that you are the one to employ I will follow up on the instruction to the best of my ability and considerable financial clout’.

I thought back over what he had said. These guys didn’t get to where they were (gatecrashing peoples breakfasts in massive helicopters) by going on dodgy info. Add my eternal illogical psychotic passion for Liverpool Football Club into the mix and I had my answer.


‘Mr Henry’

‘John, I’ll take it’. His eyes lit up. He grabbed my hand and shook it vigorously.

‘Great news Dan! That is great, once we get to Melwood we can get the contract signed. If you’ll excuse me I need to get a few things in order’ and he took out his mobile phone. He must have been talking to his secretary.

‘Yeah, that’s right, he agreed to it. Get the youth squad in off the training pitch. Yeah I’ll bet they’re disappointed after they practiced that ‘Welcome’ formation but we don’t need it now. Oh and did you get Linda in touch with that decorator? We need to get that mural of Ian Rush painted by tomorrow evening. One more thing, the zookeeper said he needs more help, for Christ sake get him an assistant, those penguins are multiplying. What? I don’t care if you can’t get the San Diego zookeepers, get Comolli on it, recruitment is his area’. With that he hung up.

‘Dan we’ll be approaching Merseyside in the next fifteen minutes. I hope you’re ready’


‘Mr Henry’

‘John, I was born ready’ I beamed as I looked out on the Irish Sea as it flitted by way beneath us. Melwood was waiting for me.

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