Dear Vicki

Monkey Business agony aunt VICKI PARK returns with help for troubled souls

Dear Vicki,
I am aiming to be a candidate in this year's United States presidential election and being a controversial character I was wondering if you have any advice for me in my quest.

DT, Washington
Dear DT,
Unfamiliar as I am with public life on your side of the Atlantic, I do however know that we have experience of controversial characters over here too. One you may not be familiar with was a very rich man with comb-over hair, who took over a UK soccer club, or as Sky TV would say 'soccer club' , and ran it, and his millions, into the ground, ending up in prison.

The lesson I would pass on from his story is: don't promise anything in five years, don't waste money building things that may not be much use, and get a sensible haircut. And don't, ever, get involved with soccer. Or heskylators.

Dear Vicki,
Until recently I managed a North-East Premier League club. I have managed several other English clubs as well as the national side, but always ended up winning nothing and being sacked. Yet I have also been successful in managing on the continent. Can you expain this, and tell me what I can do about it if I want to continue in management in England.
SMcC, Newcastle
Dear SMcC,
I think you have already given the answer. You are successful abroad. You are a failure in the UK. Accept that and do what you do best, managing on the continent. 

If you still want to continue trying again in England, good luck to you, but remember that having been sacked a few times already, mediocre performance may not be tolerated for quite so long in the future. So if you insist on continuing to go out into the storm that is English football management, be prepared to get frequent soakings, or take a big umbrella.

Dear Vicki,
Having until recently played football in the Premier League for Sunderland, I have now been given the opportunity to play for a prison team. Do you think I ought to accept or decline.
AJ, Wakefield
Dear AJ,

For you, playing prison football would have its pros and cons (especially cons). On the one hand the exercise and change of routine would be good, but being a player who is (presumably) so much better than his team-mates might cause resentment, especially in the player who has to give up his place, and prison might not be a good place to upset people. 

But one other consideration is that these days it's almost impossible for ex-con footballers to resume their careers at the same level, if at all, due to public pressure. So perhaps you should go for it, as it may be the only chance you get, and at least it won't be as embarrassing as playing for Sunderland.

Dear Vicki,
I am a European football manager who wrote to you last month about my aspiration, which had become public, to become manager of a rich North-West premiership club. My intention to buy a star Tottenham player should that happen has now also become public.

Do you think this latest revelation will have jeopardised my chances?

JM, Chelsea
Dear JM,
Your chances are probably no worse than they were last month. In for a cent, in for a Euro, as they say.

Dear Vicki,
Do you remember I wrote to you last month about my unfair treatment by FIFA? Well, as yet nobody has apologised or rescinded my suspension. How long do you think it could take, as I'm not as young as I was.
SB, Zurich
Dear SB,
I wouldn't hold your breath. That can be fatal.

Dear Vicki,
I recently had my proudest moment as manager of a national football team, when we beat the world champions in their capital city. A few days later we lost at home to a team ranked below us in the FIFA rankings. I know they were only friendlies, but do you think I should be worried?
RH, London
Dear RH,
Everyone managing a team at any level should be worried by defeats as, even if they are friendlies, there will be disappointed fans who may hold them against the manager. 

With high-profile international managers there is always the press, waiting to exaggerate or even create a rift between the manager and the players, and ultimately the fans. And that can lead to the biggest worry of all: having to accept a not-quite-so-many-million-pound settlement if you are sacked from your multi-million pound job.

So look after the defeats and the millions will look after themselves.