Dear Vicki

Poolie agony aunt VICKI PARK solves your problems 

(assisted by Elmo)

Dear Vicki,
I am a famous manager, possibly the most famous manager in the world. I've only been in my present position for six months but I've already achieved so much, it's incredible. My team ticks like clockwork and is admired by everyone.

However, there are those who spread lies about me, mock and laugh at me because I'm a bit of a maverick who says what he thinks, like Mourinho before he got old.

How can I convince them that I'm not the deranged fantasist they think I am?
DT, Washington DC
Dear DT,
When the opportunity arises, manage Sunderland and get them into the Champions' League. Any deranged fantasist could promise that but no deranged fantasist could actually do it.

Dear Vicki
I've captained my top London club and my country, and won the Premiership, but have now decided to spend the twilight of my career with a Championship club in Birmingham. Would I have been better off retiring?
JT, Aston
Dear JT,
With that pedigree you surely don't need the money so it's more about wanting to keep on playing rather than wanting to go out at the top. Either is a perfectly fine way to go. Some can't face slumming it at ever-lower levels in front of smaller crowds  while suffering longer injury lay-offs, yet some, like Teddy Sheringham, can go on for years. 

But Birmingham ...really?

Dear Vicki,
I own a football club in the middle of nowhere which recently was promoted to the Football League from the National League. I extend my vegan principles throughout the club and the players are banned from eating some foods. This poses some difficulties with recruitment. Do you have any suggestions?
DV, Nailsworth (Glos)
Dear DV,
The simple answer is that if it causes you problems, don't do it, but that must cause you grief, so let's think of how to address this. 

Some players won't sign because you only allow them to have vegetarian food. And vegetarian food gives you wind, which means they could be rocket powered - better for both the club and the player's career, if not for attendances.

Some may just object on human rights grounds to you imposing your personal lifestyle choices on others, but when they're pulling out of tackles or otherwise letting the side down, aren't they doing the same thing?

Some may just not like vegetarian food, and I'm not sure there's an answer to that without resorting to therapy, but you can't win'em all.

Best wishes for the coming season and I hope you'll have something to celebrate at the end of it, presumably with a slap-up salad. 

Dear Vicki
Recently my BBC pay as a top football presenter was revealed to the nation and many people were incensed that I earned so much. It's not my fault that the BBC chose to pay me that much. What do you think I ought to do?
GL London
Dear GL
I'd take a sabbatical and let Alan Shearer do it for a season. Then everyone will realise what a bargain they've got and will be happy to throw more crisp tenners at you. And while you're having your sabbatical, other 'crisp' tenners will no doubt be arriving to keep the wolf from the door.