As was the norm, Angel had his weekly meeting with the bosses. Each one was in a different location to the last, this particular meeting was held in Madrid, so not to far for Angel to travel. He was giving and update to the men present
‘We’ve done well enough I think. I’ve been surprised by the Scotsman, really I have’ as he said this he thought he saw one of the 4 men present snort a little bit, so continued on by saying ‘Look at the last game against Atletico’s B side, we had no one on the inside in that game, the ref was playing only his 11th game as a pro, and you know how we’ve never been able to get anyone to help us against Atletico or Real. That team played superbly well, and if I may say so, the manager was in top form’
‘It’s only 1 game Angel’ Manni Gustavo, the oldest and most senior of the men present said.
‘Maybe, but there’s been other games we’ve not had help with and he’s done well. Extremadura when the 2 Italians joined last week, Navalcarnero and not forgetting the Majadahonda game either’
Angel was defiantly standing by the manager this time. Was Jock growing on him perhaps? Angel knew, as did the bosses that they all had to work together to ensure Las Rozas survived. This was a project just like the other teams they had control over, but it was Angels first time leading an operation on his own, and he needed Jock to succeed as much as Jock himself wanted to succeed in his first taste of football management.
‘The next 2 games are winnable, so I don’t think we need to worry about influencing them’ Angel said and continued ‘Sanse are 18th and Poblense 16th, and after watching the team I am confident Jock can get more wins under his belt on his own’
The team were playing with a new found confidence after 2 wins in a row where there was no outside influence. Of course no one on the playing side knew this, neither did the manager or seemingly the assistant manager either. The win over Sanse saw Las Rozas, for the first time this season move off the bottom of the league.
The second was over Poblense and they kept on climbing. After these 3 points the team found themselves in the dizzy heights of 17th, 1 point separating them and 16th.
To the end of February however no one saw this coming. 5 wins and 1 loss in total meant that Las Rozas, the team anyone connected with football were dead certain would go down were finally, after 30 games, with 8 to go, out of the relegation zone!
Not only were they out of the relegation zone but now it was them who held a nice little cushion, 5 points heading into the final stretch of games, and confidence was high.
Angel Moretti had been in constant contact with his sources throughout the league. He’d not built up as big a network in Spain as he held in Serbia and Turkey, and heading into the final 8 games he’d made arrangements for 3 of those 8 games to be influenced. The away game against Villarrobledo he’d scheduled a meeting with the referee Franciso Alejandro, and the home game with Villarrubio he had made contact with members of the staff there.
But he struggled getting anywhere with Real Madrid Castilla, Real’s reserve side just as he had earlier in the season. The only other game he’d managed to secure was the third to last game against Navalcarnero
Raul, legend of the game was an up and coming manager in his own right and Castilla were the top boys in the league. There was no way that they’d be able to manipulate, or bribe their way into his plans, not yet at least. But as the bosses kept reminding him ‘perseverance is key Angel. Don’t give up too soon’ and he never went straight to the manager, it was always coaching staff, match officials or even club owners and directors that proved to be the big hitters in the Family’s business of influencing matches in their favour.
After the Real Madrid Castilla match, 6-1 to the hosts, Jock was feeling down with his teams performance. How can they be so good for most of February (5 wins, 1 loss) then be so-so in March (1 win, 1 draw and 2 losses)? April came with it a 2 all draw against local rivals Majadahonda, but Jock couldn’t shake the feeling that the referee made things easy for them.
3 more valuable points were gained in the win over Navalcarnero to leave Las Rozas with 2 games to go and 4 points separating them from the drop zone.
But come the end of the penultimate game, a 1-0 loss to Navalcarnero there was relief, joy and glee all around the away dressing as Jock walked down the tunnel.
After the match he was arguing with the referee as Jock felt there were a number of questionable decisions against Las Rozas, but as he made his way toward the door he heard noises coming from within. So he stood back and gave himself a moment or 2 to think what he was going to say. But as he was about to walk in, the ref walked past towards his own changing room and said in English ‘Well you’ve done it, congratulations. I was 1 of the people that thought you were dead and buried. Good effort’ and he walked off.
Jock hadn’t checked the other scores as he assumed Getafe’s B side and Socuellamos would have done everything they can to get wins in their final games, but pulling out his phone and checking that days scores, he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
He smiled, shook his head in disbelief and made his way into the dressing to a chorus of cheers and champagne being sprayed everywhere.
It didn’t matter that they lost the final 2 games, other results at that crucial time went in their favour, and Las Rozas rose from the dead to secure survival.
Next chapter – Plan your year in the spring and your day at dawn
Previous chapter – It is a double pleasure to deceive the deceiver
Chapter 1 – In corruption, the foundations need to be built