On Monday, I signed a fancy 4-page contract to provide consultancy services to a football association. Since the contract also has a confidentiality clause, I'm not allowed to go into details about this association. I shall call it Amplistan.
The negotiations took 1167 days since they first contacted me until the signing of the contract. Mind you, there have been wars shorter than these negotiations. I had lost all hope at one point, but God sometimes answers prayers when you least expect Him to.
All my pro bono work with other FAs in the past has really paid off, as Amplistan asked for references and it seems I received positive reviews, quite helpful for the progress of our talks. I was pleasantly surprised to see football officials not hiding behind the "it would go against company policy to write a letter of recommendation" thing.
I had to provide FIFA ranking case studies for the Amplistan board to analyze, go through Skype calls, phone calls (lost some much needed sleep time due to time zone differences), exchanged e-mails with the press officer, general secretary, legal adviser and janitor. No, actually I had no business with the janitor, but it was close. I think the next step would have been to train with the national team and explain them the quirks of the ranking system, between two tackles.
For the duration of this contract, I will no longer provide pro bono consultancy to other FAs, since it wouldn't be fair - Amplistan are paying for my services. However, there's no exclusivity clause in the contract, thus I can work with other FAs - should any be interested.
Looking to improve your FIFA ranking? Ready to take a chance and trust an unknown blogger? Use the e-mail address from my profile to contact me.