As soon as the Gardner family were back in Scotland, Bradley got a phone call from Rory MacMillan.
‘Hi Bradley, hope you had a good rest on holiday. I think we need to see you and your agent, if you have one yet, about all the clubs that are interested in you. I think you should know the club is willing to accept offers from any club who are happy to pay the minimum release fee in your contract, and there are a few of them.’ Rory explained. ‘When can you all come in to see us?’
‘How about tomorrow, boss? Dad has fixed up an agent for me so we’ll tell him to meet us at Riccarton in the morning.’ Bradley replied excitedly.
‘Sounds good. Who’s the agent, by the way? I might know them.’
‘It’s someone who was recommended by Jimmy Anderson. Archie Burns I think his name is.’
‘Ah yes. I know Archie well. He should look after you okay. No doubt he’ll be rubbing his hands with glee at the thought of looking after your career.’ Rory laughed.
‘That’s good then. See you in the morning boss.’ Bradley replied and went back to his unpacking.
His Dad was due to return to work the next day, but this would be a bit more important so he phoned his manager and told him the story. He was fine with Brian getting in late to sort it all out, just to remember who needs tickets for the next big game, he had joked.
After getting off the phone to Bradley, Rory made a call to Archie Burns.
‘Archie? It’s Rory MacMillan. How you doing? I hear you’ve just hit the jackpot.’ Rory asked.
‘Hi Rory. Aye, just landed the big one. How do you feel about me looking after him? Bet you’ll be gutted to lose the boy.’ Archie said.
‘It was inevitable, Archie. The boy is too good for us, as you know. I like him a lot, and I trust you to look after him. And me, if you know what I mean.’
‘Are you looking for a cut in all this? What? Permanent or a one off payment?’ Archie needed to know.
‘If I took a commission off of his deals going forward, I could probably retire. No, I’d be happy with a one off from you. Make me an offer.’
‘Let’s see how talks go tomorrow and who pays up. I’m sure I can get you a nice slice of the cake out of it.’ Archie assured him.
With that, they finished the conversation and Rory smiled broadly as he contemplated a nice little earner coming his way soon. Just need to get a club to come up with the cash which wouldn’t be difficult apparently.
Bradley was grinning ear-to-ear when he got off the phone to Rory MacMillan. He couldn’t wait to discuss it with his Dad and make a plan for tomorrow. Brian called Archie Burns and explained that the club wanted to see them all in the morning and could he make it. Having already spoken with Rory, Archie was briefed on the planned meeting and promised to meet them at the training ground at 10am.
Archie and Brian went through a few ideas on the phone; where would Bradley like to play his football, what sort of package he wanted, that kind of thing, and ended by promising Brian he would get him the best deal with the best club that suited his plans. He mentioned some of the clubs that he knew had made enquiries which meant that they could eliminate the ones that didn’t interest Bradley early on in the negotiations.
He could hardly sleep that night, dreaming about playing in such great stadiums as the Bernabeu, Camp Nou, AllianzArena and Wembley. This was such an exciting time for him, yet also sad as any move would mean leaving home and the family he loved. They had made a lot of sacrifices for him and he owed it to them to make sure he was a success.