Bend it like Geller!
Exeter City’s spoon-bending chairman Uri Geller reckons they could end up like Ajax – and will play against Brazil!
THE ARRIVAL of paranormalist Uri Geller at Exeter City last year was certainly another tale of the unexpected for the celebrity spoon bender.
Why football? Why now? Why, of all places, Exeter City? Whatever the real reasons, it’s been strange times for this small city tucked away in the South West corner of the country.
On the pitch Exeter made the headlines by drawing Premiership big boys Charlton in the FA Cup Third Round. But it’s off the pitch that The Grecians have seen one publicity coup after another.
First Uri recruited pop star Michael Jackson as a director and arranged for the American – who has been making plenty of headlines himself recently – to visit the open terraces of the Third Division Club.
And almost as soon as the king of the moonwalk had waltzed his way around the humble surroundings before side-stepping the offer for a kick around on the pitch, it was time for the next PR push.
This time it involved a certain Mr Paul Gascoinge and a floating rumour that he was going to embark on the latest chapter of his rollercoaster career down in Devon.
This, of course, came to nothing. But, again not content to let the dust settle on his new empire, Uri has yet another revelation that will send shockwaves half way around Europe.
“I believe that one day we can become as big as Ajax,” he confidently told us. “You never stop believing in sport and we have mapped out where we want to be heading.
“Every chairman has to keep a flame lit and hope. I am not saying we will be able to achieve this overnight but my plan is a tenyear programme. I really believe in the team I inherited and when we start to get it right the only way is up.”
“Ajax are a great example of how you can bring youth through the ranks to excel at the highest level. That could happen here. Everyone knows that miracles happen in football.”
“I am always very positive and when someone is positive there is no dead end. Positivity is infinite, it goes on forever. If you are optimistic and positive then dreams and fantasies can come true.
Exeter can become as big as Ajax!”
“My first dream is to see Exeter someday playing in the Premiership and people may laugh at that but anything is achievable. The game is plagued by financial troubles but I see nothing other than a very bright future for Exeter City.”
As you can probably tell, Uri has always talked a good game. A lover of the sound bite and a courter of controversy, remember this is a guy who told fans he had held an extraordinary meeting with Elvis Presley.
Apparently, The King’s spirit lives on through each and every supporter. And to think they thought it was a dodgy half-time pie!
Undoubtedly the home fans will certainly be singing Uri’s praises if he can help them avoid the relegation trap door this season. Having been sucked into the murky depths of the division, their status hangs in the balance – particularly as two teams could crash out of the League this term under new FA rules.
But Uri, as ever, prefers to set his sights a little higher than mere survival.
“I am enjoying it but pretty upset we aren’t doing better. We don’t talk about relegation because we don’t feel we will go down. Obviously it is a concern and because we are not at the top of the league there is a tenseness at every game.
” We are lingering at the bottom of the league and we are all hoping this will change. I care enormously what happens to us, particularly for the fans. The kids come up to me for my autograph and I see this glint of hope in their eyes. I want to bring success to them and the community so much.
” When I came into the club I brought with me a wave of hope. I wove a thread of inspiration in the beginning, so you can imagine how I feel now that we haven’t moved much.
“But I believe the problem was inherited from past managerial involvement and we will turn the corner very soon. Football is a mysterious game and it is the most beautiful game in the world but it is so unpredictable.
“When I was asked by Newcastle to get rid of their jinx in London I got to work straight away and helped them achieve their aim. It’s about focusing your mind and believing something is achievable. That’s why I believe success is on the horizon at Exeter.”
When he’s not eating bugs on TV (he was a curious addition to I’m a Celebrity, get Me Out of Here) Uri says he is focussing all his energies on another improbable feat.
The 56-year-old’s aspirations are set on bringing none other than World Champions Brazil (yes Brazil) over to St. James’ Park in 2004.
“I am very determined to fly Brazil in to play us,” confirmed Uri. “It might sound a bit unrealistic to hear it now but we played the Brazilians when their national team was formed almost 90 years ago.
“Back then Exeter City were touring South America and they happened to be in Brazil the very same week the national team were formed. When the Brazilian authorities heard that there was an English team in town, they thought there was no better way to celebrate their first ever match than to pit their wits against Exeter.
“I have had a few meetings with the Brazilian ambassador and we are opening doors to getting the national team to play us in a charity match. The big plus is that Brazil are in Europe for the Olympics anyway so it won’t be a huge flight away.
“There is no doubt in my mind everyone will want to watch the match,” he added.
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