The Booty-Full Game
Boris Johnson gazed at the potrait of Winston Churchill on the wall of his Downing Street office. Things were tough. Brexit, the Pandemic. If only his luck would change…
The Prime Minister’s precious moments of contemplation were interrupted by a rousing chorus of Jerusalem on his personal mobile phone. Boris looked at the screen. It was his old friend and collegue Katie Perrior on the line. Katie had startling news.
Johnson and Katie had worked together during his time as Mayor of London. Ms Perrior later moved to Downing Street to work as Director of Communications for Theresa May. Somewhat fortuitously Katie currently has a senior position at iNHouse Communications.
Katie excitedly told Boris how she’d been hired to represent 12 major football clubs who were secretly planning to breakaway from UEFA to form a European Super League. Katie’s news was manna from heaven to Boris.
Boris reached into his top drawer and pulled out a coffee stained manila file. Before opening the file, he looked at the smiling figure of Winston and quietly mouthed the words, “Thank you.”
The following words were scribbled on the grubby manila file –
“2030 World Cup Bid.”
On the 1st of March 2021, the British Government pledged £2.8m towards a joint bid to host the planet’s largest sports tournament in the UK and Ireland. Mr Johnson backed the bid saying, ” We are Very, Very keen to bring football home in 2030.”
‘Impeccable timing, almost uncanny.’ Thought Boris.
A meeting with the Chief Executive of Manchester United, Ed Woodward, was hastily organised.Woodward had previously worked as an investment banker for the backers of the Super League project, JP Morgan.
Boris would not only save the English game but also UEFA’s blue ribbon tournament the Champions League. An embattled UEFA and FIFA were going to be extremely grateful.
The news of the planned breakaway was scheduled to be announced during the evening of Sunday 18th of April, by way of a rather clumsily worded press release.
At 1pm that afternoon, The Times’ Martyn Ziegler leaked the story, before the official launch.
On Sky’s Super Sunday, Gary Neville was apoplectic. The proposal was the personification of greed. The Americans were to blame.Thankfully Neville stopped short of advocating a second assault on the White House. Perhaps, Phil Neville and David Beckham might of led the attack from their base at Inter Miami CF?
On Monday evening Jamie Carragher suggested Liverpool supporters might tear Anfield apart. I don’t recall any mention of the Champions League and Premiership titles won during the stewardship of the Fenway Group.
Neither pundit discussed the huge losses suffered by Manchester United and Liverpool during the pandemic. United took out a £200m rolling facility at the beginning of the pandemic. They recently announced they’d drawn down £60m of that emergency funding.
Sky’s campaign to save British football had all the hallmarks of a Roger Ailes masterpiece. Selective amnesia, squirrels, distortion, it was all there.The Royal Family even pitched in with messages of support in the country’s hour of need.
The newspapers declared War.
Lord Kitchener would have enthusiastically approved.
On Sunday the 25th of April, Sky Sports viewers were reminded by Mr Neville that the owners of the six clubs had, ” Attempted to murder of English football.” Be very afraid, “They haven’t gone away.”
Sky forgot to mention their attempted takeover of Manchester United in 1999.Their bid of £623m was blocked by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.
Conveniently they also forgot to mention the sale of their 10% stake in United at an inflated price to market speculators, in October 2003. That stake was then bought by the Glazers forming part of the now infamous leveraged buyout.
Aleksander Čeferin the President of UEFA appeared on our screens. Mr Čeferin did a convincing impression of a Pakhan of the Eastern European Mob. He’s Slovenian but forgot to mention his own links with Russia, and persistent rumours about how he got the job at UEFA. Nor did he mention his alleged dubious connections in Croatia.
President of FIFA, Gianni Infantino did his own Cosa Nostra routine infront of the cameras. He didn’t discuss the Panama Papers and his signature on the dodgy broadcasting rights for Champions League and UEFA broadcasting rights. Nor did he mention Hugo Jinkis, the FBI or the Swiss Police.
The US made quick progress with their investigations into corruption at FIFA. There’s still in excess of 20 ongoing and unduly protracted criminal investigations in Switzerland.
Potential criminal charges facing Mr Infantino are incitement to abuse office, incitement to violate secrecy, incitement to obstruct justice.
The attached document provides background in respect of the 20+ cases and highlights concerns over possible implications of time time-bar of prosecutions. Some clues too in respect of Germany and France.
So disgusted was Boris Johnson by the Super League proposals he threatened to drop a “legislative bomb on them.” Boris didn’t offer any elaboration on the providence of £1.4bn of Russian money invested in Chelsea via interest free loans.
Nor did Boris discuss the extravagant funding of Manchester City and any possible sporting advantage.
Faced by a tsunami of criticism the six English football clubs involved in the ESL backed out of the proposal on Tuesday evening.
A governmental review of professional soccer has been established. Mr Johnson’s timely intervention and leadership in the face of unprecedented greed saved the beautiful game.
Boris’ Battle of Britain Moment.
Strangely, given the Prime Minister’s concern for the integrity of the sport. He’s never offered any form of criticism at the appointment of a convicted criminal as the Chairman of Sevco or any of the nefarious activities at Ibrox over the last twenty years.
With this week’s purchase of £340k worth of Dave King’s shares in Sevco by Club 1872- and the target of another £2m by the end of June. Club 1872 are making steady progress towards their £12m agreement to buy Mr King’s shares.
Will the Club 1872 model be touted by Boris’ Parliamentary Review, as the benchmark for supporter ownership of football clubs?
I really hope so. Nothing could go wrong.
Boris Johnson is the toast of soccer supporters and the game’s mandarins.
Will the good people at FIFA remember how Boris saved UEFA’S booty-full game when the voting comes to decide the venue of the 2030 World Cup?
(Any resemblance to actual person(s) in this work of fiction is purely coincidental.)