Against Future Football
How will football look in ten years’ time if things continue at the current rate? This fictional look at the 2024/25 season aims to find out…
August 23rd, 2024
Sheffield United complete the signing of Chad Bevan just in time for the new season, who was previously at the club before serving three years in prison after being convicted of beating an orphan to death with a puppy on Christmas Day. While some supporters question the morality of the signing, it is widely accepted that it was “just banter”, the puppy had been asking for it, and the orphan shouldn’t have drunk so much anyway. Thousands rush to buy his replica shirt on the day the transfer is completed, with many of the market stalls outside of Bramall Lane selling toy dogs to fans, hurled onto the pitch with joy every time he scores.
September 21st, 2024
The new season kicks off, with coverage of almost every game exclusively live not stopping a grand total of five games kicking off at 3pm on a Saturday, no room for these matches on television, even with the newly launched Sky Sports 59 HD channel operating for the first time. Leeds United go 1 – 0 down after five minutes, causing the manager to be sacked. Owner Massimo Cellino replaces him with the guy who had shown up to clean the toilets at half time. Leeds equalise soon after, leading to Cellino to proclaim Cleaner Dave as the saviour of Leeds United, and the man who will finally bring them back to the promised land. Fans are unsure at first, but his decision to replace Steve Morison Jr with a mop is generally considered to be wise.
September 22nd, 2024
Manchester United play Milton Keynes Hotspur in the 7am kick off. There are emotional scenes before the game, as the United players parade around the pitch to show off the recently signed contract, confirming their official South Korean noodle partnership had been renewed once again. The chant comes from the terraces “20 year, 20 year partnership deal, 20 years, 20 years I say, 20 years 20 years Man Utd, partnering noodles in an exclusive way”. The game ends 0 – 0, with much of the crowd relieved that there had been no goals to interrupt updating their Facebook statuses to show all their friends back home they had been to the game. There is one potentially nasty moment when a local fan is discovered, having saved up for six months to be able to afford a ticket. Luckily his lack of bag from the megastore is soon noticed, and he is removed from the stadium for interrupting the ‘matchday experience’.
October 6th, 2024
West Brom vs. QPR makes history, as it is the first match to have a minute of applause in tribute for the entire game, starting with an 1st minute applause to show solidarity with a supporter who had stepped on a Lego brick without any socks on, and concluding with the traditional 93rd minute applause to commemorate the time the club ran out of pies before half time.
The match finished 6 – 5 to West Brom, but nobody really notices, as they were too busy frantically trying to clap louder than the person next to them to prove just how respectful they are.
October 9th, 2024
England defeat Vietnam 2 – 0 in an international friendly at Wembley, with the crowd of 10,384 used by the FA as proof that watching the national team remains affordable and appealing to the average supporter. Manager Wayne Rooney indicates through his interpreter that he is pleased with the performance, but was disappointed with the lack of passion shown by young striker James Aikenhead, who reacted to a slightly mistimed tackle from an opposition defender by getting up and shaking hands with the player, rather than angrily kicking him in the face, calling the referee a “****ing stupid **** faced ****” and giving abusive hand gestures to the supporters as he made his way off the pitch. “However would England succeed with this kind of positive attitude?”, Rooney asks.
October 23rd, 2024
Manchester City fail to qualify from their Champions League group once again. The manager bemoans the fact they were drawn against Barry Town, Sligo Rovers and PEC Zwolle, stating that the club will challenge for European glory as soon as they end up in an easier group.
November 11th, 2024
One of the Elite Premier League sponsors holds a special ‘fan appreciation day’ at the Monday night Southampton vs. Sunderland fixture. As a token of thanks for the loyal support shown, the Sunderland supporters are given a £5 discount on their tickets, reducing them to the low low price of £89.99 (excluding booking fee). Five tickets are unsold in the Sunderland end, causing people who have never been to a football game to flock to social media to post comments about how terrible their support was.
December 1st, 2024
Chelsea launch their alternative alternative shirt just in time for Christmas, brown and neon pink with “You aren’t a true fan if you don’t ask your parents to buy this” embroidered underneath the badge. The shirts are so popular that rioting breaks out at some West London stores, with 17 people seriously injured in the rush to hand over their money to Adidas. By the time the last of the injured is released from hospital three weeks later, the alternative alternative alternative shirt has already been launched. It is worn for the second half of their League Cup tie against Macclesfield Town, with the low low price of £80 nothing compared to the priceless memories of the shirt that was worn by their fourth choice players against League Two opposition.
December 25th, 2024
The MK Dons squad is released without charge, after being caught breaking in to houses in another city and stealing things which don’t belong to them. The police state that it is “not in the best interest of the public” to return these things, and that the MK Dons players could look after them better anyway.
December 29th, 2024
Sepp Blatter successfully stands for re-election, despite the fact he actually died four years ago. FIFA celebrate with a giant party at their headquarters, with a pre-recorded video message from Blatter declaring that the 2030 World Cup would be held in North Korea. This is met from thunderous applause from the carefully selected audience, all of them too busy inspecting their gold watches to remark on the fact that fellow applicants England and Germany may possibly have been better candidates.
January 5th, 2025
Chad Bevan scores his 20th goal of the season for Sheffield United, with his use of a crudely crafted knife proving to be particularly effective against defenders. Following this milestone goal, he signs for a Premier League club for £10,000,000. The manager states “We are aware of Bevan’s past, but we think he can make us lots and lots of money…erm, I mean, deserves a second chance”. After scoring on his debut against Everton, the press begin to call for Bevan’s inclusion in the England squad.
February 23rd, 2025
Following Chad Bevan’s incredible rise to success, more and more young players begin to commit crimes in the hope of being noticed. Arrangements are made for scouts to be able to attend prison exercise yard matches. There is an unfortunate incident when Manchester City’s new multi-million signing from Guantameno Bay Rovers celebrates his first goal for the club by beating an away supporter to death with the corner flag. However the referee is unable to take action, as he did not remove his shirt during the celebration.
March 4th, 2025
The BBC accidentally broadcasts Crimewatch instead of Match of The Day. Nobody notices the difference for 25 minutes.
March 16th, 2025
The League Cup final is held. The competition has been so devalued that everybody forgets, including the players. In front of an empty stadium a representative from nearby Barnet FC lifts the trophy, as he was the only person who answered their phone when the FA called the clubs to see if they wanted it.
March 22nd, 2025
Barcelona unveil their new shirt, updated to include a 23rd shirt sponsor. A visitor to the club museum notices that the document outlining the values of the club has been updated to read “The club will never have more than 24 sponsors on its shirt”, so the announcement is welcomed as perfectly ok, and they’re still definitely more than a club. They are rewarded greatly under the latest Financial Fair Play rules, while Red Star Belgrade are deducted 300 points and banned from European competition for five seasons after donating money to a local charity. A firm statement from UEFA states “No longer will these clubs be allowed to do things like helping their local community without being punished for it”.
April 6th, 2025
Spurs now hold a 27 point lead over the team in 5th place, with just 9 games left to play. Could this finally be the year they finish above Arsenal? A small percentage of fans show cautious optimism, but most of them are more sensible than to get carried away. This proves to be wise, as they lose 2 – 0 to Reading in Kuala Lumpur in the annual overseas game that all Elite Premier League clubs are contracted to play. They don’t win another game for the rest of the season, while Arsenal go on a winning run and finish 4th once again. There is speculation that 76-year-old Arsene Wenger may retire at the end of the season. He refutes this speculation, saying that Jack Wilshere is going to show his full potential any day now.
May 1st, 2025
The final month of the season begins, with all points counting double for the month of May to ensure that Sky Sports are given an exciting conclusion to the season. This means that every game is shown live on one of Sky’s 59 channels, with Wigan forced to travel to Swansea for a 6am kick off on a Tuesday. The away end does not sell out, which is of course, utterly hilarious to everybody.
May 16th, 2025
On the verge of winning their 19th title, Liverpool bring on 44-year-old Steven Gerrard for his first appearance of the season. In the excitement, a Liverpool supporter accidentally drops his iPad onto the pitch. Gerrard trips over it, leaving his player unmarked to score. This defeat hands the title to Southampton, who finish top by five points. It takes some time for the Saints to be awarded with the trophy, as the media had forgotten they exist. The newspapers run a report on how all 19 other Elite Premier League clubs are in crisis, with the obligatory graphic of their club crest broken in half.
May 17th, 2025
With the season over, talk turns to the transfer window. Sky Sports provides 24 hour coverage of Jim White looking through people’s dustbins in search of the latest ‘big exclusive’. A pepperoni pizza box is found outside the home of one football manager, sparking 10 hours of discussion about how they are clearly set to sign an Italian international. This kind of fascinating round-the-clock coverage continues until August.
May 23rd, 2025
Red Bull Wednesday are promoted to the Elite Premier League, beating Red Bull Barnsley 2 – 1 at Wembley. It is the end of a thrilling week for Red Bull Wednesday, having narrowly defeated Red Bull Leicester in the semi-final just days before. This inspires many other big companies to take over clubs in the Football League, with queues for Apple Argyle season tickets beginning three days before they went on sale. However, the squad fails to gel properly, with the players frequently replaced every couple of months y squad members that seem to be hardly any different to the original, aside from being more expensive.
May 30th, 2025
A report is conducted by FIFA to determine if the Elite Premier League’s proposals for next season are for the good of the game. these proposals include playing a match on every continent, a ticket price increase of 20%, big clubs being allowed to appoint their own referees, and banning orders for fans who don’t spend enough money in the club shop. These proposals are unanimously passed, with the FIFA ruling also finding that they deserved massive pay rises…
If you enjoyed this cautionary tale, why not check out my story proving once and for all that soldiers really do deserve footballer’s wages?