January 9, 2012
by Emelie Okeke
In a desperate attempt to curry favour with his club’s owners and to escape the wrath of the vehement Ewood Park home ‘support’, Steve Kean reaches an agreement with the Premier League and Venky’s to play the remainder of Blackburn Rovers’ home games this season at the Wankede Cricket Stadium in Mumbai. In their first game in the club’s new surroundings, Blackburn lose to Fulham by an innings and 26 runs. A defiant Kean claims after the match that Rovers played in a style worthy of the name of this great stadium.
“Yeah, by playing absolute wank,” chimes in a nearby journalist.
Manchester United make their long-awaited debut in the Europa League, away to Ajax. Despite the widespread criticism of the tournament’s format and credibility, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson maintains the club will take their involvement in UEFA’s second competition very seriously.
“We want to win it,” he proclaims as the teams run out on the pitch, with United boasting seven players from their under-14 squad and a strike partnership of Brian McClair and Sir Bobby Charlton. Channel 5 broadcast proceedings live from Amsterdam, with commentator Stan Collymore enthusiastically poring over the action in his Tactics Truck situated in a nearby car park.
Sensibly, Wayne Rooney is kept away from the Red Light District. And female-only senior persons’ homes.
After successive, damaging defeats to Napoli, Manchester City and Tottenham, Andre Villas-Boas is unceremoniously sacked by Chelsea. In a short statement issued in the aftermath of the dismissal, Roman Abramovich expresses his regret, then confirms the details of Villas-Boas’ “modest” severance package: £17million, multiple share options, five yachts, and the Maldives.
The young Portuguese coach departs Stamford Bridge denying claims that he was not mature or experienced enough to stand up to the big characters in the Chelsea dressing room — but immediately spends half his severance money on Vimto and Wham bars, while texting his dad to help him shift the yacht, so he can get home quickly for a mega Championship Manager sesh.
Manchester City wrap up the title with a typically emphatic 8-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers. Mario Ballotelli has a quiet game, scoring four goals in the first 10 minutes, before being sent off for round-housing a mascot (Wolfie the Wolf), whose only offense is sporting the same haircut as the young Italian. Balotelli is then spotted in the Molineux Main Stand during the second half, distributing 5,000 chicken balti pies amongst supporters, the resultant case of mass indigestion sparking an epic pitch invasion at the final whistle.
Upon receiving a six-month suspension from the FA, Ballotelli’s appeal consists of only three words: “Why Always Me?” The FA respond by extending his ban by another month.
Real Madrid defeat Barcelona 5-4 in one of the greatest Champions League finals of all time, at the Allianz Arena in Munich. Departing manager Jose Mourinho denies any foul play on his part, dismissing claims that he needs ‘dirty tricks’ to defeat the Castilians’ great rivals. UEFA, however, announce an investigation into Real’s fourth goal — scored from a Cristiano Ronaldo free kick, wherein Barcelona’s keeper Victor Valdes appears to be shot by a firearm.
“A bullet was found in Valdes’s midriff etched with the initials J.M.,” a UEFA spokesman confirms.
Meanwhile, as Euro 2012 comes to the forefront of the minds of fans and players alike, Real’s German international players, Mesut Özil and Sami Khedira, deny setting out to deliberately injure Barca’s Spanish contingent with a string of highly dangerous tackles. Still, accounts of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets, all seriously injured, being driven aimlessly around the streets of Munich for hours, with the ambulance drivers maniacally singing the German national anthem, suggest that UEFA might launch another investigation.
Eyebrows are raised by Fabio Capello’s squad selections for England’s forthcoming European Championship finals campaign. “You want-a youth, I want-a experience, we both-a happy!” Capello defiantly declares as he picks Brooklyn Beckham, Tom Daley and the kid from the John Lewis Christmas adverts, to provide “fresh impetus” into the squad, alongside “experienced heads” Jimmy Greaves and Peter Shilton. As well, he announces Papa from the Dolmio adverts as his new Assistant Manager. England are eliminated at the quarter-finals stage, losing 3-0 to Italy. It is to be Capello’s final game as boss of the Three Lions although footage of ‘Don Fabio’ high-fiving Papa Dolmio as Italy’s third goal goes in, as well as reportedly enjoying a post-match bunga bunga party in the victorious Italian dressing room, leave more than a smidgen of doubt into where his allegiances really lay.
Germany win the European Championship for a record fourth time, defeating a surprisingly depleted Spanish side 3-1 with an excellent display of attacking verve. Mesut Özil does not succeed in deflecting the pressure surrounding the ongoing Champions League final investigation, delivering a cryptic message during his post-match interview on German television: “My undying thanks to the Munich ambulance drivers. You can pick up your envelopes at the party!”
English Champions Manchester City conclude their summer spending in typically reserved fashion, splashing out £100 million to buy Blackburn Rovers. Manager Roberto Mancini insists the deal is good value for money, and that all of Rovers current staff and facilities will be utilised.
“It’s a good deal — Ewood Park will be our new training ground, Steve Kean takes on an even more challenging position than his last, as Mario Balotelli’s anger management coach. Also, I am happy to say that I now have at my disposal three full teams capable of challenging for trophies — plus the current Blackburn squad — and the buy-out includes Rovers’ history, too.”
The last, somewhat controversial clause is confirmed by a new plaque unveiled at the start of the season, inscribed “Welcome to the Etihad — home of Manchester City Rovers, Premier League champions 1995 & 2012.” Rumours of City Rovers naming a stand after Graeme Le Saux prove unfounded and Mancini remains defiant in the face of the subsequent outrage.
“What do you think, we have more money than sense?!” Mancini chuckles, as he refutes the rumour during a press conference unveiling the signing of Michael Owen from rivals Manchester United for £20million. “Besides, it’s not like it’s the most money we’ve ever spent. We did invest £130 million in seven vials of Lionel Messi’s sperm for our new youth project.”
Jose Mourinho makes his long-awaited return to Chelsea, replacing interim coach Guus Hiddink on a long-term contract.
“I wanted a contract duration that suited both my long-term ambitions and symbolised my relationship with the very patient Mr. Abramovich,” Mourinho insisted, as he put pen to paper on a three-week tenure, with a clause stating that first class air tickets to Manchester be purchased immediately if “so as much as a sneeze” is heard from Sir Alex’s dugout.
Mourinho finds it difficult to find believers willing to accept his claims that he is less egotistical nowadays, especially after arriving at Stamford Bridge for Chelsea’s opening game parading down Kings Road in a giant white chariot, with each of his three Champions League winners’ medals adorning a separate FHM High Street Honey — one blonde, one brunette and one redhead.
Despite Arsenal falling 15 points off the pace after just 10 games, Arsene Wenger remains adamant that he will not yield in pursuing his club’s evidently flawed transfer policy.
“We will only make value signings,” he vows in a press conference, where he denies claims that he threatened to give Thierry Henry back to the New York Red Bulls “piece by piece” if they did not stop making daily calls enquiring on his return.
“Probably, we should have not kept him past March. Or April. Or May. Or against his will,” Wenger admits. Now, after having made short-term moves for previous playing legends Sol Campbell, Jens Lehmann and Henry, Wenger remains coy on rumours that Igors Stepanovs is his next target for a temporary mid-season spell at the Emirates.
Harry Redknapp enjoys a golden honeymoon period at the outset of his reign as England manager, winning all of his first four World Cup qualifiers. His task is made somewhat more arduous, however, as he is no longer able to call on the services of captain Steven Gerrard, nor regular squad members Glen Johnson, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson. Fueled by increasingly strained relations with English football’s governing body, Liverpool FC dramatically withdraw from their affiliation with the FA.
Embittered Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish confirms, “We have had enough of being victimised. Its always big old FA picking on little old Liverpool. There’s been the Suarez affair, refs picking on poor shy Bellamy, and the final straw was today, when Fergie cheated at Kerplunk at the managers’ summit and no-one told him off!
“With our 40,000-capacity stadium and countless trophies, I’m sure we can find a new league to accommodate us.
“What? No, it doesn’t matter that the hardware is mostly from before 1990, or that we haven’t played post-Christmas European football for quite a while now.”
At month’s end, Liverpool proudly join the SPL, but do attempt to leave the door open for a return by offering Andy Carroll back to the FA and Harry Redknapp’s England set-up. Redknapp says, “Thanks, but I’ll scrape by somehow.”
The year closes with Mario Balotelli returning from his seven-month ban just as City Rovers open up a 20-point lead at the top of the Premier League. Balotelli gets into the spirit of the season by doing a lap of honour dressed as Santa Claus, whilst spraying the contents of a Lucozade sports bottle clearly marked “FOR SPECIAL USE ONLY” into the adoring City Rovers crowd, who lap up every drop.
At exactly the same time, Roberto Mancini bursts into the home dressing room, frantically asking, “Has anyone seen Messi’s semen?”
UEFA’s New Year’s Irresolutions – What Will Almost Certainly Not Happen In 2012 by Emelie Okeke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at strangebounce.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://strangebounce.com/2012/01/13/the-great-spl-brainstorm/.