A manifesto for change

10 11 2013

We all know that football needs to change but sadly football won’t change until some kind of football revolution forces change upon it.

If this revolution ever happens, and I’m anywhere near the vanguard revolutionary committee, then football should be reorganized in the glorious future that we will be creating.

The main details of the lovely would-be democratic centralist reorganization could be contained in the manifesto that I’m about to impart.

(The manifesto draws heavily from “The Jet Set Plan For Improving Football In 2013”)


In the new way of doing things this is how it will be.

General Policies

  • The words “Football” and “Business” will never appear in the same sentence.
  • Plutocracy, marketization and profit-maximisation will have no place in the sport.
  • Governing bodies will be disbanded or reformed to reflect football’s new emphasis.
  • Joao Havelange, Sepp Blatter, Richard Scudamore and Jack Warner will be held accountable in peoples’ tribunals for their role in polluting football.

Football Clubs

  • All football clubs will be 100% owned by their communities.
  • All football grounds will be 100% owned by their communities.
  • Football clubs and football grounds cannot be owned separately
  • Football clubs will adopt a social role at all times.


  • There will be a maximum wage.
  • Squads cannot contain more than 20 players.
  • Players will not be permitted to change clubs until they are 25 years old (unless they can prove that they are being neglected.)
  • Transfer fees will be replaced by development fees and development fees will be capped to a nominal amount.
  • Styles of kit will have to be approved by a “Good Kit Guide”.
  • Goalkeepers will be required to wear traditionally coloured kit.


  • If people wish to retain their identity as football fans they will have to sign contracts.
  • These contracts will have four clauses;  1. I will not act like a moron in public. 2. I will not act like a moron on social media. 3. I will never sound as though I think I am a football expert until I’ve watched football for 35 years. 4. I will never use “The Banter”.
  • Failure to abide by these generous conditions will result in three months of intensive cultural re-education.
  • People will not be allowed to claim they are “massive fans” of a famous club unless they live within a 15 mile radius of the home ground, or have lived in that area.
  • Unless people live within a 15 mile radius of the home ground, or have lived in that area, they will only be permitted to visit once a season. (The trip will not include a visit to the souvenir shop and they will not be able to tell anyone about their trip.)
  • The sale of replica shirts will be outlawed.


  • Only one match per national league per week will be broadcast on television.
  • Only one match per European club competition matchday will be broadcast on television.
  • All football matches will be broadcast on free-to-air channels.
  • Hyperbole will be outlawed.
  • Commentators will be retrained until they are freed of the power to annoy people.
  • Co-commentator will be retrained until they are unable to resort to cliché (either national or personal).
  • No-Clem-Ber will apply to every month.
  • Football will be restricted to a 5 page sport section in each newspaper.
  • Transfer gossip, rumours and general tittle-tattle will be replaced by an interesting cornucopia of fiction, features and quality interviews.
  • Only one match report per week will be extend beyond a paragraph, it will be written by journalists with imagination.
  • Rupert Murdoch, the estate of Leo Kirch and Silvio Berlusconi will be held accountable in peoples’ tribunals for their actions in the media.

This manifesto will truly sort out football and it will sort out football in two ways.

Firstly, football will feel “normal” again. Clubs would again become beacons of non-judgmental civic pride and players would again feel more of an affinity to a club and an area, they would again become agents of non-judgmental civic pride. With only one match on terrestrial television per week 99.9% of European matches would kick off at their traditional times. Without the hysterical media coverage people wouldn’t feel obliged to be interested any longer.  Without replica shirts you wouldn’t see football everywhere. The fan contracts would afford proper fans the chance to enjoy public transport again. Everyone , the easily led and the people who like football on it’s own merits, would feel like a winner!

Secondly, football would be fairer. The maximum wage, limits on squad size and transfer age would allow more competition through the equalisation of resources and sharing of talent. Financial doping would not exist as football clubs would be fan-owned and television companies and governing bodies wouldn’t need, or be able, to pump money in to the sport.

This new approach is not utopian pie in the sky, it is based on a very simple premise; The behaviour of people got us in this mess and the behaviour of people will get us out, practical steps will make the situation better.

The premise leads to simple idea; sometimes people need to be rescued from themselves. For example, we need to rescue the people that use social media to type stuff like this;

“The quicker he (Aaron Ramsey) follows Gary Speed the better.”

Some people obviously need to be reminded we live in a civilised society. They need to be reminded that wishing death upon someone merely because a particular club has lost is unacceptable, especially when the same player will be invariably hailed as a hero twelve months later.  This behaviour is not only anti-social it dehumanises the abuser.

The new system would end these problems with practical measures; people acting in this manner will be rewarded with a NEW ASBO. They would also earn a NEW ASBO if they’re caught doing any of the following;

– Indulging in “The Banter”
– Thinking they’re indulging in “The Banter”
– Using combinations of “mate”, “top”, “banter”,”bantz” or “genius”
– Calling someone “mate” and sounding like Jack Whitehall

A second offence would result in a Banning Order. Subsequent offences would result in house arrest. Banter users need a long, dull, drawn out shock. The new system will make people stop and think about their behavior.

The new system would also set the constant moaners free from the self-applied obligation to care about football. This is vital for the rest of us as no-one wants to hear moaners shouting rubbish like this;

” ‘e don’t know what ‘e’s doing’
“e’s lost the dressing room.”
“Why’s ’e still picking that knobhead? ‘e’s crap!!”
“I could play better than that useless fucker!!”
“I give ‘im a month to turn it around!!”

In these circumstances people would be dealt with quite easily; there would be a vacant place in every professional team for moaners. The winner of the place would be the person that produces the most outlandish, or most sustained, diatribe during the 24 hour period after a match. Let’s see how well they’d cope with the pressure.

If a fan constantly moans about players not trying something special would be lined up for them; a bespoke kidnapping. This would involve a week’s stay in a luxury deserted house on a deserted island. They would be blindfolded and chained to a radiator for the whole week.

When the week ended there would be two days until the next match, the moaner would be placed at the nearest motorway junction to their home and told to find their own way home. When they made it to the ground they would have a first team place. Let’s see if they would be able to concentrate on playing football after their ordeal.

The moaners wouldn’t be the only people helped by their therapy of cultural re-education, everybody would be helped; the therapy would encourage other moaners to think twice about externalising their feelings in the future.

Practical steps would also sort out the governing bodies. Here’s my practical way of dealing with a problem like UEFA;

  • The Reinstitution of the Cup Winners’ Cup – Tuesday for the UEFA Cup, Wednesday for the European Cup and Thursday for the Cup Winners’ Cup.
  • Prize money will become expenses – If the prize money is turned into expenses  UEFA do not need to charge TV companies all that money, consequently matches will return to their rightful home on terrestrial television.
  • The club competition draws will be refigured – There will either be open draws or the reversal of the previous season’s draw. For example the clubs that now play in the qualifying rounds will go straight to the group stage and the clubs that normally go straight to the group stages will start in the qualifying rounds.

When these practical steps are coupled to the general approach European football will be reconfigured. The removal of massive prize funds, television revenues and merchandising revenues will not matter because they are longer needed; revenue streams won’t need to be safeguarded as clubs will be fan-owned and wages will have dropped to realistic levels  under the maximum wage agreements. In this situation European club competitions will then return to their founding principles; inspiring friendship and understanding

A final practical example would help society as well as football. The new system would subject people like Murdoch to the peoples’ justice.

This step would undoubtedly help the moral restitution of football by ending the plutocrats’ reign of terror, there’s no doubt that Rupert Murdoch is the biggest causes of British football’s moral malaise. We all know that we’re better than Murdoch but a moral victory is not enough. Society needs total victory against malevolent people, we need to hold people like that to account. We would do this by taking the fucker to court. Everybody is equal under the law, even rich people.

We’d prove the fucker’s guilt by gaining victory and gaining victory would be easy as the case against him is watertight. A victory in court would also mean a victory for society; by proving Murdoch has ruined football his grip on British society would be lessened a little bit more.  However, before we get too excited taking people to court is a game that’s played by rich people. In order to make society better we would need to indulge in a little fundraising.

All we need to do is raise a fighting fund of 4 million pounds by convincing every non-premier league club in England and Wales  (over 40,000 of ‘em) to donate 100 pounds. With 4 million pounds, which would mean that we could hire the best law talking guys in the British Isles. With the best law talking guys on our side our victory would not only be assured it would lead to Sky going bust.

In the post Murdoch football world football would automatically become a closer-knit community;  every club will have been brought together by the fundraising and people will have learned to smile again!!! In the post-Murdoch football world premier league clubs would feel just like the post-revolutionary bourgeoisie; life will be less stressful, the corrupting chains of the system, of Sky’s money, will have been thrown off!!!  Sky’s prize money will have ended so wages will fall; as wages will fall there will be no need to keep up with the Jones of Siberia, Dubai and New England as they will be no Jones to keep with; There will be no need to sell, sell, sell anything so hype would be redundant. There would be no reason to become stressed, there would be no need to devise novel marketing ruses.

Without Murdoch’s imperial control football would shrink to “normal” – anybody will be able to win the oligarch-free league, there will only one live match a week on terrestrial TV and there will be an updated version of Saint and Greavsie, I suggest “Merse ’n’ Sav“, every Saturday Lunchtime. “Merse ‘n’ Sav” ’will be 2013′s Jedward, mark my words.

This precedent, and the legal principles behind it, would then be utilized to go after all nefarious officials.

Come on people, let’s make this happen! Let’s get the revolutionary committees formed!!!




One response

17 11 2013
Football Finds (weekly) | footysphere

[…] A manifesto for change | XXXXXXXXX Jet Set […]

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