Wednesday, 21 December 2011


 bin Zayed: decent left peg

28 May, 2025
Signs that Manchester City’s owners are growing increasingly despotic and capricious become incontrovertible when Sheik Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan pulls rank on caretaker player-manager Mario Balotelli and picks himself for the Champions League Final against Anzhi Makhachkala. The fact that earlier in the week the Sheik walks into the Manchester City superstore in Abu Dhabi and purchases 9.3 million replica shirts at £65 each also raises new UEFA President Joey Barton’s suspicions that they have been circumventing the Financial Fair Play regulations. Shortly after the game, Crewe Alexandra Director of Football Dario Gradi gets the job at the Etihad, ostensibly on account of being born in Milan. City spokesman, George Galloway, says the Sheik “couldn’t be arsed to read the rest of his CV. And in any case, so what? If it fucks up, we’ll just chuck more cash at it, since everything is rectifiable by money.”

26 May, 2026
Volgograd: Manchester City lose the Champions League Final for a second consecutive year, this time to Lech Poznań, the Polish club’s surge to the top of the European game having come about within a few years of becoming superrich overnight – like Man City had eighteen years earlier – when geologists discovered that the city was surrounded by Europe’s largest untapped field of one of the world’s scarcest resources: sanity (elsewhere known, erroneously, as ‘common sense’). Anyway, well before the final rapier thrusts of the 7-1 humiliation had been dealt by the Poles, the 20,000 City fans in the stadium had turned their backs on the game in disgust, yet with their arms still around each other to demonstrate unity. Journalists are calling it ‘the Volgograd’...

 Vaduz stadium, halfway through construction of the first tier

17 December, 2026
With mandatory hosting rotation enforcing a return of the World Cup to Europe after Qatar 2022, Israel 2026, and Eritrea 2030, FIFA grants the 2034 tournament to Liechtenstein, who promptly commission Norman Foster & Partners to construct multi-storey stadia, eight stacked one on top of the other like Lego plus one super-high skyscraping hotel for all the teams and supporters with a series of gigantic lifts and walkways transporting them to the ‘grounds’.

 Working the cabaret circuit taking its toll on St Nicklas 

7 August, 2028
For the 100th consecutive evening, louche cabaret act Nicklas Bendtner regales visitors to his bar in Majorca, Bendtner’s, with his one-man show, Bendtner on Bendtner, which begins “I was definitely better than Neymar, pre- his transfer to Anzhi Makhachkala. I was better than Ronaldo, before he disappeared into the La Mancha wilderness. It was maybe 50-50 with Messi, who was never the same after his military service”.

 Argentine soldiers go on strike

4 April, 2032
A crack Argentine Special Forces soldier in the Second Falklands-Malvinas War refuses to participate in the final third of a crucial battle on the Tumbledown – despite having been specifically asked by the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces to resume his training for a top-secret mission – on the grounds that he’s unhappy and misses his family. Instead, he wanders off to Goose Green and has a leisurely round or two of golf.

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