11am 7th May 2018: GREGGS’ PASTIES CONFERENCE SUITE, BANK STREET FOOTBALL GROUND:
GAVIN THE BREW BOY: Ahem .. the gaffer has asked that I act as his … ahem .. press officer today as we can’t afford a proper one. He’ll be here in a minute so can the three of you take your seats please?
(FMtotality enters, a bit worse for wear, channeling Flintoff)
FMTOTALITY: Hello, thanks for stopping by at Bank Street. I wasn’t expecting this many of you so Gavin you better break into the coffee machine for a couple more plastic cups for our prosecco. I hope you’ll all stay later for a little snifter before you go. Before we get into your questions though I’d like to take a minute of your time for a little sentimental statement that I have prepared.
Ahem here goes .. as you know, today is a proud day for the club in that we have avoided relegation and will now remain in League two for at least two consecutive seasons for the first time in 52 years, since the great days of the King of the Clayton Road End, Denis Law. I know at just 24 years of age I may not have always had the respect of other people in the league but at this special moment I hope you don’t mind if I share some personal feelings with you from my short time in this game.
Firstly, may I say that I love this game of ours, always have and always will. Through mispent, countless hours that have given me neither sustenance or wealth I have clicked away with hope from one day to the next, through updates galore, cruel crash dump demons and shite regens that offer so much but ultimately give so little. But occasionally, just occasionally, comes a day when I see it for the little, incredible pixelated utopia that it can be and today is one of those days. With that said, I hope you can share some of the joy that I am feeling at this moment and conduct this final press conference of the season in the same spirit of happiness and goodwill.
That’s all, thanks for listening and fire away.
DAVID EVANS: Hi FM, David Evans from the Manchester Evening news. Very touching but I’m sure your fans want to know why you think Newton Heath 1878 have been so rubbish this season? I mean, you’ve lost 27 games.
FMTOTALITY: Hello David, straight to the point I see. Yes, you’re right. But there’s another number I want you to consider – I know it’s not as big as yours (.. giggles ..) but that number is one that I am proud of and it’s 13.
DAVID EVANS: What’s that stand for?
FMTOTALITY: That, David, is the number of wins we’ve had – and here’s another one .. 39. That’s the points it gave us. When you add that to the 6 draws it means 45 and safety, and the Heathens’ living to fight another day.
DAVID EVANS: Very nice, but it still doesn’t explain why you are so bad. You tweeted 5 games before the run in that you only needed three points to stay up ..
FMTOTALITY: .. yeah ..
DAVID EVANS: .. but in reality you got none. Not a single point in the last 5 games in which, may I add, you lost against two teams who were below you and had two players sent off in one game.
FMTOTALITY: Splitting hairs, mate. The fact is we stayed up and both Lewis Mansell and Ronnie Boylan were very sorry for those tackles, which could have gone either way to be honest.
DAVID EVANS: Either way? The boy that Mansell tackled has a permanent limp and Boylan’s victim has been told he will never be able to have kids. What do you have to say to that?
FMTOTALITY: Good luck to him – he should thank Ronnie, kids are a pain in the arse.
KERRY TURNBULL: Kerry Turnbull, BBC. Can you explain why, when the club was in desperate need of young, dynamic players you brought in 39 year old Kevin Ellison from Morecambe? A player that most people, not just in the league, but in the football world in general, think is past his prime.
FMTOTALITY: Sure, but can I say before we start that he was actually 38 when he came to us, he was 39 three weeks later.
KERRY TURNBULL: Ok, but that still doesn’t answer my question.
FMTOTALITY: It’s as simple as this – big Kev is a leader and a keeper. We’ve got him in for the coaching and tutoring more than anything and, may I add, what a debut. He walked in at 11 o clock on the 1st January and 4 hours later made an assist and scored a goal. You can’t say more than that.
KERRY TURNBULL: .. but then got injured for a month ..
FMTOTALITY: And so would you be! He’s thirty bloody nine! Anyway, I see what you’re saying, he might be a bit long in the tooth for the first team but the bloke has other uses, For example, he’s already tutoring young Steven Sandley and the boy’s really coming on well.
KERRY TURNBULL: Yes, we’ve seen the photos on Sandley’s twitter – is it true that the team took him for a pub crawl on Morecambe seafront and that Sandley had to pretend to make love to a giant lobster outside a seafood shop?
FMTOTALITY: Bonding, that’s all, every team has it. Don’t make a mountain out of a lobster pot. Anyway, I believe it was consensual. (..giggles..)
COREY DELANEY: Corey Delaney, 412111 magazine. Can I just turn attention to the rest of your transfer dealings please?
FMTOTALITY: Sure, go ahead.
COREY DELANEY: Is it true that you took in more loans than anyone in the league and because of this you had at least 10 players sitting idle each week due to the 5 loanee match day rules?
FMTOTALITY: Yes, that’s right. Stupid rule, always has been.
COREY DELANEY: Really? Fans would say that it is to the detriment of your current first team squad, not to mention your youth prospects.
FMTOTALITY: Pile of shite mate, you’re talking through your arse.
COREY DELANEY: Well that’s not very prof ..
FMTOTALITY: Did you see the squad when I walked through the door?
COREY DELANEY: I think so .. I mean .. (shuffles through notes) ..
FMTOTALITY: It’s ok, let me save you the bother. We had 16 players in the first team squad and apart from looking like Lurch from off of the Addams Family and making the opposition attack shit themselves when they come in the box the only decent one was the goalie. We had two attacking midfielders who couldn’t cross a road, four centre halves who couldn’t tackle a toddler, three strikers who couldn’t hit a small cow’s arse with a big banjo and a playmaker with a wooden leg. We also didn’t have a pot to piss in for a transfer budget. So what the fuck was I supposed to do?
COREY DELANEY: ahem … well that was up to you so decide ..
FMTOTALITY: Yeah and that’s what I did. Next fucking question.
DAVID EVANS: So in effect you’re saying you did what you could with the limited resources you had at your disposal and that you’re pleased both to sign a new contract and for the club to stay up in League two.
FMTOTALITY: hmmm .. yeah, I suppose so.
DAVID EVANS: Ok, we’ll print that.
FMTOTALITY: nice one, any more questions?
DAVID EVANS: yes, is it true you’ve already started planning for next season?
FMTOTALITY: since day one, fella. As soon as I walked through the door I knew it would be a long term project and that has been my approach from the start.
DAVID EVANS: Can you outline those plans for our readers please?
FMTOTALITY: sure – if you turn to your handout in your press pack on page .. page …
GAVIN THE BREW BOY: It’s page 7, FM.
FMTOTALITY: .. ok, page 7, you can see what I have planned. As you can see there’s a lot going on, though I’d appreciate if you mouthy bastards don’t fucking blog all of it .. just to keep the opposition guessing.
KERRY TURNBULL: Very interesting .. is that all your plans for the coming year?
FMTOTALITY: That would be telling, anyway I think it’s time we called this to a close. Who’s for prosecco and cheesy nibbles? (.. hands go up..) .. not you Delaney, fuck off.