The year is 2030. It’s the first weekend in June. The sun beats down on a deserted Anfield. Chip papers blow up against the disused turnstiles, the paint is peeling on the Shankly Gates, some children kick a ball against the walls of the Kop.
Suddenly, a voice calls out: ”Get a move on. Kick-off is in 5 minutes!”
They hurry home to their living rooms to find their fathers resplendent in their full kits, already sat in front of the telly. Today is the start of the new season of the Sky World Series Super Soccer League, and live from Boston’s Fenway Park, the home of “The Reds”, Liverpool are home to Champions, Real Madrid.
The pundits are ready, the commentators poised. On the pitch, an Irish pipe band plays and the All-American Cheerleaders strut their stuff. There is wild applause from the crowd as, walking onto the pitch to perform “You’ll Never Walk Alone” comes Kanye West.
As the last notes die away, the fans whoop and cheer as the rapper takes his seat in the stands – the ex-POTUS being a big Reds fan. The players take to the pitch and the crowd in the stands settle in their seats as the game kicks off.
The opening stages are tense and cagey, neither side wanting to concede early. Then, Madrid’s exciting Number 10 shirt breaks away. He gets to the Liverpool penalty area where he is clumsily brought down. The whistle blows, and the crowd turn to the big screens.
“VAR review” is flashed up, “sponsored by Specsavers”. The cheerleaders take to the pitch the crowd waits expectantly. “Decision imminent” announces the screen “Let the countdown commence... Five, four, three, two, one... PENALTY!”
Immediately, Liverpool substitute their goalkeeper. The replacement was picked up in the First Season Draft after impressing in a series of penalty shoot-outs in the American Junior Leagues the previous season.
Up steps the Madrid striker, but his kick is too close to the keeper who pushes it past the post for a corner. A time-out is called while the teams bring on rafts of substitutes for the set-piece.
Then, the corner is swung in and headed away by a Liverpool defender to the edge of the area, where it falls to the feet of a Madrid midfielder, whose first time shot sails over the bar.
The hooter sounds for quarter time, and the teams head to the side lines, and surround their coaching staffs; there is a further flurry of substitutes. Large numbers of people head to the MacDonald’s concessions. It’s going to be a long night...
It's January 2031, and the 3rd Round of the FA Cup. Crowds are descending on the new Goodison Park. Smaller than initially planned because of the reduction in TV income, it still holds 40,000.
Everton are currently flying high in the Premier League, one of seven teams slugging it out for the title, but today is a break from that battle. They have been drawn against the Cup holders, Sunderland, surprise winners of the all-Championship clash against a resurgent Arsenal who are steadily climbing back up the football pyramid after quitting World Series Super Soccer, and being readmitted to League Two of the Football League.
Unsurprisingly, both teams are at full strength. The stadium echoes to the sound of Z-Cars as the two teams emerge from the tunnel to a mighty roar from the crowd.
Another deafening roar greets the kick-off, followed by chants of “Come on You Blues” as the fans urge their team forward. Football is alive and well on Merseyside.
Reader Comments (3)
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1 Posted 20/11/2020 at 11:44:44
However, it'll remain a fantasy. There'll never be a breakaway European Super League, let alone a World Super League. The domestic Leagues are too important to maintain the status of these clubs as part of the elite of world football. They just want a shift in the balance between the domestic & the european tournaments so that they can continue to dominate at home whilst playing less matches to do so, & then have plenty of capacity in their schedules to play against the other national "winners" across Europe & beyond.
They need the bread & butter league to give them the platform for all that jam.
2 Posted 20/11/2020 at 12:10:21
“Sponsored by Specsavers” sums up VAR perfectly.
3 Posted 20/11/2020 at 13:23:51
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