Footurology: Dispatches from the Future of the Beautiful Game, Part VI
Join us as we bring you the latest stories as they happen – FROM THE FUTURE.
Recap with Part V, or leap right in…
28 May, 2025
Signs that Manchester City’s owners are growing increasingly despotic become all-pervasive 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 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 lucre 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 having become superrich overnight – like City 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.
17 December 2026
With hosting rotation enforcing a return to Europe after Qatar 2022, Israel 2026, and Chad 2030, FIFA grants the 2034 World Cup 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’. FIFA had previously commissioned graffiti artists to spray DON’T FUCKING BOTHER on the side of Wembley prior to the bidding process.
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”.
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.