Bob Marley was dead to begin with…
This isn’t relevant to the story, it just allowed me to start it in a somewhat recognisable style.
Sitting alone in the boardroom a miserable, frost bitten old penny pincher called Ebenezer Scrooge, a man who had acquired the controlling stake in a football club after some shady Middle Eastern consortium, made up of war criminals, left him in charge whilst they went on trial for their numerous atrocities.
Outside the boardroom the club shop was full of desperate shoppers, blindly searching for the perfect gift for their football mad child.
“Shop keep, how much for the official club shirt?” “£75 squire, but pay an extra fiver and we’ll put their name on it”
“Ok, well I’ll go for this shoddily made meerkat toy wearing a replica shirt and a pair of official club gloves then” “Fine choice guv, that’ll be £50. Would you be tempted by a trolley pound, with the club crest on it? It’s only £5 and non of that money will go to charity”
Meanwhile, Scrooge called for his PA “Cratchit, come here you miserable little worm, and bring the mints with you, my breath could fell a rhino. That’s the last time I eat oriental food. I really don’t know what those Chingalings put in their food”
“Afternoon Mr Scrooge, I’ve just fired the manager, anything else you’d like me to do before I go home for Christmas?”
“Yes, send out a half arsed press release, saying we thank the manager for his efforts, something about mutual consent, big bowl of porridge, the usual nonsense”
“Ok, anything else? Oh and they didn’t have mints at all, well other than those stripy ones”
“That’s the one”
“Fine, right after that I want you to change all the prices, put a few quid on the ticket prices as plenty of idiots come to the game on Boxing Day. Also ask the catering staff to put fewer prawns in the sandwiches, and to reduce the meat in the pies by a further 20%”
“Ok, so pies with -10% meat then. That’s going to take me a while I won’t get home for Christmas”
“Boo hoo, I’m not interested. I’m off now, I’ve got to go home and get ready. I’m having lunch with Richard Keys and Tim Lovejoy tomorrow. See you on Boxing Day Cratchit. Oh and by the way you’ve had a Christmas pay cut”
As Scrooge approached his front door a ghostly vision appeared. Scrooge didn’t recognise him at all, and wasn’t really listening when the cloudy figure mentioned something about three further ghosts.
“Bloody Lovejoy bantering me off with that ghost thing, I’ll get that twat back tomorrow when I put this whoopee cushion on his chair, or drop some laxatives in his lunch so he fouls himself. Anyway to bed”
As the clock struck one, a blinding light engulfed Scrooge’s bedroom and as he awoke he gazed upon a small boy in a football scarf, a flat cap and carrying a football rattle.
“I am the ghost of football’s past”
“I didn’t know people had rattles in 1992” said Scrooge.
“I’m from 1966”
“Hang on I thought the premier league invented football in 1992, oh well I’m not bothered I’m a golf man anyway”
“Take my hand Scrooge”
“I’m not comfortable with that, not in the current climate. If someone sees I’ll end up in a prison cell with every DJ from the seventies. Not for the first time either”
“Come on Scrooge, just hurry up I’ve only got an hour”
Scrooge reluctantly took the boys hand, and suddenly found himself in a stadium he faintly recognised. A crowd of what looked to him like poor people were watching the football.
“Spirit, where are the directors boxes, the half and half scarves, and there isn’t a single advertising hoarding. Let me leave this place, it just isn’t football”
“But Scrooge, don’t you get it, this is a crowd of passionate fans, who only paid a few pence to get in to the game. Surely you can appreciate how good that is”
“Urgh, this sickens me. That player just scored, and there was no goal music. Honestly take me from this place”
“Fine, sod it, hopefully the next ghost will have more of a chance”
Scrooge was back in his mock Tudor mansion, and as the clock struck two another ghost emerged. This time wearing a half and half kit, whilst not even looking at Scrooge as he was too busy tweeting to pay much attention.
“You must be the ghost of football present”
“Erm, yeah just let me finish this tweet, I’m fucking furious with Wenger”
“Fine, but can we get this over with, the last one was tedious and I feel unclean after seeing all those regular people attending a football match”
“Yeah, weird idea eh mate. Fine let’s go”
Scrooge found himself now in a half empty stadium, where indifferent fans sat on their phones, only occasionally looking up to berate the 17 year old left back.
“See anything wrong Scrooge?”
“Yes they haven’t got those advertising boards that change during the game so you can show more products to these gullible morons”
“Erm whatever, just gonna tweet “spend some fucking money Wenger” and I’ll be back with you Scroogey old boy”
“I like you ghost, how did you die”
“It was some proper nawty banter gone wrong. I’ll say no more as I’m sure you understand”
“Makes sense. Right take me home, I like what I see honestly spirit. These are my people”
“Fine, does in Wenger we rust sound like a tweet that will be retweeted a thousand times?”
“Oh yes, excellent work spirit”
Within seconds Scrooge was back in his bedroom. And as the clock struck three he was facing the final spirit. A spirit he recognised all too well.
“Too right, now quick Scrooge I’ve got a roast swan, followed by a unicorn for breakfast, so I want this done with quick”
“Fine by me Sepp you beautiful bastard. Where you lead I shall follow”
“Welcome Scrooge to Qatar”
“The World Cup?”
“No the 39th game. Scudamore got his way, and it gets better, they now play 38 of those games abroad and only one in England”
“This is beautiful. Well done Sepp”
“Thanks, now look, executive boxes as far as the eye can see, and look how empty the stands are, we have no need for fans anymore. Well nobody can afford to get into the games, but we make an absolute killing on merchandise”
“Sepp this is making me cry, please send me home, I’m a changed man, I will change my ways from this day forward.”
A blinding light and suddenly Scrooge was home. He ran to the window and threw it open. “You boy”
“Yeah, get off my property you little shit or I’ll set the dogs on you”
“Right time to do as the spirits taught me. I’ll call Bob today and tell him to double the season ticket prices. I shall also do as Sepp taught me, and promote advertising and crooked business deals. I shall continue to ignore racism, and why not, I’ll hire that manager who sent all those sexist texts”