Left Wing Football

BY KEER LONSDALE

Keer Lonsdale predicts what will happen if the logic of the Left is ever applied to football:

Looking back, it was Leicester winning the league that started it. Everybody loved that, the little guy beating the big guys, the privileged elite taken to the cleaners, the footballing world turned upside down. What a story it was.

Within a couple of decades even bigger things had happened. Luton winning the Premier League, Barrow getting into Europe, Cromer Town lifting the FA Cup. Blimey, you couldn’t make it up! Yet, strangely, public euphoria of the sort that greeted Leicester’s success was rather lacking. There was a puzzling shortage of real enthusiasm for these staggering achievements.

Perhaps the first inkling that times had changed was in the 2024-25 season, when the crowds had returned post-Covid and Bournemouth and Manchester United both finished level on 38 points, tied for the third relegation spot. Man United’s goal difference was clearly superior yet, to general amusement at the time, the FA announced United would go down, while Bournemouth would stay up. The official announcement waffled on about United’s superior financial situation, their resources, their privileged history. Amid the general amusement that Manchester United had been relegated, there was little questioning of the FA’s startling decision. In fact, it received plenty of support.

That is, until the next season when, amazingly enough, Norwich, Exeter and Bolton were joint top of the Premier League at Christmas, with Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs and City all languishing in mid-table positions. These big clubs, unaccustomed to such ignominy, began to complain about a perceived bias among referees, especially when they were playing the smaller, less fashionable clubs. Offsides never seemed to go their way, penalty appeals were turned down, and if they were hanging onto a one goal advantage, the ref would announce that 19 minutes of added time would be played. On Match of the Day these decisions were often dealt with rather hastily, and the ex-England forward who hosted the show was always keen to get onto territory where he felt safer. But the claims of the big clubs would still not go away.

At first the FA didn’t respond to their claims. On their website prominent articles lauded the achievements of Norwich, Exeter and Bolton. The writers of these pieces seemed to adopt a contemptuous tone when speaking of the ‘past glories’ of Arsenal, Liverpool and United, almost as though some kind of unacknowledged bias had begun to sneak in ……

After Luton had won the Premier League, a strange new phenomenon came into view. The best players were now asking for transfer requests, wanting to leave United, City and Arsenal and join the likes of Oldham, Doncaster, Crewe and (the surprise package of that season) League newcomers Stoke Poges Saints, all storming up the tables with the help of a series of highly debatable decisions.

Moreover, the FA announced (retrospectively, after the big teams had complained) that the Premier League ‘parachute money’, the money clubs got for simply competing in the Premier League, was now to be redistributed in an entirely new way. Five million pounds would be deducted for every FA Cup, Premier League and European trophy you’d ever won. This money would instead go to the smaller clubs. Many at the time felt this was only fair, given the gross disparities that had existed in football in the past. Others wondered which way the Beautiful Game was heading.

The public were still in two minds about the whole business when the now legendary Spurs v Barnstaple FA Cup quarter-final was played. Spurs were 2-0 up with 30 minutes remaining when Barnstaple brought on a substitute. The Tottenham players were aggrieved to notice, however, that they didn’t take anyone off: they simply upped their team to 12 and played on. The ref seemed nervous about it but allowed Barnstaple to get away with it. They went on to win 3-2 en route to their famous 1-0 Wembley victory over Chelsea, the match that will forever be remembered as the only one in Cup Final history in which the second half was a mere 38 minutes long.

A brave soul, the England manager Ross Barkley publicly questioned what was going on. He was sacked the next morning, accused by the FA of ‘bigotry’, ‘intolerance’ and ‘xenophobia’. “There is no place in the modern game,” intoned an FA spokesperson, “for this sort of inflammatory rhetoric.”

When the Sun newspaper, ever outspoken, demanded “a level playing field for all England’s football teams”, the same FA spokesperson appeared on the six o’clock news to denounce them as a “reactionary rag which harks back to the dog-eat-dog days of Victorian competitiveness, something which has no place in a diverse 21st century sport.”

Attendances began to decline alarmingly. But strangely the little teams, the likes of Luton, Crewe and Port Vale, were the ones who saw the most dramatic falls, despite the fact that they were going great guns in the league. Many of the stay-away fans complained that “the game isn’t what it was”. Some, glancing nervously about them as they spoke, even said they hated cheating their way to victory.

The big clubs suffered too. Their magical aura had gone. Nothing they did went well. Fate seemed against them. Their fans began to desert them, many opting to watch other sports or teams in other countries where the game was as it had always been.

In summer 2028 Liverpool announced they were joining a break-away league on the continent. Other continental teams, alarmed at similar developments in their own countries, wanted to join too. Spurs also intimated they were going to leave. The FA responded in fury, spending millions in a High Court case in which they accused Liverpool and Spurs of bigotry, intolerance, hate speech and a systematic attempt to undermine diversity. They issued a statement banning all Liverpool and Spurs season ticket holders from attending any football matches in England. “Life bans,” said the FA spokesperson, “is the least that racists and bigots can expect.”

But that is nothing compared to what happened when Stoke Poges agreed to join the break-away league too. I cannot, however, relate the details as the subsequent trial is still ongoing and several super-injunctions are currently in place.

At the beginning of the 2028-29 season the FA released the fixtures as usual – only this time several of the matches had the results already filled in, despite games having not actually been played. The places of Liverpool and Spurs had been filled by two teams from Libya which the FA described as “pioneers in footballing justice and heroes of the struggle for sporting diversity.” Perhaps the last straw was when the statue of Sir Alf Ramsey was removed from FA headquarters “to ensure our new partners from Libya are not offended by any displays of nationalist triumphalism.” The Three Lions were removed from the FA’s badge at the same time, as they were deemed to “endorse the Crusades and, by extension, slavery, apartheid, fascism, Zionism and Brexit.” At the time of writing, Orient, Peterborough and Forest Green Rovers have already resigned their FA membership in protest, with dozens of other teams said to be “carefully considering their positions”. Watch this space ……

Keer Lonsdale is a teacher, writer and countryman based in the north of England. He loves the rural life, fishing for trout and following a pack of hounds. As a small-‘c’ conservative, campaigning against the excesses of the intersectional Left and their divisive agendas takes up an ever-growing percentage of his time. As a teacher, Keer has seen first-hand how mad ideas can flourish in the state sector. But he is a confident believer in the innate common sense of both the kids he teaches and the wider British public.