Heathens Rising #2: how the mighty fall

.. for him to guide them to 5 trophies in one season only for the chairman to sell everyone, sack him, take the club into administration and get relegated three years later? Yes, I do think FMheathen is a fool to go back!
Jürgen Klopp

“No, I don’t think there is a Spanish word for knobhead.”
Pep Guardiola

11am 15TH AUGUST 2020, CAR PARK 15A, NEW BANK STREET STADIUM

SCENE: A milling crowd of the local and national press and their TV cameras linger near the staff entrance to the stadium as a racing green 1976 Jaguar XJS sweeps into the car park beside them. KATRIONA, the Newton Heath 1878 press officer rushes between them with two security guards in flourescent jackets as FMheathen steps out. They flank FMheathen and start to push through the crowd led by Katriona to shouted questions from the press.

KATRIONA (PO): Thank you everyone, if you just calm down a second and let us through we’ll be happy to take a few questions before the proper unveiling this evening. He’s on the sofa with Phil and Holly in ten so we don’t have long.

(The crowd parts and stays at the bottom of the four steps leading into the staff entrance while FMheathen and Katriona stop at the top and turn to face them)

Ok everyone, so before we start please keep questions to matters on the pitch. This is not a proper conference and we don’t want it to turn into a free for all for which press passes may be revoked. It’s also about to rain again so we really don’t have long.

MARTIN EVANS (MEN): Hi FM, Martin Evans, Manchester Evening News.

FMHEATHEN: You don’t need to introduce yourself, I know who you are. That latest nonsense you wrote about me is still ringing in my ears.

MARTIN EVANS (MEN): Ooook, well moving on, in light of the revelations that you only got the job after a two day stay at your Director of Football Phil Neville’s Wilmslow Spa and Golf resort is it fair to say that negotiations for your second stint as manager were long drawn out?

FMHEATHEN: Not at all, we shook hands on it in the first half an hour of that weekend.

MARTIN EVANS (MEN): Then why did you stay there the full two days?

FMHEATHEN: It was a very stressful half hour, it took me that long to recover.
(Muffled laughter breaks out)
Anyway, have you ever been there? The full body mud massages are exquisite. Makes your skin feel like a baby’s ar …

KATRIONA (PO): Ahem .. as I said, can we keep it to matters on the pitch please?

MARTIN EVANS (MEN): Of course, so my next question is what has made you come back to the club after your very public disagreement with the then Chairman Michael Knight?

FMHEATHEN: As you say, he was the “Then” Chairman so I consider that to be all in the past. It was well known that Mr Knight and I had our differences even before we won the quintuple in 2017 and the fact that he started to dissasemble the squad to make a profit within weeks of us getting the trophies was the final nail for me. The man was an opportunist prick.

(Laughter rises again, KATRIONA stares sternly first at FMheathen then the press, the laughter stops.)

KATRIONA (PO): Moving on, Kathy Tremelow from Sky, do you have a question please?

KATHY TREMELOW (SKY): How do you feel about the challenge facing you given that just 3 years after that magnificent clean sweep the Heathens are back in the Championship? And may I also ask do you think the club’s massive financial losses and the collapse of the Heathens global project will make the job much more difficult this time around?

FMHEATHEN: Thanks Kathy, firstly I think it’s a great challenge as the game would be dull if you won all the time and it will be nice to see the people who said I only won everything last time because of our massive franchise of clubs eat their words. We’ve gone from 21 franchise clubs who bore the Heathen name to just 2, Benfica, who have a similar character as ours and Hyde, who are just down the road and need our support.

KATHY TREMELOW (SKY): And what would you say to the speculation that you in fact contributed to that exodus of the affiliates when you had a well documented affair with the Uruguayan super model daughter of Penarol’s president? After all, he did cancel their affiliation the moment it hit the front page.

KATRIONA (PO): I think we would prefer it if FMheathen didn’t answer that.

FMHEATHEN: No it’s fine, let me answer. Well it’s been a very fruitful and adventurous three years out let me say that, and it is true that I did have a perfectly legal relationship with Conchita but that had no bearing on her Father’s decision to cut ties with Newton Heath. While we’re on the topic I’d also like to pre-empt any other stories that may be soon to break that my relationships with 4 other as yet unnamed women also had no bearing on other clubs cancelling their affiliations from Spain, Sweden, Germany and possibly South Africa. Now can we get back to talking about the football please?

DEAN WILMOTT (BBC): Hi FM, could you tell me what your immediate plans are going forward please? It’s not often that a manager inherits a club with a squad with no first team players but just 7 youth players and only 5 backroom staff.

FMHEATHEN: Yes it’s a challenge alright but one that I am prepared for. It is nice to have the full backing of the new Chairman Mr Martin Edwards and the support of our new Director of Football Nicky Butt, two men who also have green and gold blood running through their veins in the same way I do. I won’t go as far as saying that the Heathens are back just yet as our Heathen legend Denis Law said in the 60s but let’s just say that we are gathering our resources ready to set off on the journey and the road ahead looks bright and clear.

DEAN WILMOTT (BBC): Thank you for the answer but I anticipate the reaction from some people on social media would be that it sounds rather more corporate than your usual replies and lacks passion and spark. What would you say to them?

FMHEATHEN: To stop moaning on twatter or whatever it’s called and come and tell me to my face. Either that or just fu ..

KATRIONA (PO): .. and on that note I think we’ll leave it there. I hope to see you all this evening for the proper press conference and .. cameras off please for this bit as it is strictly OFF the record ..
(the press lower their cameras, she looks directly at Kathy Tremelow)
Kathy, if you come up with anything tonight like that Conchita shite then tomorrow you can fuck off too. Understood?
(Kathy nods meekly and FMHeathen smiles as she turns and takes his arm to lead him inside. The press start to disperse).

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