A rough and ready premise for a football rags to riches jumpers for goal posts toad turned prince naturalistic mythic saga about four ordinary lads who set out to do the extraordinary – taking a lower division football team to the heights of the premiere league, the league cup, the FA cup, European championships and world domination in Mexico city – and then management of the England football team in just one extraordinary, ordinary season.
Tom, Rick, Dave and Sally are four ordinary football punters – going down to their local team every Saturday, sitting through intolerable football matches played against intolerable opposition on intolerable Saturday afternoons in the wet rain snow sunshine fog and hailstorm, week in week out. Their team – Onthe’ead United has been suffering in recent years with a lack of money, gates, management, players and the final straw is the imminent take over of the ground by the devious property developers Snout Grubb and Lovely who are making no bones about their collective desires to buy up the ground and turn it into a multipurpose sports, shopping, leisure, youth justice community and DiY centre with optional allotments.
Our four heroes reckon in a drunken binge that they would be far more capable of running a football club than any of the erstwhile owners are obviously capable of. In a rash new years resolution they decide to take on the forces of the football association and law and order and make a rash attempt to take over the club. They offer anonymously through a third party New York financial executive who is in the process of bringing down the whole of western capitalism, a paltry sum to buy up the club, its players, grounds, assets, liabailities and club mascot – a mingy terrier called Jimmy Hill who has just been slung out of the kennel clubs’ regional annual dog show rounds, the finalists of whom will be making it to Crufts at the next international show. Jimmy Hill, a miserable little specimen is aggrieved at his rejection and plans, at the next available opportunity to take his revenge.
Much to our gangs surprise and chagrin their offer s snapped up by the clubs owners. Before the first week of the new year is up, the four have moved in and carved up the responsibilities between them. Tom fancies himself as a coach, only having ever been rejected by the school football teams when he was in primary school all those 40 years ago. He has a bone to pick with Stanley Unctuous, the teams centre forward who rejected him all those years ago but who has since fallen on hard times himself, turning into a semi part time alcoholic who plays football as a means to salvaging his credibility with his family who look askance at him from the side of the pitch every Saturday afternoon.
Fifty Years of Hurt! Your Saturday afternoons and English football will never be the same again.