This is what my ideal Premiership club would look like

Pink shirts, a statue of Alfred Wainwright, and absolutely no interviews.

 I’ve got my two younger granddaughters, Amarisse and Sienna, sitting at the drawing table working on designs. They are arguing over the felt pens, yet I bought them a set each so they wouldn’t argue but they are only five and four.

I have told them that when I buy my Premiership club, I want the shirts to be pink. Always liked pink. And I want a nice background pattern, hearts perhaps, or dogs or houses.

My older two grandchildren, Amelia and Ruby, aged 14 and 13, are honing their computer skills. I plan to make Amelia match day programme editor, as she is awfully good at writing, while Ruby I can see as marketing director. You would be too scared not to do what either tells you. Have you seen these teenage girls today? Terrifying.

I have spoken to Mr Tan, the Malaysian owner of Cardiff City. I don’t know why old-fashioned football fans got so upset when he changed Cardiff’s shirt to red. Cardiff, founded in 1899, have traditionally been blue, hence their nickname, the Bluebirds, but come on, life moves on. Red, so he says, is a lucky colour in the east, so get it on, boys, as they in that awful betting advert.

He’s also changed the club badge and sacked the head of recruitment, who was the manager’s right-hand man in getting them into the Premiership. He was replaced by some youth called Kazakh, who is apparently a schoolfriend of his 21-year-old son. Kazakh was not totally new to football or to Britain – he had been doing work experience at the club, painting walls. I think at present he is having work permit problems but I am sure Mr Tan will soon sort that out. Well done, anyway.

I did think about green when I buy my Prem club, as no Prem club plays in green, so it would make them stand out. We would get all the veggies and environmentalists shouting “Come on you Greens”. On reflection, I am going for pink. “Think Pink!” That will be the club slogan. Catchy, eh?

Dear old Mohamed al-Fayed put up a statue of Michael Jackson when he owned Fulham, very sensible, so corny and obvious to have a famous ex-player. Should I have Paul McCartney, one of my heroes, or Alfred Wainwright, author of the Lakeland guides? Probably go for AW, as long as the sculptor makes a good job of his pipe.

As owner of the club, lock stock and barrel, I will be able to do exactly what I like, so moustaches all the year round will be mandatory. None of this Movember nonsense, then shaving them off.

I’ll be going in the dressing room, before and after every game, with my own video crew. No player will be allowed to give interviews, put their name to articles or books – only to me. I have always wanted to do a follow-up to a football book I did many years ago, The Glory Game. Not possible any more, now they all have lawyers, agents, PRs, brand managers and commercial deals, and are far too rich anyway, so why should they be arsed. But with owning My Own Club, no probs.

They will all have to wear pink boots, matching their shirt. And I think I will bring back sock numbers. Remember them? Don Revie brought them in but they faded. Adverts, of course, on their bums – not physically, the tattoos would obscure them – but on the back of their shorts. I have always thought that advertising on shorts has been a missed opportunity.

Now, what job shall I give Tortee? I have got my four grandchildren sorted – all girls, you will have noticed. Tortee is also female, been part of our family for decades. She is aged 40, very mature, so I think I will make her manager. She will be the first tortoise in the history of football to be a Prem manager. Not sure about Third Division (North). I think Carlisle United had a tortoise as a gaffer at one time, or was it a sheep?

I’ll have sheep grazing on the pitch when there’s not a game, until they start digging. As freeholder, of the stocks and barrels, I’m looking into fracking. Once that starts, I’ll sell up and be off. Just like Mr Tan, probably . . .

A manager should always take control. Image: Getty

Hunter Davies is a journalist, broadcaster and profilic author perhaps best known for writing about the Beatles. He is an ardent Tottenham fan and writes a regular column on football for the New Statesman.

This article first appeared in the 13 November 2013 issue of the New Statesman, The New Exodus

Photo: Getty
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PMQs review: Jeremy Corbyn prompts Tory outrage as he blames Grenfell Tower fire on austerity

To Conservative cries of "shame on you!", the Labour leader warned that "we all pay a price in public safety" for spending cuts.

A fortnight after the Grenfell Tower fire erupted, the tragedy continues to cast a shadow over British politics. Rather than probing Theresa May on the DUP deal, Jeremy Corbyn asked a series of forensic questions on the incident, in which at least 79 people are confirmed to have died.

In the first PMQs of the new parliament, May revealed that the number of buildings that had failed fire safety tests had risen to 120 (a 100 per cent failure rate) and that the cladding used on Grenfell Tower was "non-compliant" with building regulations (Corbyn had asked whether it was "legal").

After several factual questions, the Labour leader rose to his political argument. To cries of "shame on you!" from Tory MPs, he warned that local authority cuts of 40 per cent meant "we all pay a price in public safety". Corbyn added: “What the tragedy of Grenfell Tower has exposed is the disastrous effects of austerity. The disregard for working-class communities, the terrible consequences of deregulation and cutting corners." Corbyn noted that 11,000 firefighters had been cut and that the public sector pay cap (which Labour has tabled a Queen's Speech amendment against) was hindering recruitment. "This disaster must be a wake-up call," he concluded.

But May, who fared better than many expected, had a ready retort. "The cladding of tower blocks did not start under this government, it did not start under the previous coalition governments, the cladding of tower blocks began under the Blair government," she said. “In 2005 it was a Labour government that introduced the regulatory reform fire safety order which changed the requirements to inspect a building on fire safety from the local fire authority to a 'responsible person'." In this regard, however, Corbyn's lack of frontbench experience is a virtue – no action by the last Labour government can be pinned on him. 

Whether or not the Conservatives accept the link between Grenfell and austerity, their reluctance to defend continued cuts shows an awareness of how politically vulnerable they have become (No10 has announced that the public sector pay cap is under review).

Though Tory MP Philip Davies accused May of having an "aversion" to policies "that might be popular with the public" (he demanded the abolition of the 0.7 per cent foreign aid target), there was little dissent from the backbenches – reflecting the new consensus that the Prime Minister is safe (in the absence of an attractive alternative).

And May, whose jokes sometimes fall painfully flat, was able to accuse Corbyn of saying "one thing to the many and another thing to the few" in reference to his alleged Trident comments to Glastonbury festival founder Michael Eavis. But the Labour leader, no longer looking fearfully over his shoulder, displayed his increased authority today. Though the Conservatives may jeer him, the lingering fear in Tory minds is that they and the country are on divergent paths. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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