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21 November 2013

This is what my ideal Premiership club would look like

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

By Hunter Davies

 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.

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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 . . .

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