The greatest team in the world are back – just minus their new all-star names.
Instead of Gary Linekar, David Beckham and Lionel Messi gracing the turf at Paddy Power Park this weekend, it’ll be plain-old Elvis Hammond, Dan Bennet and Dave Tarpey.
Farnborough FC have, at last, been readmitted to the Skrill South but rather than the 50-year-old superstars, we’ve reverted to the legendary side that finished 13th in the Conference South last year.
But only after Football Conference dullards failed to see the funny side of Paddy Power’s cunning stunt to create the world’s greatest team.
Despite bringing waves of publicity to the division, the spoil-sport administrators of the Conference refused Farnborough FC entry to the league unless the famous names were dropped.
They think it’s all Dover…
On Saturday fans might not see the likes of Maradonna and Cafu at Paddy Power Park, but at least they’ll see some half-decent football against Dover Athletic. Plus the game is completely free to get into courtesy of Paddy Power and we’ve laid on 1,000 umbrellas as the forecast is pretty glum.
Yup, Paddy Power is still sponsoring Farnborough. (Stinger, eh)
It’s probably a good job because the Farnborough Paul Gascoigne was enjoying his new persona so much he was minutes from turning up at a crime scene with a fishing rod and some chicken.
Sadly, as most footie fans rejoiced at the prospect of watching George Best dazzling the opposition, the powers that be in the Football Conference were definitely not amused. The administrators showed the size of their genitals (not literally) by banning Farnborough from the league.
Working alongside the club, Paddy Power had fought to ensure that all financial conditions were met, but it became apparent that the legendary names were the real bone of contention with the chiefs in Conference headquarters.
…it is now
Turns out, sometimes you can keep a good man down – even Franz Beckenbauer. We’ll never know what might have been. A Gordon Banks wonder save, a swerving Roberto Carlos free-kick or Zinedine Zidane nutting someone in the middle of the park – that was the dream.
Happily, at least Farnborough are back in action and might have gotten the best of both worlds – keeping their name, and a pile of cash to keep going.
Paddy Power commented: “We didn’t think it was possible to match our unveiling of the greatest XI the world has ever seen for Farnborough FC, but the Football Conference has trumped us by revealing the greatest sense of humour failure of all time!
He continued: “Since the sponsorship was announced, the Football Conference have proved themselves to be nothing more than miserable, Grade-A bullies. It seems to us that they would have rather seen Farnborough FC down and out than embrace the idea of Messi, Pele and Mardona driving worldwide interest and fun for Conference football. Farnborough FC have finally been allowed to start their season and do so with our full support.”