Sky Sports News Anchor: “Good morning, it’s Monday the 25th of May and in breaking news this-morning, Southampton Football Club have just announced the sudden takeover by billionaire businessman Sir Richard Branson, following recent reports of the now former owners, the Liebherr family, wanting to move away from football over summer. Southampton representatives have said a press conference will be held within the hour, which Branson is excepted to attend. We’ll keep you up to date about this takeover throughout the morning…”
Southampton Spokesman, Jordan Sibley: “Good morning everyone, I’ll ask you all to hold any questions to the end of the press conference. Now, on behalf of the fans, and everyone at the club I’d like to welcome our new owner and chairman, Sir Richard Branson…”
Owner, Sir Richard Branson: “Hello everyone, it’s a pleasure to be sitting here, and to be a part of this great club. Let’s get straight into this. I’ve been looking at becoming more financially interested in sports for a few years now, but I wanted to make sure that, whatever sport, club, or team I chose to put my time and money into, it would benefit England as a whole. As many of us know, football is huge, we’ve all grown up around it. But over the past few weeks in the lead up to the World Cup, the grip this game has on the country has surpassed my expectations. I’ve hear people that have never watched a football match in their lives, express their excitement about the World Cup, and speculate on our chances this tournament. Then it struck me, if I want to do my part to improve the reputation of England through sport, then football is the only answer. Like most of us here, I’ve never felt what it’s like to be crowned champions of the world, in the world’s biggest game. I want that to change. So that’s why I’m here. I don’t want to buy titles with billion pound cheques, I want to help build a brilliant England national squad, by building a brilliant Southampton team to nurture and develop our brightest talents. That is why I’m announcing that as of this moment, Southampton Football Club will only field English players. I’ve spoken to several high ranking members of the FA, and the footballing development board, all of whom agree this theory will work wonders for the national team. Of course, we cannot forget the club here. We have the upmost confidence that this change will send Southampton to levels we’ve never seen before, and the fans to competitions they only ever been to in their dreams.”
FourFourTwo Journalist: “You said you’ll only field Englishmen, does this mean all current foreign players will be sold this summer?”
Southampton Spokesman, Jordan Sibley: “That’s the plan, yes. We realise this is an unusual situation. We’d now like the publicly announce to our foreign players that we’ll be doing everything in our power to find new clubs for them all. Of course we’ll speak to them all privately today either face to face, or by phone. At this stage, if a player cannot be sold for a price we deem reasonable, we’ll look to loan the player out until an offer becomes acceptable.”
BBC Journalist: “How much do you plan on investing in the near future Sir Richard?”
Owner, Sir Richard Branson: “That will depend on how much profit from the sale of our players we make. I certainly don’t plan on throwing millions into the transfers budget every season because we ‘need a big player.’ I plan on investing mainly on the future of the club by improving the facilities and the coaching to be on par with the elite European clubs like Barca and Ajax. We won’t be looking at any quick fixes here, ever. That said, if we need a small injection to the transfer fee to stay afloat in the Premier League for the first season or two, then yes. I’ll be putting some money in then. I think I’d most closely like to resemble an underwriter type role, only stepping in where needed. Sponsorship and competition money should be more than enough to sustain and improve the club.”
Southampton Spokesman, Jordan Sibley: “On that point, we would now like to announce Sir Richard brings with him the full financial backing of the ‘Virgin’ Group. We’re delighted to announce that our main sponsor is now the ‘Virgin’ Group and will be as long as the Branson family owns the club.”
Sky Sports Journalist: “Does this takeover mean that players like Wayne Rooney, Joe Hart, and Gary Cahill are on the radar as potential signings?”
Southampton Spokesman, Jordan Sibley: “As we’ve said, this project is mainly focused on the future, rather than the now. We’re more interesting in signing young players, and developing them into world class players for the senior national squad, rather than buying current senior players.”
Owner, Sir Richard Branson: “That said, if a senior player, like any of the three you mentioned were purchasable, we would certainly consider any English player if they still had something to offer the club, or the country. I'd like to see some experienced heads around the club as well, but that’s his decision to make.”
(15 minutes later)
Southampton Spokesman, Jordan Sibley: “Sorry gentlemen, that’s all the time we have here today, please direct any more of your questions to…”
- Hold every trophy available: The Community Shield, League Cup, FA Cup, Premier League, Champions League, Super Cup, and World Club Cup at once.
- Set a Premier League record by going 50 matches unbeaten.
- England winning the World Cup with at least 10 current Southampton players in the 23 man squad.