A very silly story, brought to us by Agence France-Presse.
A non-league soccer team in England was in desperate need of cash, and it managed to get it by improving the name recognition of the club.
Which now includes Pele and Maradona.
Here is the AFP story.
It’s a lineup to strike fear into opponents, featuring the likes of Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff, Pele, Franz Beckenbauer and Roberto Carlos, with Mourinho and Ferguson in the dug-out.
But the team is not an all-star list of the greatest names ever to play the game. Instead it’s the new line-up of English non-league outfit Farnborough.
Players at the Conference South side have legally changed their names as part of a new sponsorship deal with an online betting firm signed to help the club out of administration.
“Over the summer it looked touch and go whether we’d even start the season but now we’ve by far the greatest team ever seen,” said team manager Jose Mourinho, formerly known as Spencer Day.
“Although it’s not all good news. Pele and Maradona have almost come to blows over who gets to wear the number 10,” he was quoted as saying on the club website, farnboroughfc.co.uk
Farnborough’s new lineup plays its first game of the season against Chelmsford City on Saturday.
The club’s new sponsors, Paddy Power, has a history of marketing stunts. At last year’s European championships in Poland and Ukraine, Denmark’s Nicklas Bendtner flashed underpants bearing the bookmaker’s logo after scoring against Portugal. The European governing body Uefa fined the player 100,000 euros.
Farnborough’s all-star lineup: Gordon Banks, Lothar Matthaus, Roberto Carlos, Paulo Maldini, Alan Hansen, Cafu, Bobby Moore, Franz Beckenbauer, George Best, Paul Gascoigne, David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane, Johan Cruyff, Lionel Messi, Gary Lineker, Diego Maradona, Pele.
Manager: Jose Mourinho
First-team coach: Alex Ferguson
Kit man: Terry Venables