A detailed analysis of Manchester City's outstandingly cringeworthy 'Champions' video
We regret to inform you that Manchester City's fifth league title has been revoked.
...is a headline we expect to see pretty soon, judging from their collaboration the UAE's leading telecommunications operator Etisalat. Presumably made in the hope that Pep Guardiola's men would be crowned champions at home to Manchester United last week, this sixty second abomination is so bad it's good and then bad again.
I love that chant that goes 'If you're celebrating now, clap your hands!' pic.twitter.com/etAh8G1gu3
— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) April 15, 2018
But what exactly makes it so outstandingly awful? Allow us to perform an autopsy on the death of all that is good and holy about the beautiful game. First things first, those lyrics in full:
If you're here for the champions, claps your hands!
If you're celebrating now, clap your hands!
If you're happy that we did it, and you really wanna show it
If you're here for Man City, clap your hands!
If you're feeling like a winner, stomp your feet!
If you're proud of your players, stomp your feet!
If you're happy that we did it, then you really gotta show it
If you're here for Man City, stomp your feet!
If you wanna cheer together, shout hooray! Hooray!
If you're one with the team, shout hooray! Hooray!
If you're happy that we did it, then you really gotta show it
If you're here for Man City, shout hooray! Hooray!
There is so much to untangle here. Firstly, league title or no league title, unless you're on Prozac or you've just had a lobotomy, no self-respecting football fan is so wholesomely happy about anything...ever.
Every success is tinged with a healthy dose of 'HAAAA! FUCK YOUSE!!' at your rivals, or at the very least a petty dig. Even the Teletubbies wouldn't stand for it.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 15, 2018
The @ManCity twitter account are fully aware of this. Their official slogan for winning the league is 'Our Time. Our City' - a clear and obvious poke in the eye at United. Sure it's petty, but rightfully so - that's exactly how it should be. Footballing success is no fun unless someone else is miserable.
Also, 'stomp your feet...shout hooray' - WHAT?
We get it. City have to portray a sanitised version of football to their supporters around the globe. There's no room for the usual salty language. But keeping it halal does not excuse the line 'If you wanna cheer together, shout hooray!'
Moving on to the visuals, we encounter the joyful and completely theoretical scene of City clinching the title at the Etihad (as opposed to a damp golf course). Ignoring the obvious gag (because we're marginally better than that), what the fuck are Trevor and Bob up to in the background? Rachel Riley on Top Gear this week?
Whilst the players clamber over each other in impressive unison, your dad and his mate are celebrating like they were first in line for the new iPad.
Big fan of this kid by the way. Saw him do the taxi thing with Pep and it was genuinely great. But that was six years ago. He's 18 years old now and in danger of being typecast like a Mancunian Gary Coleman. He doesn't want to go round saying "What you on about, Willis?" into his late-twenties. Also, Asian Zach Braff next to him seems a little too starstruck.
Alas, dodgy extras are a running theme throughout. First rule of being a background actor is don't let your professional aspirations get in the way of the matter in hand. We know you don't want to be a face in the crowd all your life, but over-acting in a telecoms ad won't catch Scorsese's eye.
Take your man in the blue coat in the bottom right below. No one has ever danced around and pointed like that in a football ground in the history of football grounds, or dancing and pointing.
As for the players, imagine the scene: you've just won the Premier League title in front of a sold-out Etihad and the crowd are going wild, 'cos they're here for the champions and clapping their hands. How are you going to celebrate this magical event? By strolling down the tunnel like Simon just sent you through to the live shows, that's how.
They should be celebrating like these fans in a pub that has confetti falling from the ceiling, with a good traditional foot stomp. There's something brilliantly odd about the beardy fella turning to his mate ready for a collective stamp of feet. This is very normal behaviour.
You can also stomp in this unfeasibly happy cabbie's vehicle.
He's actually an idiot. Quite apart from the fact he's found himself in the middle of a crowd of pedestrians with the meter still ticking, anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of Manchester drinking holes would know that's the Thirsty Scholar behind him, and the Salisbury to his left. So he's cheerily driving into a tight dead end, the massive no-knowledge fraud.
Back to the likeable young City fan and Muslim JD. They're part of the street parade now and Asian Braff is live-streaming the kid to his mates in the UAE. Which is a bit bizarre in any case but doubly so as they seem to be reacting like they've never seen a ginger person before. "MashAllah! His hair it is red but his heart it is blue!"
At the other end of the age range, we cut to these old timers in t'pub celebrating t'league title.
These are proper fans who remember the barren years at Maine Road. They've endured all sorts, from Division Two football to having to watch Jo lead the attack. So of course they're going to get shitfaced on pints of water and pretzels, whilst shouting hooray.
Also, what's with the creepy fucker watching them through the railings in the top left hand corner? Check his hard drive for lemon party content, the weird OAP voyeur.
Finally, we come to the showpiece finale, as a Trumpian sized crowd of revellers welcomes their heroes to Manchester Town Hall. Which would be fine, except I know that lad in the wig on the right. He's my mate Lloyd Li and he's not even a City fan. In fact I've only ever seen him this happy when he wasn't on an early shift during the Next Sale.
This totally ruined any sense of realism and authenticity for me. Thanks a bunch, Lloyd.