With the summer recess coming to an end in a few weeks, and as a celebration of the return of the Premier League for the 2017-18 season, we review the major parties’ end of season results, discuss summer business, and look ahead to the new season in Westminster.
Despite rumours of possible change at the top coming thick and fast in the last few months, manager Theresa May has kept her position, with Patrick Mcloughlin and the rest of the board coming to her defence, despite other names being thrown into the ring as possible head coaches. Only a strong performance from the team as a whole will allow May to keep her role in charge of the club, her future is very much slipping out of her hands, and resides with the players instead.
The end of last season was tough for this team, with 33 players seeing their contract talks break down, and despite bringing some 20 new signings to the squad, it looks like May will have a reduced playing capacity to be working with this year. Expect plenty of in-club drama, and disagreements between May and her backroom staff, especially her assistant managers Johnson, Davis and Hammond, likely to be aired more and more publicly as the season develops.
Whether the season will be a success will depend on how the club manages May’s position, whilst also ensuring they top the table come next summer. Despite their reduced capacity to do so this season, we should still expect the Blues to be firm favourites.
Conservative FC fan favourite Boris Johnson during a training session last week
Enigmatic manager Jeremy Corbyn continues to divide opinion among the fans, but a strong end of season showing from him helped establish his position, and the club’s main fan groups Unison and Unite have stood behind the manager, despite not really representing the whole fanbase.
In an effort to appease the fans Corbyn allowed assistant manager Dianne Abbott a bigger role towards the end of last season, but after she repeatedly muddled her mathematics, ending up with the firm decision of playing with 16 players on the pitch and 3 in goal, she returned to background duties.
Although still very much the weaker team, 30 new signings by the Labour team mean that they have a stronger side to face favourites Conservative FC this season. Don’t expect an upset, but they should challenge the Tories plenty along the way. Given his distinct soviet style of play Corbyn is only endorsed by around half of his squad, and his primary goal has to be to stop those with a more modern style from dominating the team. If he achieves this, then the Reds should be in for a successful season. But don’t anticipate them toppling the Tories from the top of the table.
Labour United manager Jeremy Corbyn demonstrates technique to his new players
Lib Dem AFC
An unknown this season, with managerial change over the summer break seeing Tim Farron replaced by the older and more established head coach Vince Cable.
With a small but vocal squad, expect a lot of airtime but little in the way of impact to the big two this season. New signings at the start of summer mean we can expect the Lib Dems to challenge for that third place spot, but remain highly unlikely to push any higher for the next few years at least.
Both a successful summer transfer window bolstering their small squad, and the financial support this tiny club has received from Tory FC are important factors in deciding their fate this season. Unlikely to impact on the British League before this season, their new financial status means they could be riling some of the big clubs, but positive sentiments towards the Tories after earlier summer business suggests they will only help the club at the top.
Expect further success in the interesting Irish Cup this season, as the DUP seek to regain the title they so agonisingly lost last season.
Green City FC
Little activity here in the last few years. With the same leadership and an unchanged squad, finishing fourth would be a likely expectation. They’ll continue to be mentioned as a significant team in the league, but the reality is they have little impact on the outcome of the division.
It was always going to be this way. After having stable (if outspoken) leadership in manager Nigel Farage for so many years, his retirement and the appointment of Phil Nuttall was always going to affect the fortunes of the club.
But such a disappointing showing at the end of last season was unexpected, and with their relegation confirmed, their top flight status has come to an end. Expect the usual grandstanding from a club with a solid past, but a much more uncertain future. Their goal this season is likely to be financial survival, as they knock around the lower MEP and Local leagues whilst they decide their future as a club.
Former UKIP United manager Nigel Farage preparing for a game – now spends much of his time working in The States.
Despite numerous efforts by the major clubs in the league to reverse the 2010 decision to allow the team to play in the British League and not simply the Scottish one, this club has become something of a dark horse in recent years. After an up and down couple of seasons, boss Nicola Sturgeon has been much quieter about their chances. Expect a season where they focus more on the domestic Scottish Cup and less on playing their game in the Westminster Arena.