Manchester City are set to install hologram safe standing at the Etihad Stadium in response to the Premier League’s green light to trial standing areas at some grounds starting from January 2022.
The reigning champions have come under fire in recent weeks over their failure to sell-out home games with boss Pep Guardiola having to publicly urge fans to come back to the stadium and support their team, as they inevitably fail to win the Champions League again.
A club spokesman earlier today told Paddy Power News: “We’ve been in discussions for a few months now,” they told us, “and seeing as though we have virtual flags at The Etihad for a few years now, we thought we may as well go the whole hog and bring in virtual fans.”
And City chiefs have already had discussions at the BBC headquarters in Salford to help create the visual illusion of actual support.
“The boffins who produce the special effects on Dr Who have been brilliant,” our contact explained, “They’ve been working round the clock to produce virtual fans that we think will look amazing alongside the 20,000 die-hards who turn up week in, week out.”
Another club insider was keen to tell us that they’ve already been trying the new technology behind closed doors to see the effects.
“It’s truly amazing. Imagine 5,000 Daleks all huddled together, chuck in a few Cybermen and you have the perfect backdrop to roar Jack (Grealish), Kevin (De Bruyne), Raheem (Sterling) and the rest of the boys onto victory.
“They’ve even been able to program the songs and we were in stitches last week with all these Daleks chanting you’re support is f***ing s**t!”
It seems as though City won’t be stopping there either, our source going on to explain to us that they plan to install virtual executive boxes over the next couple of years with the idea being that the club becomes the first to have a virtual 100% capacity by 2030.
“This club has always been forward-thinking,” a spokesman told us; “think of the money we’ll save on stewards and other matchday staff who can then look for jobs such as lorry driving. It’s a win-win situation.”
Once the technology is permanently in place, City then plan to boost stadium income in innovative ways such as virtual concerts.
“We’ve already got hologram Abba lined-up for 2022” our source told us, “and having spoken to Liam Gallagher, we know he’s keen to do the Seargent Pepper album in its entirety with the Beatles as they looked in 1967.”
With these shock revelations still fresh in our minds, we decided to head onto the streets of Manchester to ask City fans what they thought of the latest news coming out of their club, but after a couple hours we still couldn’t find anyone, so we basically gave up and went to the pub.
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