Rejected Football Scripts, #1: "24 – Deadline Day" (How it REALLY happened)

Jack Bauer

Here goes with a brand new series on FourFourTwo.com – kicking off with a frantic final 24 hours of transfer activity at Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and West Ham

FADE IN:

INT: CTU LONDON HQ - VIDEO CONFERENCE MEETING ROOM

We see a conference room with a large video screen on which PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP is talking to CTU agent JACK BAUER and an unknown aide.

PRESIDENT TRUMP
What a great crowd we have in this morning. Obama never used to get this many.

JACK BAUER
Er, OK. Mr. President, can you tell me what you need?

PRESIDENT TRUMP
We’re going to make America great again, Jack, and we’re going to do it by policing the European football Financial Fair Play rules. Now that doesn’t make any sense, but in truth nothing I say ever does. I need you on this as you’re our best - and apparently only - agent. You gotta make sure that nobody breaches those rules today.

JACK BAUER    
Wait, what is Financial Fair Play?

PRESIDENT TRUMP
Some regulations about transfer fees. Honestly, I don’t know. I literally haven’t understood anything they’ve asked me to do since I started this job, but my handicap is down to 7 so it’s swings and roundabouts.

JACK BAUER
I thought you hated rules and regulations?

PRESIDENT TRUMP
Yeah, it doesn’t really make much sense does it? Seems like a pretty flimsy premise really. You have until the deadline. OK, bye. #MAGA #SAD!

JACK BAUER
(to the Aide)
What just happened?

AIDE
Don’t. He asked us to invade Belgium yesterday.

Bauer looks moodily out of the window to the London street below. A digital clock appears on the screen showing 9:00:00, 9:00:01, 9:00:02 etc…

SMASH CUT TO:

EXT: EMIRATES STADIUM, NORTH LONDON

Bauer pulls his car up to a screeching halt outside the Arsenal stadium. The ground is deserted except for a few hardy TV reporters by the main entrance. Bauer uses some CTU MAGIC SKILLS to break into the stadium, and we watch as he follows the sounds of FUNFAIR music to the pitch.

JACK BAUER
This is pretty weird. And I once tortured my own brother.

As he approaches the pitch we see bucking broncos, a giant Ferris wheel, ice cream vans, a bonfire and ARSENE WENGER on a bouncy castle as the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme blares through the PA.

JACK BAUER
(shouting)
Arsene! I’m here to make sure nobody breaches the FFP rules!

The music stops. The Ferris wheel grinds to a halt. Silence. Everybody turns to look at him. After moments, everybody starts laughing hysterically and the music begins again. Wenger is smiling broadly as he bounces off the castle to join Bauer.

ARSENE WENGER
Jack, we’re not going to be breaching the FFP rules. There’s no way we’d do anything as stupid as, say, Manchester United paying £89m for Pogba.

At this point an exhausted STEVE BOULD runs up clutching a load of faxes because everybody still uses them for some reason.

STEVE BOULD
OK boss. We sent over the £92,000,001 bid for Lemar and Monaco have said yes, but we need to get things moving now because there’s not much time left.

ARSENE WENGER
How much longer do we have the bouncy castle for?

STEVE BOULD
Until 5, but what’s that got to do wi-

ARSENE WENGER
Tell ‘em nah. We haven’t got time.

(yells randomly)
Can someone get me an ice cream?

With that, Wenger flings himself back on to the bouncy castle, shoving SANTI CAZORLA over the side, injuring him again, and giving AARON RAMSEY a wedgie.

STEVE BOULD
What about Gibbs? West Brom have bid £7m for him.

ARSENE WENGER
(bouncing)
Yeah that’s fine, sell him.

STEVE BOULD
But we turned down £10m last month. Why don’t we sell Debuchy instead?

ARSENE WENGER
(still bouncing)
He has a very important role still to play. Sell Gibbs.

At that moment MATHIEU DEBUCHY runs up to Wenger carrying two ice creams. The two of them skip off to the Ferris wheel together.

JACK BAUER
Are you guys going to buy anyone at all? You do remember you lost to Stoke, right?

STEVE BOULD
Despite just bidding £92m for someone, we don’t have any money. It’s basic maths, Jack.

Behind him STAN KROENKE walks over to the bonfire and tips an entire wheelbarrow of £100 notes on to the flames. Everybody CHEERS.

Bauer looks at his watch, turns and leaves. A digital clock appears on the screen showing 11:00:00, 11:00:01, 11:00:02 etc…

SMASH CUT TO:

EXT: CHELSEA TRAINING GROUNG, COBHAM, SURREY

Bauer is trying to gain access to the Chelsea training ground but an over-officious SECURITY GUARD is holding him up.

SECURITY GUARD
I’m sorry Sir, but I’ll need your gun.

JACK BAUER
Why?

SECURITY GUARD
It’s what we call the ‘Ashley Cole’ rule, Sir. We’re really making a huge effort to try to stop shooting our own trainees.

Bauer reluctantly hands over his gun and is shown to a small meeting room containing ROMAN ABRAMOVICH and ANTONIO CONTE.

ANTONIO CONTE
I’m sorry Roman, but I simply cannot be expected to compete with such a small squad and you only spending a pathetic £150m on new players.

ROMAN ABRAMOVICH
What about our young players? They win everything and then you just loan all 65 of them out. Could you play any of them?

ANTONIO CONTE
That’s crazy talk. None of them ever go on to do anything. Except De Bruyne.

ROMAN ABRAMOVICH
And Lukaku.

JACK BAUER
And Bertrand.

ANTONIO CONTE
What are you doing here? God, you’re not here to look after us are you? We’ll all be dead within a day.

JACK BAUER
President Trump sent me to make sure you aren’t going to break any FFP rules.

ANTONIO CONTE
(shrugging)
That’s probably not any stupider than that time Kim Bauer got chased by a cougar for two hours.

ROMAN ABRAMOVICH
Donald? Please send him my best regards. Is he coming to Vladimir’s for Christmas?

JACK BAUER
I’m really just here to make sure you aren’t going to be spending big money on anyone before the deadline. Are you going to be doing anything?

ROMAN ABRAMOVICH
Does it count if I’m only doing it because I lost a bet?

JACK BAUER
What?

ROMAN ABRAMOVICH
Yeah, I’m spending £35m on Danny Drinkwater. Even I think that’s a bit mental and I just spent $1.5m on electric cars for my mates in Russia, where there are no charging points for them.

ANTONIO CONTE
Wait, what? You sold Matic and you’re getting me Danny Drinkwater as his replacement? Are you on drugs? And by the way, what the hell is a Zappacosta?

ROMAN ABRAMOVICH
Look, Antonio you’re angry. Permanently. We all respect that, but what if I told you - and this really is big news - we can get John Terry back?

JOHN TERRY emerges inexplicably from a side room, in his full kit including shinpads.

JOHN TERRY
I’m ready if you need me boss.

Abramovich is smiling and nodding, and pointing at Terry with finger guns.

ROMAN ABRAMOVICH
Or, hey! What about Costa? Can you send him a text and see if he fancies coming back?

At this, Conte loses his mind and starts trashing the office. Bauer backs away slowly as the Italian rips his shirt off. As he leaves the building we can hear Conte screaming unintelligibly.

JOHN TERRY (O.S.)
Would it help if I took the captain’s armband off?

As Bauer leaves through the training complex, he comes across ROSS BARKLEY on a treadmill with several BOFFINS around looking at clipboards.

JACK BAUER
Hey Ross, what are you up to?

ROSS BARKLEY
Well I’m certainly not having a medical.

Bauer nods with a mystified look, and as he gets in his car a digital clock appears on the screen showing 13:30:44, 13:30:45, 13:30:46 etc…

As he leaves he notices FERNANDO LLORENTE hiding in the bushes.

SMASH CUT TO:

INT: SPURS TRAINING GROUND, HOTSPUR WAY, ENFIELD

DANIEL LEVY and MAURICIO POCHETTINO are sitting in Levy’s office. The room is perfectly silent apart from a ticking clock showing it is 4pm. Nobody moves for ages.

MAURICIO POCHETTINO
Do you think we should, you know, try to buy anyone, Daniel?

DANIEL LEVY
Patience, Mauricio. You don’t end up paying £30m for Moussa Sissoko without knowing exactly how to operate in the transfer window.

Pochettino nods silently. Levy turns off the lamp and the pair continue waiting in the dark.

SMASH CUT TO:

EXT: OLYMPIC STADIUM, EAST LONDON

Bauer walks into the lobby of the Olympic Stadium. Sky Sports News is on the TV. Everyone looks like they are at a SCOTTISH NATIONAL PARTY conference. Bauer approaches the receptionist.

JACK BAUER
Hi, I’d like to see David Sullivan please.

RECEPTIONIST
I’m sorry, even though it’s Transfer Deadline Day and he’s in charge of transfers, he’s in Marbella.

JACK BAUER
That’s a bit odd. I’m guessing David Gold is around though?

RECEPTIONIST
It’s naptime.

JACK BAUER
Karren Brady?

RECEPTIONIST
She’s off filming an episode of The Apprentice.

JACK BAUER
Seriously? There are no directors here? I mean, I’m not trying to be rude but you lost 3-0 to Newcastle and nobody even thought it was match fixing. Isn’t anyone working on transfers?

RECEPTIONIST
I think Jack Sullivan was doing some scouting on YouTube this morning. The last I heard they were going to stick £5m on Diafra Sakho’s agents horse, and if that comes in, they’ll spend the winnings on William Carvalho.

JACK BAUER
I once played Russian Roulette in a prison during a riot for no obvious purpose and even I think you guys are absolutely insane.

The receptionist simply points to the sign behind her saying “Welcome to West Ham United”.

At this point SLAVEN BILIC and DIAFRA SAKHO arrive, deep in discussion.

SLAVEN BILIC
So, we’re fining you £54k for going the full Odemwingie, but we also admire your ability to arrange your own medical so we’d like to –

(does a little drumroll on the reception desk for dramatic effect)

– offer you new contract! You’ve got moxy, kid.

Behind them the RECEPTIONIST, SECURITY GUARD, TEA LADY and WORK EXPERIENCE KID all have their heads in their hands.

DIAFRA SAKHO
But I’m desperate to leave.

SLAVEN BILIC
We’re West Ham, who isn’t! Now turn up to this meeting tomorrow where we’re going to offer you a new contract with lots of incentives in it. Be there or I’ll fine you.

DIAFRA SAKHO
I guess that worked brilliantly with Payet. Are the board OK with this?

SLAVEN BILIC
I just called Jack Sullivan at his scout camp and he’s OK with it, so we’re golden. Remember now, be at the meeting for us to give you a new contract despite you wanting to leave, or we’ll fine you.

Sakho turns to his agent, MARK MCKAY, for advice.

DIAFRA SAKHO
What do you think, Mark?

MARK MCKAY
(busy checking his iPhone)
One second pal, I’ve got another one going in the 5.50 at Kempton.

Bauer turns and leaves. As he does he sees JACK SULLIVAN smuggling RAFA BENITEZ in through a side entrance.

JACK BAUER
Anyone in this script with an actual name is mad.

As Bauer gets in his car a digital clock appears on the screen showing 19:21:59, 19:22:00, 19:22:01 etc…

SMASH CUT TO: 

INT: SPURS TRAINING GROUND, HOTSPUR WAY, ENFIELD

Bauer is sat opposite Levy and Pochettino. The three are in shadow. Bauer goes to speak but Levy holds up a finger. The clock strikes 8pm.

DANIEL LEVY
Let’s buy some players.

MAURICIO POCHETTINO
But who are we going to buy with only three hours left?

DANIEL LEVY
What positions do you need to strengthen?

MAURICIO POCHETTINO
I feel like maybe you could have asked me this before now, but I need a right-back as you sold my last one, and a backup striker as you made me play without one last year.

DANIEL LEVY
What about Vincent Janssen?

MAURICIO POCHETTINO
Like I said.

DANIEL LEVY
OK, shall we just get them from Southampton like usual?

MAURICIO POCHETTINO
It’s too late for that, Daniel. Liverpool’s entire scouting budget is spent on a season ticket at St Mary’s.

DANIEL LEVY
OK. I’m going to give you a list of top-class strikers, each of whom would be delighted to play here for less money than they make literally anywhere else and play second fiddle to Harry Kane.

MAURICIO POCHETTINO
(to Bauer)
This’ll be good.

DANIEL LEVY
Lacazette, Hernandez, Lukaku, Iheanacho or... 

(begins to grin but only gets halfway through as he’s never done it before)

… Neymar!

MAURICIO POCHETTINO
(pinching the bridge of his nose)
I can’t even.

JACK BAUER
Guys, I hesitate to ask this but have you considered Llorente? He’s in town.

DANIEL LEVY
No chance. He’s too old. I need re-sale value given we’re just scraping by here. Who on earth would spend cash on a 32-year-old striker?

Pochettino and Bauer look at each other.

(simultaneously)

JACK BAUER
West Ham.

MAURICIO POCHETTINO
West Ham.

DANIEL LEVY
Yeah, OK. And how about Serge Aurier for right-back?

MAURICIO POCHETTINO
The violent homophobe? Wow, you’re really spoiling me. How much is he?

DANIEL LEVY
PSG want £23m so I have offered £7m, for I am a famously tough negotiator.

JACK BAUER
Yeah, I think I’m going to hit the road. I don’t think you’re going to be breaching FFP rules any time.

SMASH CUT TO:

INT: CTU LONDON HQ - VIDEO CONFERENCE MEETING ROOM

Bauer and the aide are on another video conference with President Trump.

PRESIDENT TRUMP
Just an incredible job folks. The best. Nobody’s ever seen anything like it. And you did it in less than 24 hours too, rendering the title of this script oddly incorrect.

JACK BAUER
Thank you, Sir. We just wanted to keep America safe from… er, illegal wages to turnover ratios.

PRESIDENT TRUMP
You did a great job, everybody’s talking about it. If it wasn’t for this damn hurricane this would have been the story of the weekend.

JACK BAUER
There was a hurricane? Global warming...

PRESIDENT TRUMP
There’s no such thing Jack. We’re working on a theory that these weren’t storms but actually atmospheric disturbances caused by all the whinging from north London football fans. Anyway, nobody breached the FFP rules and that’s the main thing.

AIDE
Er, Sir, unfortunately PSG have totally breached them. The whole thing’s a sham. Barcelona are very upset about Qatar funnelling money into football.

JACK BAUER
Weren’t they sponsored by Qatar Airways?

AIDE
You’re talking to President Donald Trump. Irony is dead.

Bauer gets up and leaves, his life a lonely one of constant misery and solitude. He gets in a car and we see him drive to HEATHROW AIRPORT. He leaves his cab and head to check-in for MALTA. He begins to cry as he takes a MALTA vs ENGLAND match ticket from his pocket. There are some things nobody should have to see.

THE END