Nowhere to Run: The ridiculous life of a semi-professional football club chairman

Jonathan Sayer

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From the publisher:

'A funny, heartwarming story, packed with memorable characters that you'll want to cheer all the way. Ave it!' - PETER KAY

'I decide to do what any sensible adult would do and take the spare key from the secretary's office and hide in the outside storage unit. Locked away in the icy cold shipping container I gather my thoughts and start to consider my next move. I start to feel much calmer, until Winnie opens the unit to find me sat in the dark squashed against a disused hotplate, a ball bag and multiple packets of unopened socks. He takes a canister of Deep Heat and an old knee support and closes me back in. It's a moment we'll never mention to each other again.'

On the second oldest football pitch in the world, Jonathan Sayer stands atop a beer crate to address the assembled fans of Ashton United FC.

As his initial optimism begins to slip through his fingers, the new co-chairman and co-owner (alongside his dad) starts to realise the scale of the challenge ahead. Battling to keep the club afloat, a record number of games without a win sees hope turn to despair as Jonathan contends with a mutiny from a group of octogenarian supporters, constant battles with the local council and a star striker who arrives on crutches despite somehow passing his medical. As the on-pitch form continues to deteriorate and rifts appear between him and his father, Jonathan begins to make some increasingly desperate decisions: sinking his savings into an ever-spiralling wage bill, hiding in a freezing outdoor storage unit to avoid questions and even seriously contemplating bringing in a local priest to lift the 'Boxing Day Curse' by performing a late-night exorcism on the pitch.

Chronicling the euphoric highs and bitter disappointments of the less glamourous side of the beautiful game, Nowhere to Run is the hilarious, heart-warming tale of life in the hot seat of a non-league football club.

'Beautifully written and engaging... funny, warm and entertaining. And stupid. Really stupid. I loved it!' - MATT LUCAS

'Eat your heart out, Sheikh Mansour.' - MICHAEL CALVIN

'Best thing I've read about Ashton and I was born there.' - JUSTIN MOORHOUSE

The author:

Jonathan Sayer is an award-winning comedy playwright and screenwriter; he is the co-author of The Play That Goes Wrong (Henry Lewis, Henry Shields), Peter Pan Goes Wrong, The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, Groan Ups, Magic Goes Wrong (Penn & Teller), The Mind Mangler Member of The Tragic Circle and The Goes Wrong Show (BBC One- series 1&2). He is a writer, performer and Creative Director of Mischief Comedy. His work has been performed internationally in forty-nine territories including The West End and Broadway.

As a footballer Jonathan played his only competitive game for AFC Stanley Tigers U13's in the late nineties. He was brought on as a half time substitute and substituted again shortly after gifting the opposition three goals in five minutes. After his debut Accrington Stanley ended its official ties to the team and Jonathan took the decision hang up his brand new boots for good.


24 x 16 cm
256 pages
August 2023