5 Aug 2013
In - Football

Each new season brings unbridled levels of optimism for football fans. We're all dreaming of glory - whether our club's new signings fit into the 'mega-bucks' or 'Uncle Buck' category. In that spirit, and as Prostate Cancer UK prepares for a second season as the Football League's Official Charity Partner, we asked Daily Mirror football writer John Cross to dream up five of the most far-fetched scenarios for the forthcoming campaign. Will any of them come true?

Wigan rule Europe and complete a treble of trophies

They have a new manager, have lost key players and were relegated last term. But Wigan, the FA Cup holders, have a potentially remarkable season in front of them and if they beat the odds then maybe - just maybe - their season could lead to the Europa League final in Turin next May. The nation took Wigan to their hearts last season after the team, managed by Roberto Martínez and spearheaded by Arouna Koné - both now with Everton - shocked moneybags Manchester City to win the FA Cup final. That success could not stop them plummeting out of the top flight and into the Championship, but with the Community Shield and a European adventure in front of them, there may be more glory under new boss Owen Coyle and another chance for chairman Dave Whelan to wheel out a few more stories from his playing career.

QPR make a signing from the bargain basement

Big-spending QPR blew fortunes on transfer fees and contracts - and still went down. Chairman Tony Fernandes threw the kitchen sink at a bid for survival, signing the likes of Chris Samba, Loïc Rémy and Bobby Zamora. And it still didn't work. Now they have gone down, you might have thought Harry Redknapp would be told to trim his budget. Not likely. The players signed this summer include £4m man Charlie Austin, and - in more modest deals, but with big wages - Richard Dunne and Danny Simpson. They also bid big for - but missed out on - Celtic striker Gary Hooper. Can QPR really lower their sights and shop in Primark rather than Harrods? I doubt it.

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Newport continue Welsh domination

With Cardiff and Swansea both now in the Premier League, Welsh football has rarely had it so good. And it doesn't stop there. Newport have returned to League Two, led back into the Football League by a former Tottenham star with the backing of a Lottery multi-millionaire. It's a great story that has gripped the local community, and ex-Spurs full-back Justin Edinburgh has high hopes of consolidating Newport's place in the League. They also have the backing of Les Scadding - who certainly has a lucky streak, having won £45.5m on the lottery. Who would pump his money into a football club? Any football fan with a passion for the game is the answer and Newport certainly have that.

Wolves go down for the third year in a row

Two successive relegations have left the once mighty Wolves looking more like lambs. Can they really take another dip, following Luton's awful example, and slip straight down into the bottom tier having been in the Premier League as recently as 2012? Poor old Wolves. Or should we say poor old Wolves fans? If they had stuck with Mick McCarthy rather than play managerial lucky dip, then maybe Wolves would still be in the top flight - or at least just the Championship. Now they seem to be acting with some sort of common sense. A manager with a sensible head and a proven track record in the Football League, ex-Millwall boss Kenny Jackett, is in charge. Maybe - just maybe - Wolves will roar again.

Ipswich's reclusive owner Marcus Evans "does a Delia"

East Anglia is a hotbed of football right now. Norwich are in the Premier League and, if Ipswich repeat the form shown in the second half of last season under Mick McCarthy, they may join their great rivals. But who owns Ipswich? Who is bankrolling Ipswich's push for promotion? It's millionaire businessman Marcus Evans. Rich, but hardly as high profile as Norwich joint-owner and celebrity cook Delia Smith. Delia once marched out onto the pitch during half-time and shouted: "Let's be 'avin you" to whip up the Norwich fans. It didn't work that time. They went down but have since bounced back. Ipswich are striving to join Norwich. But they are doing it the quiet way. In fact, business magazine MoneyWeek reported that there were no publicly available photographs of Evans. Google him and you won't have much luck. Ipswich fans have never seen him on the pitch, pictured in the programme or even buying a programme. But if they go back up to the Premier League, they won't care.

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