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Que Sera Sera is a documentary photo-book that takes you on the road to Wembley. The FA Cup from grassroots to glory, the fan's story.
100 backers pledged £7,642 to help bring this project to life.

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In today’s big-money football industry, the focus is typically on star players and managers. Photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili saw the FA Cup, the game’s oldest cup competition, as an opportunity to reverse the camera and capture fan culture from the top teams down to the grassroots, taking you on a footballing right of passage from the perspective of the fans.

Que Sera Sera #1 - Sun Sports FC fans await kick-off before the Preliminary Round tie with Northwood FC at Sun Postal Sports & Social Club
Que Sera Sera #1 - Sun Sports FC fans await kick-off before the Preliminary Round tie with Northwood FC at Sun Postal Sports & Social Club

Unusually the oldest footballing competition in the world is open to all clubs from the top 10 tiers of the English football league system. Uniting every fan across the country during each round you can hear a chant reverberating around the terraces ‘Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be, the future's not ours to see.’

Que Sera Sera #2 - Clarence Park’s East Terrace the moment St Albans City FC equalise during the second half of the 1st Round Proper match with Carlisle United FC
Que Sera Sera #2 - Clarence Park’s East Terrace the moment St Albans City FC equalise during the second half of the 1st Round Proper match with Carlisle United FC


Que Sera Sera tracks the 2016-17 FA Cup campaign beginning in mid August during the extra preliminary rounds, a few miles down the road from Wembley stadium. Semi-professional side London Tigers FC play amateur team Sun Sports, with a crowd of half dozen people watching on in a ground alongside the A40 motorway.

Que Sera Sera #3 - Kids peering through the pine trees at the Avenue Park Stadium during the August extra Prelimary Round tie between London Tigers FC and Sun Sport FC
Que Sera Sera #3 - Kids peering through the pine trees at the Avenue Park Stadium during the August extra Prelimary Round tie between London Tigers FC and Sun Sport FC

Following each winner into the next round, the two photographers travelled a combined total of more than 3,000 miles over 10 months, taking in 13 rounds and 15 games (including two replays). Each tie feels likes a cup final with teams playing at high intensity, whilst fans watch on in the hope that if their team can create a winning streak, they have the possibility of going to a Wembley final. The tension is high right from the beginning as rewards for progressing further into the competition provide many of the financially insecure clubs a lifeline to keep them from administration.

Que Sera Sera #4 - St Albans City FC battle against Northwood FC in the 3rd Round Qualifier match
Que Sera Sera #4 - St Albans City FC battle against Northwood FC in the 3rd Round Qualifier match

The draw took Gili & Fox from north-west London to the north of England, with games in Barrow, Rochdale and Middlesbrough, not to mention Carlisle. The photographers travelled along with die-hard away supporters on long motorway journeys across the country. These pilgrimages reveal both the quiet intimate moments between fans and adrenaline fueled excitement.

Que Sera Sera #5 - A Manchester City fan on the away supporters coach in the Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium car park following a 2-0 quarter final victory
Que Sera Sera #5 - A Manchester City fan on the away supporters coach in the Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium car park following a 2-0 quarter final victory


Documenting a year long FA Cup campaign with full access to the stadiums throughout the competition, provided a looking glass in which to view modern football beyond the glitz and glamour.

Que Sera Sera #6 - Clarence Park’s café condiments table
Que Sera Sera #6 - Clarence Park’s café condiments table


The images focus on what plays out around the game: wide landscape scenes of rusted corrugated stadium roofs shielding fans from the rain, portraits of the mother and daughter who run the in-stadium golden gamble competition, and the subtle details from the traditional pre-game rituals to the fashion trends on the terraces.

Que Sera Sera #7 - Chelsea fans enjoying the pre-match atmosphere at The Green Man Hotel before the Wembley Final
Que Sera Sera #7 - Chelsea fans enjoying the pre-match atmosphere at The Green Man Hotel before the Wembley Final

The structure of the competition provided the photographers a visual narrative. With each round the stakes, the scale of the stadiums and crowds swell. This is particularly apparent during the 1st round where clubs from the third and fourth tiers of English football enter, and again in the 3rd Round when the 44 clubs from the Premier League and Championship join the fray. For some fans seeing their team play in such grand arenas is a dream come true - a chance to taste the big time.

Que Sera Sera #8 - A family from Huddersfield pose for the camera after spending the 5th Round tie against Man City in the corporate suites
Que Sera Sera #8 - A family from Huddersfield pose for the camera after spending the 5th Round tie against Man City in the corporate suites

Que Sera Sera provides a unique anthropological look into football obsession, from grass routes to glory, in the country that brought football to the world. The series questions whether England’s preeminent domestic cup competition still retains it’s magic in the light of competition from top flight football and the European cup competitions.

Que Sera Sera #9 - The media jostle for the best position to get a picture of the Arsenal team lifting the FA cup
Que Sera Sera #9 - The media jostle for the best position to get a picture of the Arsenal team lifting the FA cup

In addition to a book of beautifully printed photographs, audio recordings were made during each stage of the cup. The sounds will be edited into an atmospheric downloadable audio track loosely mirroring the sequencing of the images, providing both a multi-sensory experience and context to the images. Each book will also be included with an elegantly designed pull out map, with stats from each round giving a geographical and financial context to the photographs.

Que Sera Sera #10 - Die hard Arsenal fan takes off his shirt at the final whistle to reveal his artfully decorated nipples in his team’s colours
Que Sera Sera #10 - Die hard Arsenal fan takes off his shirt at the final whistle to reveal his artfully decorated nipples in his team’s colours

This is Joseph Fox's and Orlando Gili’s first book and the limited edition publication could well become a collector's item. The printed photo-book will be 21 x 25 cm and will run to an expected 100pp and distributed during November 2018.

Que Sera Sera 10' x 8' C-type Kickstarter campaign prints
Que Sera Sera 10' x 8' C-type Kickstarter campaign prints

Four signed 10’ x 8’ C-type prints will be available for limited period as part of this Kickstarter campaign.

Risks and challenges

There are no risks. The photography for the book is complete and Bluecoat Press is a well-established publisher with a great reputation for producing top quality photobooks.

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    Sponsor the book and we will include your company logo in a prominent position (page 2) PLUS 20 signed copies of Que Sera Sera PLUS a framed 24" x 20" a limited edition C-type archival print PLUS a framed set of four 10" x 8" prints.

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Funding period

- (30 days)