The news branch of the Back of the Net wiki.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Fairly good striker is rank bad human

Unremarkable Wigan Athletic striker Marlon King has been jailed for assaulting a woman in a club and could also be charged with believing himself to be a better player than he is.

King has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after letting himself down even beyond the high standards set by Premier League footballers.

The occasionally fruitful marksman, who is married with two children, groped a woman in a bland, soulless London club before responding angrily to being knocked back.

The ex-Hull City man reportedly yelled: “Don’t you know who I am?” before punching his victim in the face, breaking her nose.

It has been suggested that King blew a fuse when bystanders were heard muttering: “I think it’s Dion Dublin, either him or Marlon Harewood.”

Already facing the ignominious fate of a sacking from Wigan, King may also be charged with the serious crime of thinking he’s a better player than he is.

This offence carries a sentence of at least two years playing for Middlesbrough.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Faroe Islands top two demand Atlantic League

The chairman of Faroe Islands champions EB has called for his side and runners-up HB to be allowed to leave their domestic league for an Atlantic Super League imploring: "These are two great clubs that deserve to be in a better circumstance than they are in."

The announcement from Streymur comes just weeks after Rangers stated their desire to leave the dull two-horse procession of the SPL for a cobbled-together mish-mash of second-rate European nonentities dubbed an ‘Atlantic League’.

Strangely there has been little support in Belgium or Holland for the scheme and clubs don’t seem to be jumping at the possibility of hosting hordes of leery, drunk, tattooed, Irn-Bru-drinking Glaswegians for the sake of lifeless sporting contests solely designed to keep two bored, jumped up clubs happy.

But the mention of the Atlantic League concept has given ideas to other lesser footballing nations where the title race has become stagnant, such as the Faroe Islands.

“We just feel that a club like ours deserves to be competing at a higher level,” EB chairman Birgir Enghamar insisted.

“EB and HB are very marketable clubs and there would be great interest in games with sides of similar prestige such as Skonto Riga, Ventspils, Amica Wroncki, Celtic and Rangers.”

While there is some support in the Faroe Islands for the clubs’ breakaway bid, others have suggested that the teams in question should try actually getting somewhere in the existing European competitions if they want to have an exciting season.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Faced with terrifying possibility of fulfilling potential, Spurs lose to Stoke to be on the safe side

Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed that they lost their Premier League clash against Stoke on purpose to “preserve the club’s proud tradition of underachievement.”

In a bizarre turn of events, Spurs made a powerful start to the season and find themselves in fourth place prior to last weekend.

However, the men in white moved towards the more familiar surroundings of mid-table by losing to Stoke.

A statement on Spurs’ website reassured fans that their defeat to long-throw loving charmless Potteries side Stoke City was premeditated.

“Tottenham Hotspur FC would like to make it known that yesterday’s 1-0 loss to Stoke City was a thrown game,” it reads.

“The directors met on Friday afternoon and expressed their anxiety at the current direction of the club and we unanimously decided that losing to a mediocre side with a sleazy, hatted coach would be the best path.

“Tottenham Hotspur has a rich history of achieving much less than the sum of its parts and we don’t intend to deny the loyal fans the chance to permanently feel slightly hard done by and make self-deprecating remarks.”

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp refused to comment on the match to journalists who approached him at a police auction in Dagenham but professed his delight at winning a job lot of dented car bumpers for a monkey.

Friday, 23 October 2009

After-goal music doesn’t play, fans left unsure whether or not to cheer

Disaster struck during Watford’s 4-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday as the sound system at Vicarage Road failed, leaving fans feeling awkward and confused after each goal.

Clubs realised in the 1990s that supporters needed to be reminded to be happy after a goal for their side and acted to pump loud, shit music into the stands to encourage celebration.

While there have been glitches, such as the CD switch that saw Everton play ‘No Distance Left To Run’ by Blur after an FA Cup extra-time winner over Liverpool, post-goal music has generally been a huge success.

However, on Friday evening Watford fans were left standing in silence after the Hornets’ four goals against Sheffield Wednesday after the PA system fused.

“We just didn’t know what to do,” loyal fan Martin Cross recalled tearfully.

“I looked around the stands and everyone looked embarrassed and slightly scared. A few guys tried to step up and made some kind of noise but it didn’t quite sound right.

“To be honest I was supporting Wednesday after the third goal because at least I could remember how to flail my arm angrily and mutter about the defence.”

Watford have apologised to fans and assured them that they are storing Sophie Ellis-Bexter in a cupboard in case of a similar problem in future.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

FIFA admits it dropped the ball, promises to find loophole to stop Greece or Ukraine being at World Cup

FIFA are set to consult the Court for Arbitration in Sport to try and find a way to prevent the winner of the Greece v Ukraine World Cup 2010 qualification play-off spoiling next summer’s showpiece event.

The football world still hasn’t forgiven Greece for ruining Euro 2004 by winning the tournament with just three shots on goal.

Ukraine reached the quarter-finals of the phenomenally depressing 2006 World Cup but the memory of their insultingly dull second-round win over Switzerland lingers and has all but destroyed Ukraine’s fragile tourism industry and made the former Soviets targets for acts of aggression all over the world.

But after both teams plodded their way to second place in World Cup 2010 qualification, they were drawn together in a play-off with one side claiming a spot in South Africa.

After France and the Republic of Ireland were drawn together, FIFA chief Sepp Blatter appeared restless and when Ukraine were paired with Greece he was heard to mutter: “Ah shit!”

Now it has been revealed that FIFA are desperately searching for a way to prevent either of the shitty countries contesting 0-0 draws with Japan at the World Cup.

“I hold my hands up – we should’ve done more to prevent this,” a FIFA spokesman admitted.

“We’re trying to come up with something, maybe we could start some kind of conflict in those regions? It’d be a shame if people had to die to prevent Greece or Ukraine taking one of the 32 places at the World Cup, but I can assure football fans that FIFA will do what it takes.”

Monday, 19 October 2009

Beach ball thrower blasts fickle press

The fan who threw the beach ball that deflected a Darren Bent shot goal-wards to sentence Liverpool to defeat at Sunderland has hit out at the press for “only focusing on my bad games”.

Liverpool have a proud recent history of threatening a title challenge before dropping points against the Premier League minnows and slipping out of contention.

But it seems Rafa Benitez has decided to fast track the process this year and leave the title race before the New Year.

The Anfield outfit suffered a costly loss to Sunderland on Saturday after a Liverpool FC beach ball struck a Darren Bent shot and helped it into the net.

It has been a nightmare week for the man who threw the novelty gift, but he believes his record speaks in his defence.

“I’ve been doing this for years and one blip like this won’t affect me,” Mark Evans declared at his press conference this morning.

“I’m confident in my ability to lob an inflatable and I know that this was a one in 100 mistake.

“What really gets to me is that the press only want to know when it goes wrong. Nobody runs stories about my triumphs and I proved at Stoke that I can land a blow-up banana on a sixpence. I’ll be back for the Lyon game and I have every confidence I will deliver.”

Meanwhile, the beach ball has been given an honorary season ticket at the Stadium of Light and will do a lap of honour before the next home game against Aston Villa.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Milan concede Leonardo may have to be sacked / shot

Milan sporting director Adriano Galliani has conceded that he is weighing up the merits of a gangland hit on clueless Brazilian coach Leonardo.

After the departure of all-conquering tactical mastermind Carlo Ancelotti, the Rossoneri turned to lank-haired rookie Leonardo, who lost his surname in a card school at the 1994 World Cup.

Leonardo hasn’t made the ideal start to life on the bench with his men losing to FC Zurich and Udinese as well as being disembowelled in the Milan derby.

Sporting director Adriano Galliani has been quick to make excuses for the troubled tactician, who has an ageing, swarthy squad but now he seems to be losing patience.

“The current results aren’t good enough and although we have complete faith in Leonardo we are considering firing him or having him picked off,” Galliani declared in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“In order to protect the image of the club we will be giving Leonardo a couple of weeks to sort things out, but he knows that another defeat will see him perish in a hail of bullets.”

A poll on Datasport.it revealed that 40 per cent of readers would like to see Leonardo ‘settled’, 30 per cent voted to save the floundering boss, while the other 30 per cent ticked the ‘mah beh + shrug of indifference’ button.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Moderate success drives Maradona into inexplicable angry frenzy

Unhinged Argentina coach Diego Maradona saved his job by scrounging World Cup qualification with victory over Uruguay last Wednesday but may lose his job after performing the ultimate angry celebration.

Maradona managed to guide a star-studded squad of world-beating stars to South Africa by dint of being the fourth best team in South America.

Enraged by media suggestions that any idiot could do the job just as well with Lionel Messi and Co. at their disposal, Maradona politely turned down the chance to show dignity in the face of modest vindication and proceeded to “lose his shit” on live national TV.

In a four-minute interview the curious little man vented his grievances against Argentine journalists, Uruguay (and especially its female population), drugs in sport, FIFA and woeful Only Fools And Horses spin-off ‘The Green, Green Grass’.

While FIFA chief Sepp Blatter has indicated he agreed with Maradona’s measured criticisms of the jaded vehicle for two of Only Fools And Horses’ weaker characters, he has been forced to launch an investigation into the other targets for Diego’s rage.

The outburst has cast fresh doubts over whether Maradona will lead Argentina to next summer’s World Cup, where they will light up the group stages before letting indiscipline cost them dear in a quarter-final loss to Germany.

Maradona has refused to comment on his future except to mumble that the situation is “all a conspiracy created by the Mafia or NASA or someone.”

Monday, 12 October 2009

Shoe polish manufacturer exposes Humphrey’s ‘blacking up plot’

A tip-off from leading boot-polish company Kiwi has unearthed a plan by BBC bits-and-pieces man Jake Humphrey to ‘black up’ in order to garner increased air time at the 2010 World Cup.

South Africa will become the first African nation to host football’s biggest event next summer and if the Confederations Cup is anything to go by (which it isn’t) it will be a feast of unappetising fixtures, strange results and deafening horns.

The BBC intend to take nearly six million staff to the event, using the compulsory license fee levied on UK residents for the right to watch anaemic bilge like The One Show and Strictly Come Dancing and adverts telling us how much we like watching The One Show and Strictly Come Dancing.

However, the amount of face time the BBC’s anchors accrue is up for grabs. While the unbearably smug faces of Lineker, Hansen and Lawrenson are guaranteed the hours they demand, the lesser lights are fighting for every minute they can get.

A leaked memo in Broadcasting House last week stressed the need to ‘treat this like the African Cup of Nations and have loads of black guys in the studio with it being in Africa and all’.

It also outlined plans to ‘get Garth Crooks out there in a garish t-shirt’ and ‘put Marcel Desailly pitch-side so he can bellow gibberish and refer to both sides as ‘we’.’

This top-secret document seems to have found its way to former kids TV man Humphrey, who laboured his way through last year’s African Cup of Nations, prompting him to take desperate measures.

An insider at Kiwi told us: “We received a bulk order from Mr Humphrey and the girl on the phone remembered it because he kept asking if it was safe to use it on human skin.

“When she said she wasn’t sure, he told her: ‘You see I’m a struggling BBC presenter looking to break through in football with limited credentials and no discernable appeal. I feel I’d have a better chance of getting segments at next year’s World Cup if I can temporarily use this polish to appear black.’ That was when she told us she thought something funny was going on.”

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Grant brought in to 'scare bejesus out of doomed Hart'

Struggling Portsmouth have confirmed that they have brought in former Chelsea manager Avram Grant to “stare at Paul Hart during the month or so leading up to his inevitable dismissal.’

Portsmouth have surprisingly suffered a poor start to the season after making the bold decision to sell off all but three of their players in the summer.

A desperate Hart finally secured his first three points of the campaign last weekend but that achievement hasn’t been enough to prevent the arrival of permanently glum toad-like Israeli coach Avram Grant.

Grant arrives at Fratton Park with the meaningless title of director of football, but Pompey chief executive Peter Storrie has clarified that the new man’s appointment is the equivalent of the infamous vote of confidence.

“We have absolute belief in Paul Hart’s ability to lead the ragbag assortment of nearly-men and malcontents to survival in the most demanding league in the world,” he insisted.

“But we just felt that Hart would benefit from living in the imposing shadow of his potential replacement. Nothing helps an under-fire figure do his job to the best of his ability more than knowing he can be replaced at any second.”

The club also confirmed that Grant will be observing all training sessions and team-talks as well as living in Hart’s spare bedroom and joining him on Hart family outings.

Meanwhile, Portsmouth’s new owner Ali Al-Faraj has buoyed fans with the promise of an “indiscriminate deluge of cash to allow the management to pay over the odds for players like Kevin Nolan.”

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Le Tissier bags Booker Prize

Former Southampton talisman Matthew Le Tissier has been named the winner of the Man Booker Prize for his stunning debut ‘Taking Le Tiss’.

The now-pudgy Channel Islander beat fierce competition from the likes of J.M. Coetzee, A.S. Byatt and Adam Foulds to claim the coveted award after his beautifully crafted autobiography wowed the panel.

“Le Tissier’s work has a vast narrative sweep that gleams on every page with luminous and mesmerising detail,” chairman of judges James Naughtie explained.

“It’s a challenging book. The narrative technique is innovative and the scope is vast. It’s a book that demands hard work, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

“I don’t like to make provocative comparisons, but I would place ‘Taking Le Tiss’ on a par with the great Ashley Cole masterpiece ‘My Defence’”.

A delighted Le Tissier gave an emotional acceptance speech in which he paid homage to the books that influenced him such as Albert Camus’ ‘L’Etranger’, John dos Passos’ ‘Manhattan Transfer’ and Alan Shearer’s 1999 page-turner ‘My Story So Far’.

Le Tissier also revealed that his next book would be an existentialist exploration of the meaning of identity with the working title ‘Faking Le Tiss’.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Lambert puts Europe's 123rd biggest competition above BBC's second best hospital-based drama

Norwich City manager Paul Lambert has expressed his disappointment at goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos’ decision to skip the JP Trophy clash against Gillingham stressing: ‘it’s not like anyone wanted to be there.”

The Canaries were left with just four substitutes for the clash in English football’s fourth most important club competition but still managed to record a 1-0 win to book another inconvenient date with a lower league side in mid-week.

Theoklitos’ only Norwich appearance to date came on the opening day of the season in a 7-1 demolition at home to Colchester United – a game that caused the dissolution of Bryan Gunn.

“I was literally just heading out the door when I saw an advert for Holby City,” the 28-year-old explained.

“I just couldn’t wait for iPlayer, I had to know how Chrissie would deal with her miscarriage.

“Oh yeah, and I wasn’t all that keen to go to one of Britain’s least glamorous destinations to contest a meaningless middle-round dirge fest on a rainy mid-week night, especially after the way it turned out last time I played.”

Norwich boss Lambert seemed unconvinced by the ‘keeper’s excuse and stressed that he expects his men to sacrifice even BBC’s flagship dramas for the chance of Johnstone’s Paint glory.

“I’m livid, mostly because I really didn’t want to go but I did, and so did the other players,” Lambert roared.

“Like everyone else I was worried about the prospect of a new CEO on Holby’s Darwin Ward and spent a lot of the evening dwelling on that, but I made the thankless trip to a godforsaken part of the country for a negligible win.”

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Tsunami victims 'moved and humbled' by Cahill's tribute

Survivors of the tsunami which devastated Samoa this week have spoken of their relief and gratitude after Tim Cahill's goal celebration, following his winner against BATE Borisov, went a long way towards relieving the suffering caused by the natural disaster.

The Australian striker - who represented Samoa as a schoolboy - mimed paddling a canoe after his 80th minute strike had given Everton victory in the latest of the 972 matches making up this season's Europa League, and later explained that he intended the gesture as a mark of respect to the many islanders who lost their lives or homes in the catastrophic events. But the explanation was hardly necessary for the delighted Samoans, who hailed the celebration as 'exactly what we needed after a tough week'.

'This is really good of Cahill,' said Sammy Massa, whose house was destroyed by the flood-waters on Wednesday. 'Having spent the past 48 hours sleeping amongst the rubble of my former belongings and appealing for news of my loved ones, I was in two minds about watching BATE Borisov v Everton at all. I felt like I could probably put the ninety minutes to better use foraging for food, or something like that. But when I saw Cahill pretend to be in a boat, I knew it was worth it.'

Other survivors reported 'strong feelings of optimism' after the Everton hitman's efforts. 'It's given us a big lift,' one community leader remarked as he rigged a tarpaulin to shelter a family of twelve. 'Food and clothes and things are all very well, but you can't beat getting a mention in the Europa League. Especially after they'd come from behind and everything. That showed a lot of courage.'

Cahill has previously mimed being in handcuffs to show solidarity with his brother, following his imprisonment, and in the wake of 9/11 he showed his support for New Yorkers by miming a fireman bravely entering the Twin Towers only to be beaten back by the heat.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Hart ‘will drop pants for points’

Shocked passers by have reported that Portsmouth manager Paul Hart has spent much of the week begging outside Old Trafford in the hope of scavenging his first point of the season.

Hart, who is noted for having a forehead like an Ordinance Survey map, has been entrusted with the task of rearranging the deckchairs on Pompey’s sinking ship.

The incomprehensible northerner has been hindered by a shortage of footballers, a still more acute shortage of decent footballers and a complete lack of decent footballers who want to play for his team.

As a result, Portsmouth find themselves cut adrift at the bottom with BBC’s Final Score already putting an ‘R’ next to their name.

The air of crisis intensified when Hart failed to turn up to training this week and the mood at Fratton Park hasn’t been helped by the news that the manager has spent the last three days begging outside Old Trafford.

“It was actually really embarrassing to watch,” a Manchester United fan told journalists as he left the Champions League win over Wolfsburg.

“Hart was curled up on some cardboard boxes and he kept shouting to Sir Alex [Ferguson] and the Wolfsburg bloke [Armin Veh] that he just needed a point.

“He was going on saying that they had loads and that just one would keep a roof over his head. There were even signs he had scrawled on boxes saying things like, ‘Have a Hart: Give Paul a point’ and ‘Will drop pants for points’. I just couldn’t help thinking there must be a better way of going about things.”