Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Monday, 29 June 2009
Saturday, 27 June 2009
Friday, 26 June 2009
Thursday, 25 June 2009
Wednesday, 24 June 2009
Tuesday, 23 June 2009
Monday, 22 June 2009
Sunday, 21 June 2009
Friday, 19 June 2009
Benitez, whose Liverpool side flirted with top spot last year, appeared to lose his mental composure as they fell behind Manchester United, conducting a series of odd press conferences in which he made apparently meaningless references to 'things which were happening' behind the scenes at the club, and made unsuccessful attempts to undermine red-faced rival Sir Alex Ferguson. But according to friends, those ramblings were 'nothing' compared with 'some of the shit Rafa has lined up for next season'.
Thursday, 18 June 2009
Wednesday, 17 June 2009
The post-relegation hangover shows no sign of easing for Middlesbrough fans, as the Championship new boys face a gruelling journey to Plymouth’s Home Park for every one of their 2009-10 fixtures.
Boro lost their Premier League status on the final day of last season to drop down to the second tier for the first time in 11 years.
Fans at the Riverside had looked forward to the fixture list with some degree of trepidation, but they weren’t to know exactly how galling their 2009-10 schedule would be.
It has emerged that a virus on the computer system that generates the fixtures for the coming campaign undid hours of painstaking work from some of the keenest mathematical minds in the country.
While most Football League sides have been dealt a legitimate hand, Middlesbrough’s fixture list reads ‘Plymouth (A)’ for all 46 weeks.
The North-Eastern outfit are expected to appeal, but the man in charge of the process has hinted that wonky-nosed boss Gareth Southgate would be better served preparing his men for a weekly 630-mile round trip.
“Everyone involved is disappointed,” Glenn Thompson of Atos Origin IT services admitted.
“But this is why we have a computer, so people can’t claim there’s any bias. The computer has spoken and we must accept it.
“Obviously I did check through the list, but I was really just looking for things like two derbies on the same day or games that Sky wouldn’t want to clash, I guess I didn’t look at Middlesbrough. You have to remember that this job is really fucking boring.”
A statement on Middlesbrough’s official website has encouraged fans to ‘see this as 46 exciting road trips,’ or to ‘rent a second home somewhere in Devon, just for a year like.’
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
The man responsible for inventing the deafening hooters that have provided a repulsive backing track to the Confederations Cup has stated his infinite regret in an emotional open letter.
The staggeringly irrelevant Confederations Cup has brought a much-needed dose of football to a public suffering withdrawal symptoms after nearly a week of abstinence.
However, games in South Africa have been accompanied by the annoying drone of hooters wielded by fans – a noise so loud and piercing it can be heard from as far away as Kenyan capital Nairobi.
“We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent,” hooter mastermind Professor Stephen Hootswell recalls in his heartfelt letter.
“Now I am become Death – the destroyer of worlds.”
The level of irritation these hooters have caused is such that ‘Hootergate’ has endangered the future of the tournament, football and indeed mankind.
Monday, 15 June 2009
Kamikaze crisis club Newcastle United are aiming to deflect criticism for the financially devastating purchase of jailbird midfielder Joey Barton’s image rights with the release of a Nintendo Wii game based on Barton’s life.
As gelatinous simpleton Mike Ashley attempts to sell Newcastle for £100m, it has emerged that the Championship newcomers are paying psychotic waste of space Barton just under £700,000 per year for the right to use his image.
While United have made a reasonable profit from their ‘Barton Behind Bars’ merchandise range, they are looking to claw back more cash with the release of ‘Joey Barton’s Sadistic Soccer.’
“It’s the first game of its kind in that it allows you to see what it’s like to juggle the twin demands of being a top-level footballer and a despicable piece of shit,” game designer Michael Sapsford declared at the game’s launch.
“Of course you get to play in a few games of football and occasional training sessions, but the main action comes off the pitch – do you burn a teammate’s retina with a cigar? Do you punch a man in the face 20 times outside McDonalds? These are the real choices and on the Wii platform you’ll think you really are beating the shit out of Ousmane Dabo or racially abusing Gabriel Agbonlahor.”
Parent support groups have voiced concerns that ‘Sadistic Soccer’ will set a bad example to younger children, but Sapsford is unapologetic.
“If anything this will help kids see the sacrifices that need to be made if you want to earn £60,000 per week,” he stressed. “But I suppose anyone who wants something a little softer can always buy one of our other new releases like ‘Michael Owen’s Injury Nightmare’ or ‘Harry Redknapp’s Questionably Motivated Transfer Challenge.’”
Sunday, 14 June 2009
Iraq looked forward to their Confederations Cup clash with South Africa today by stating that victory in the tournament would be 'exactly what we need to turn our country around'.
While some have questioned the value of this 'dry run' for the World Cup, which pits jaded and uninterested teams against each other at the tail-end of an already ruinously long football season, Iraqi captain Younis Mahmoud told press that winning the tournament would 'make up for a pretty disappointing decade' in the country's history.
'It's been a bit up-and-down recently,' Mahmoud said of his nation's morale, 'what with being invaded by the world's biggest superpower, having innocent civilians killed in their homes, watching our infrastructure collapse, being laid bare to bloody civil disputes, and receiving hardly any support from the international community. So lifting the Confederations Cup would obviously put a smile back on everyone's face.'
Mahmoud told reporters that people back home in Baghdad were 'crowded around their TVs' ahead of the South Africa clash, though that was partly because 'hardly anyone has one these days, since America and Britain destroyed almost every square inch of what we had spent our lives building up'. This remark momentarily stalled the press conference, but Mahmoud quickly recovered, adding: 'Anyway, the lads have done great to get here and we'll be giving it one hundred and ten percent. Which is roughly the rate of inflation in our shattered economy.'
But the Iraqis face stiff competition for the pointless trophy from hosts South Africa, whose Football Association are hoping that a win would 'momentarily deflect attention from our continued, appalling social inequalities and violence'.
The hype ahead of the Iraq-South Africa showdown has raised expectation levels around a tournament which had previously struggled to capture the imagination of the football world. Even organiser Danny Jordaan kicked off proceedings at the Opening Ceremony by wishing teams and officials 'a happy stay at this almost totally irrelevant affair', while the official song for the Confederations Cup, performed by Ladysmith Black Mambazo, is entitled 'Let's Do This, Then, I Guess'.
Friday, 12 June 2009
The club reached a nadir a few weeks ago when, despite the seemingly inspired move of appointing Alan Shearer - a temporary manager with no prior experience - they slipped into the Championship on the final day. Despite this, most observers had expected them to rebuild, spend money in the summer once a new owner had been found, and bounce back swiftly to the top flight.
Instead, a deputation led by Alan Shearer told shocked fans that it is 'probably best if we knock it on the head here'. 'We've embarrassed ourselves in pretty much every imaginable way over the past couple of years,' Shearer explained. 'We sold the club to a fat, rich man who never undersood how to handle it, spent millions on third-rate foreign imports, failed to relaunch Michael Owen's career, inexplicably hired Joe Kinnear although he was nearly dead, and had to cancel at least a couple of matches because we couldn't remember where we'd put the goalposts.'
The European Under-21 championship and the spectacularly pointless Confederations Cup have extended the sprawling football season to the start of July, but there are growing fears that fans may have to interact socially or spend time with their loved ones in the 14 days before pre-season fixtures begin in earnest.
"It is a worrying situation," FIFA president Sepp Blatter acknowledged. "I'm a family man myself and I share that lingering dread that I could be forced to take the kids to the park or trek round Ikea with the wife.
"We're looking into expanding the existing pre-season time fillers and the hope is that we can at least tack on a qualification stage to the Emirates Cup. We're looking to have a nine-team group with the winners getting a place in the actual competition. Aston Villa have expressed a definite interest."
Amongst the other plans on FIFA's drawing board is 'Intertoto 2', for teams not quite good enough to get into the Intertoto Cup, and the 'F Trophy' - a tournament open to any team with an 'F' in their name.
Thursday, 11 June 2009
World's Most Overrated Club Signs World's Most Annoying Footballer In World's Most Obscene Transfer Deal
Los Galacticos, fresh from parting with a stupid world record fee to secure the services of tiny marksman Kaka, offered an even more heinous £80 million pounds to clinch the signature of the PFA Player Of The Year, pictured here with one of his many shit haircuts. Although like a spoiled kid on holiday, Ronaldo had been hinting that would like to leave United since ten minutes into his Old Trafford debut in 2003, the two global corporations had struggled to agree on a suitably disgraceful asking price. But Real stepped up their bid this week after President Florentino Perez found £10 million in his coat pocket. 'It was change from the Kaka signing,' Perez explained. 'I paid for him with a £100 million note. I thought I'd spent all the remainder on groceries, but there was still a bit knocking around'.
With the acquisition of Ronaldo and Kaka, Real have recruited one of the most potent strikeforces in world football, but have done nothing about the defensive problems which saw them get barbecued in the knockout stages of the Champions League by also-rans Liverpool, and finish well adrift of superior rivals Barcelona in La Liga. Perez admitted: 'I guess it would make sense to strengthen our defence rather than spunk away a hundred million on goalscorers, since the back four has been our weakness for years now. But you see, it's really more about the prestige of having famous players than the actual balance of our squad, because I'm a bit of a dick.'
As for Ronaldo, he could hardly conceal his joy at finally leaving the club which has showered him with cash, affection and prestige. 'This is a happy day for me,' a spokesman read on the player's behalf while he bathed in ewe's milk with a selection of topless models from his private collection. 'Real have helped me realise my dream of being even more fucking rich than I was before. It is every footballer's dream to collect a signing-on fee which would house an entire community of displaced people in Africa.' He promised Madrid's legions of fans that the scrutiny attached to the historic transfer would not distract him from the task of 'diving blatantly, bitching about decisions, scowling when substituted, and doing that stupid little shuffle before taking a penalty.'
'But I am looking forward to leaving Real, too,' he added.
A spokesman for Manchester United said: 'We felt the offer was too good to refuse. Odd, perhaps, since we are one of the richest football clubs in the world, but I can't emphasise enough, we are purely a business these days: the actual game is almost totally irrelevant to us.' He consoled fans by revealing that Ronaldo replica shirts would be 'reduced from £50 to £45' in the Manchester United Superstore.
Sergi Moreno and Fernando Silva, the two Andorra players to cross the halfway line in last night’s World Cup 2010 qualifier against England, have been given a tickertape reception on their return to Andorra la Vella.
The tiny, insignificant nation of Andorra played a tiny, insignificant role in last night’s 6-0 mauling at a surprisingly full Wembley.
There have been calls for the introduction of a pre-qualification tournament for the likes of Andorra, San Marino and the Faroe Islands and FIFA have approved the use of a two-goal headstart for ‘genuinely shit nations’.
But it seems that Andorrans were proud of their side’s gutsy effort on English soil.
Although statistics show that all 11 of Andorra’s players spent at least 90 per cent of the game in their own box and goalkeeper Koldo Alvarez spent the second half standing inside the net hugging himself and muttering ‘please let it be over’, the Andorran people have focused on the men who did briefly venture into the England half.
Sergi Moreno and Fernando Silva returned home late last night to a hero’s welcome and regaled the crowds with tales of their adventures.
“People say that there is no sense in geographical anomalies like Andorra taking part in World Cup qualification but the spirit shown by Moreno and Silva has proved them wrong,” Head of Government Jaume Bartumeu declared.
“Obviously they would’ve been more wrong had we scored, but let’s face it that’s never going to happen.”
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
After it was revealed last week that nobody had yet bought a ticket for the visit of the 100/1 outsiders, who have yet to win a game in the competition so far, talks began on a way to make the game a bit more even. After consultation between the nations' soccer authorities, an FIFA spokesman revealed earlier: 'Andorra will be given two goals at kick-off time. They're really bad, you see, and this will keep people interested at least until the hour mark or so.'
'They really do stink,' he added. 'They'll be lucky to lose 4-2.'
Training-ground spies suggested that Andorra were hoping to employ other playground tactics once the game was underway, such as shouting 'we get Rooney' in the hope that Wayne Rooney will then be forced to join their team, or calling 'next goal wins' in the event that they force a corner or free-kick.
England head honcho Fabio Capello was unavailable for comment after his controversial antics in Kazakhstan, but captain John Terry - taking time out from watching 'Diagnosis Murder' with other members of his relaxed squad - remarked that the game was 'still one we'd be expecting to win'. Terry's side won the away fixture 2-0 in September despite all having one hand tied behind their backs. Terry added: 'How old is Dick van Dyke now? He's got to be eighty at least. Legend.'
Meanwhile, the FA said that ticket sales for the moribund contest were 'looking up', with the crowd now expected to be in the region of 1,000 after FA promotions offering free tickets to members of youth clubs, local schools, and former England deputy Phil Neal, who 'replied straight away' and 'will definitely be along if he can get a babysitter'.
Former Wales captain John Hartson is regretting his declaration that he would ‘walk over hot coals’ to get the Swansea City job after the Championship side called his bluff.
Hartson retired from football in January 2008 and is desperate to launch a coaching career with hometown team Swansea his ideal destination.
However, it seems that Hartson’s claim he would ‘walk on hot coals for the job’ has left him in a sticky situation.
“John has said that he’ll walk on hot coals, so we’ve got some in and we’ll see what he can do,” Swans chairman Huw Jenkins told the South Wales Echo.
“We’ve got a lot of excellent applicants for the job, but obviously this would help John’s cause enormously.”
Reports suggest that Hartson has been in touch with the Moscow State Circus over the last few days and is ready to follow through on his rash promise, but he expressed severe doubts this afternoon.
“I don’t know why I had to go and say that bit about hot coals,” the egg-headed former hitman lamented.
“In truth, I’m not sure about it at all. What I should have said is that I would really like the Swansea job, not that bit about the coals.”
The unheralded John Hughes is the favourite to get the Liberty Stadium post after vowing to wire his genitals up to a car battery if he is selected.
There were fears that the departure of Icelandic tycoon Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson might cause unrest at the club, which has enjoyed a steady period since famously cheating its way out of relegation in 2006/7. But the chairman of CB Holdings stressed: 'West Ham fans are justifiably proud of normally finishing about tenth and getting to about the Fifth Round of the FA Cup, and we can promise them that the coming season will be as unspectacular as ever. The new board will make all possible funds available for Gianfranco Zola to steer the squad to another underwhelming mid-table finish.'
The spokesman added: 'At least, that's what it says here. None of us will be going to any of the games, I don't think. We're not really into football.'
Zola told press that he was 'pleased another faceless paymaster has been temporarily installed' and announced that he has already drawn up a plan for the season which involves 'wins over the likes of Wigan and Bolton' and 'plucky defeats by the top four'.
Despite these reassurances, some West Ham fans remain unconvinced. Alan Rowlands, head of Hammers Independent Supporters Club, said: 'West Ham fans are very angry about the way the club's finances have been handled. Mind you, we're also angry about Lampard leaving, Joe Cole leaving, Michael Carrick leaving, the existence of Chelsea in general, Paul Ince leaving even though half of us can't even remember it, and we're pre-emptively angry about most of our home performances next season. So it does get a bit tiring.'
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Kaka has shattered the world transfer record with a £56m switch from Milan to Real Madrid, but the deal has been overshadowed by an explosive anti-Manchester City tirade in this morning’s press conference.
After months of speculation, the pious playmaker ended a six-year residency at San Siro and completed the Real Madrid move that has been reported weekly in the Spanish Press since 2006.
However, Kaka was uncharacteristically fiery in the press room at the Bernabeu and opted to dwell on Manchester City’s unsuccessful £100m bid in January.
“It’s nice to sign for Real,” he said. “Especially because that will stop all this bullshit about Manchester City.
“Manchester City? Seriously, can you imagine me, Kaka, playing alongside Nigel De Jong and Vincent Kompany. Of course you fucking can’t, I’m Kaka that’s why.
“I just felt embarrassed about the whole thing. The entire Milan team were pissing themselves when that oval-headed goon Gary Cook turned up with his piggy bank. I just wanted the ground to open up and swallow me.”
After another 15 minutes of anti-Man City sentiment and a derogatory farted version of ‘Blue Moon’, Kaka wrapped up his press conference by taking aim at celebrity City fans Oasis.
“I don’t even like Oasis. Granted, ‘Definitely Maybe’ was pretty good and ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory’ was a defining album of the 1990s, but even then a lot of the songs were a little self-indulgent and ended up at around six minutes when four would have sufficed,” he roared. “So, in summary, delighted to join Real."
Monday, 8 June 2009
Sunday, 7 June 2009
Since taking over the reins from Sven-Goran Eriksson, Capello has impressed many with his icy composure, and is credited by players with greatly improving discipline in the England camp. But all this seemingly went by the board in Almaty on Saturday night. No sooner had the final whistle blown to signal an efficient, if unexciting, win for England than Capello began - in the words of one senior player - to 'completely lose his shit'.
The normally guarded Italian stunned journalists by appearing in just his pants for the press conference. Before any questions could be posed by the wrongfooted press members, Capello wrenched the microphone out of its stand and began to sing Land Of Hope And Glory, although according to witnesses, he was rusty on the words and 'had to go la-la-la for most of it'.
At this stage Capello already appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, and after taking just three questions - dealing with Steven Gerrard's commanding performance, England's continued improvement, and the next match against Andorra - the manager suddenly declared: 'fuck all this. We are the greatest team in the world. We have beaten Kazakhstan. We are England! Death to our enemies!' To the amazement of the press corps, Capello then rose and staggered out of the room, 'swigging from an already half-empty vodka bottle and singing an obscene song about a girl called Pam', according to reports. A figure matching his description was then seen urinating into a fountain in a deserted Almaty city centre an hour later.
Saturday, 6 June 2009
The Blue Samurais have been present for each of the last three World Cups, but their contribution has been limited, only reaching the second round in 2002 when they hosted the event, which allowed them to choose their group opponents.
Once again the flimsy Asian qualification pool has allowed Japan to secure their invite to football's biggest event by fending off Qatar, Bahrain and Uzbekistan, but team coach Okada has reassured the watching world that his men have no intention of holding their own at the highest level.
"I hope my side haven't given anyone the wrong idea," he explained after being chaired off the pitch by his triumphant players.
"We are a truly mediocre football team and we won't get more than a point in South Africa. I have complete faith that we will be crushed by Spain, pushed aside by Argentina and contest a dire draw with Tunisia."
Friday, 5 June 2009
'Sixty million bucks sure sounds like a lot of money,' said a defiant Gillett, 'but you wait to see what I'm bid for my life-size Elvis Presley mannequin. The reserve price is $200.' Hicks, meanwhile, is pinning most of his hopes on the entire Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series for PlayStation 2, which he is selling for $15 a game or fifty for the lot. 'Even the older ones, like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, are still heaps of fun to play,' Hicks reassured potential bidders at a press conference. 'They'd make a great gift.'
Many Liverpool fans were concerned in 2008 when the American pair bought a majority shareholding in the club, worrying that one of football's traditional powerhouses was in danger of becoming a plaything for a pair of wheeler-dealers with little respect for its history or traditions. Hicks sought to ease such fears yesterday, reassuring fans that Liverpool would not be left to pay for the Americans' excesses. 'Hell, no. If anything, the club stands to make a profit.' When asked how this could possibly the case, Hicks put his fingers in his ears and whistled America The Beautiful while Gillett gave reporters details of the eBay link for a Chinese lamp which he hopes to offload for 'somewhere near $100'.
At the time of going to press, the pair's eBay fire sale had raised only $3.50 plus postage of the required $60 million.
When it was put to Gillett that he and Hicks were a couple of poisonous dickheads who had irresponsibly toyed with a club dear to the hearts of millions, that they had little discernible interest in football or affection for its followers, and that they really ought to fuck off at the earliest possible opportunity, Hicks grinned goofily and said 'I guess so. Dang!'
Hair gel manufacturers Wella have voiced their gratitude to ITV presenter Andy Townsend for seeing the company through a tough 18 months.
The male grooming industry has been hit hard by the current economic downturn with many top names reporting worrying losses.
However, figures published this morning by Wella, who produce popular hair adhesive Shock Waves, reported a steady growth in revenue, which they attribute to slick-haired ITV goon Townsend.
“We can’t thank Andy enough,” a spokesman told City A.M. “His dedication to coating his hair in a greasy layer of our product has kept us afloat. We’re all very grateful to him because it’s fairly clear his hair would look exactly the same without the gel.”
Thursday, 4 June 2009
Gareth Barry has spoken of his delight at leaving Europa League contestants Aston Villa for mid-table makeweights Manchester City.
The fairly good 28-year-old completed a £12m switch on Tuesday afternoon as Manchester City’s supremely rich owners continue their relentless pursuit of reasonable players to lead next season’s march on eighth place.
Barry was on the brink of a move to Liverpool this time last year, but a fresh start at Eastlands seems more suited to his aspirations.
“In 30 years’ time I want a stoned student to say ‘do you remember Gareth Barry?’" the England international explained. “And then I want his mate to say ‘didn’t he play for Spurs? Wait, no, that was Gareth Bale…’ At Manchester City I think I can achieve that level.”
An emotional Barry travelled to Manchester this morning to meet his new teammates and admitted to feeling a little overawed. “It was incredible to see Wayne Bridge and Tal Ben Haim at work – they’re the kind of players that take your breath away,” he gushed. “I think I can learn so much from such great champions.”
The City new boy could also be playing alongside highly rated omnipresence God next year if recent transfer speculation is to be believed.
“Obviously it’d be great to have him on board,” Barry grinned. “At the end of the day, He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, who is and who was and who is come, the Almighty.”