Sky has announced it is to launch a dedicated channel for the new season for Premier League matches nobody normally wants to watch.
The new Sky Sports Shit channel is to launch on 12 August with live coverage of West Brom v Bournemouth.
West Brom feature heavily in the opening few weeks of the season, with their ties at Burnley on 19 August and at home to Stoke on 26 August also being broadcast live.
It is not just mid-table teams that feature on the new channel though. Its opening weekend features full replays of Manchester United’s goalless draws at Liverpool and Manchester City last season, including the three hours of analysis afterwards.
Tom Wilson, head of programming at Sky, says:
“We are launching this new channel to respond to viewers’ demands for rubbish matches to be shoved away in places where nobody sees them.
“We are delighted to introduce our new Shitty Saturday programme for the games the channel is showing.
“We are launching an innovative new half-time set-up that will feature Thierry Henry and Niall Quinn being woken up by minor electric shocks before analysing the most pointless parts of the matches in minute detail.
“The channel will be broadcast on number 678 on our Sky sets – perfectly positioned between the shopping, religious and Nollywood channels just to make sure nobody stumbles across it by accident.”
Chile’s Claudio Bravo spent a year disguising the fact he is actually the greatest goalkeeper the world has ever seen just to gain the upper hand in yesterday’s Confederations Cup penalty shoot-out win against Portugal.
Bravo saved three penalties yesterday evening in Russia – a moment he spent an entire season working towards by pretending to be rubbish.
A friend of Bravo’s has explained that he developed the elaborate hoax based on Paul Newman’s character in the 1961 classic film, The Hustler.
The friend said: “Claudio knew the Premier League is the most watched league in the world – it was the perfect place from which to hatch his plan.
“He told me he spent whole days practicing jumping out of the way of balls and hiding his embarrassed face in the goalmouth, just so the world will be tricked to think he isn’t the shot stopping machine that he is.
“He even paid some students in Santiago to pretend to be English footballer followers and invent the ‘hologram’ nickname.”
The plan worked to perfection by lulling the Portuguese penalty takers into a false sense of confidence.
Ronaldo was heard saying “lads, it’s Bravo!” to a round of laughter in a team huddle before the penalty shoot-out started.
Football journalist Tom Wilson says: “You have to hand it to Bravo, he’s really raised the bar as far of mind games go.
“It does seem a little hard to believe at first that he spent a year concocting this dastardly plot to help Chile reach the Confederations Cup final.
“I suppose it’s more likely though than the alternative theory that he’s always been a good player and just had a few bad games at Man City.”
A previously unreleased report on the bidding process for the 2018 World Cup has shown England made an even bigger balls-up of bidding for the tournament than they do competing in them.
The report concludes: “If the England bid team were competing in an actual World Cup and made it to a penalty shoot-out, they’d probably all slip on their arse on the way to the penalty spot after drunkenly shouting to the goalkeeper that they’d buy him an ice cream if he lets their penalty in.”
Among the ridiculous mistakes of the England bid team revealed in the report were:
-Sealing an illegal vote swap deal with a South Korean official, which came off about as well as any one-two an England team has tried to pull off in the past 20 years. An FA representative voted for Korea to host the 2022 World Cup, while the Korean changed his mind and voted for another country for 2018.
-Swarming over FIFA official Jack Warner like crazy in the hope he would vote for England. England played a lucrative friendly in his native Trinidad in 2008, and the FA even arranged for the son of his bank manager to get a job at Aston Villa. Warner then voted for Russia to host the 2018 World Cup.
-Failing to destroy its computers as the Russian bid team did. Computer security experts recommend routinely pouring TNT into keyboards and exploding PCs every 18 months or so. Just in case.
-Coughing up all their embarrassing details at the first time of asking in Michael Garcia’s investigation, instead of being evasive or hostile like most other FIFA twats.
The report’s conclusion says that the FA’s incompetence was so great it is incredible England is still able to host the Community Shield, and it hasn’t been permanently moved to Uzbekistan by now by accident.
Germany were temporarily kicked out of the Confederations Cup semi-finals in favour of Mongolia due to a VAR mix up.
A Video Assistant Referee was asked to verify the results of the group stage of the tournament in Russia, in case there were any missed goals or matches.
The official appears to have accidentally watched a recording of Mongolia’s 2-0 win against Sri Lanka last November instead of Germany’s 3-1 win against Cameroon, leading to him to name Mongolia as a semi-finalist.
A tournament referee was then able to correct the mistake 17 hours later, however, just as the German squad were in an airport departure lounge ready to leave Russia.
The eagle-eyed official googled Mongolia’s Asian Cup campaign to find out that far from becoming Asian champions, they were knocked out by Afghanistan in qualifying.
Tom Wilson, who heads the one-man FIFA department on introducing major new technology, says:
“The important thing is that the VAR system reached the right result in the end.
“Of course any new technology can be confusing and provoke uncertainty at first, but people said that about trains and aeroplanes too, you idiots!”
Tabloid newspapers say they will do everything to avoid reusing puns from 1996 as England Under-21s play a semi-final today against Stefan Kuntz’ Germany.
Former German international Kuntz scored a penalty as Germany knocked England out of Euro 96 in a shootout, but the media is in no mood to reopen that wound even with Kuntz in charge of the German under-21s.
Tom Wilson, a Fleet Street headline writer says:
“We know back in 96 there were a lot of Kuntz pun fans.
“The world has changed massively since then, however. Okay, you still have Kuntz in the game, this time as the German under-21 manager, but there’s really no connection between Euro 96 and a group of players who were only born then.
“It seems incredible that just over 20 years ago we had a large number of readers who would scan headlines looking for misspelled swear words to chuckle at.
“Thankfully, with the advent of the internet and all the other progress since, the modern reader wants only detailed analysis.
“You just won’t find anyone who laughs at funny foreign footballer names anymore – even Marseille’s Rod Fanni, and that is pretty funny.
“You certainly won’t see any useless Kuntz headlines tomorrow. An ideal scenario for us as headline writers would be if Matt Targett comes off the bench and scores.
“We’re lucky Aidy Boothroyd is in charge of England under-21s, as he’s got ‘boo’ and ‘boot’ in his name.
“We could also do something with ‘booty’ in the event he becomes famous enough by winning the tournament for us to pry into his private life.”
The crapness of this summer’s transfer rumours has been confirmed by the fact they were pushed out of many newspapers at the weekend in place of the British Lions and news of Paolo Maldini playing a tennis match.
Tom Wilson, editor of the Sunday Voice, explained:
“We have journalists who research transfer gossip with a very thorough method.
“They pin a list of sodding rich clubs on a noticeboard, put a list of great players at not so wealthy clubs next to that and draw lines in between them.
“It’s all got a bit congested on there by now though – we couldn’t work out if Mbappe had been linked to Man Utd already or if that was just a giant smudge.
“Then the news broke that Paulo Maldini had qualified for Wimbledon – oh hang on, it’s not Wimbledon, he’s partnering the former world 975 in a doubles tournament somewhere.
“Still, it’s totally incredible that a top athlete with an ultra-professional attitude who has a massive fortune and years of free time has got quite good at tennis.
“Well more incredible than a made-up report of Man City and Arsenal swapping Sanchez for Aguero, for sure.”
Super-expensive teenager star Kylian Mbappe has dropped a massive hint that he might be joining Liverpool this summer by posting a photo on Instagram showing him buying red curtains in his local Ikea.
The Monaco talent cryptically posted below the picture ‘Trying to brighten up the home a bit’.
Tom Wilson, a Sky Sports transfer correspondent, says:
“This social media post has really sent the rumour mill into overdrive.
“Could Mbappe be preparing for a switch to Liverpool by shopping for curtains in his new club’s colour?
“Intriguingly, fellow suitors Arsenal also play in red, as do his current club Monaco.
“We passed the photo to forensic experts, who pointed out that the curtains in question are called Bernbron in IKEA – could that be an indication the striker is headed for Real Madrid and the Bernabeu?
“Or could he just have been spending some spare time shopping with no intention of playing along with ‘where is he going to play next season’ crap?
“Surely not – who buys red curtains, after all, that are going to make your home look like a brothel, or a theatre – or maybe both?
“We may just have to refresh his Instagram account non-stop as we await his next clue!”
A Chinese club fielded what appears to be a counterfeit version of Cristiano Ronaldo yesterday.
The Beijing Terracotta Wanderers announced a major new signing on Facebook an hour before their fixture against Shanghai.
Their fans were deliriously happy as a Cristiano Ronaldo lookalike ran onto the field in a number seven shirt with ‘Ronaido’ printed on the back – at the same time as the real Ronaldo was competing in the Confederations Cup.
Viewers were soon able to tell that the fake Ronaldo was nowhere near the standard of the other foreigners in the Chinese league, and he only scored five goals in a narrow 14-12 win for Beijing.
Beijing Terracotta Wanderers’ manager Pop Guardioli praised the performance of Ronaido after the match.
Guardioli says he hopes to make another high-profile signing too, raising the prospect of him linking up with arch rival Leo Wessi in China.
Ronaido’s side face a tough away trip to Tibet at the weekend to face one of the four sides former Chelsea-midfielder Oscar is playing for.
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is wasting the summer planning his tactics instead of shopping for big money signings, says a concerned agent.
The agent, who cannot be named as he operates entirely incognito, says:
“What on earth does he think he’s doing? Okay he’s snapped up Begovic and is signing Jermain Defoe in the longest transfer ever to complete, but where are the random £30m bids for second-rate players?
“Unless he gets his chequebook out, they are going to miss out on the next Jordan Ibe and Jack Wilshere.
“There’s also some serious danger of Bournemouth falling further behind West Ham in the spending league.
“To make matters worse, he’s spending his time on tactics! As if they haven’t got enough tactics already!
“Big names, that’s what they need!”
A friend of the Bournemouth manager says:
“We’re all surprised to hear it but Eddie reckons there’s more to be gained from studying opponents and thinking about the players he already has than spending every last minute watching YouTube clips edited to show him how wonderful some player he’s never heard of is.
“Well, he’s the boss, so if that’s what he wants to do, he can. We all think he’s crazy though.”
Image courtesy of Tanya Hart via Wikimedia Commons
The bizarre cartoon series that is launching Southampton’s new kit is set to end with the club’s players losing newly acquired superpowers and finishing mid table.
For those who have not yet watched the latest cartoon, it features Ryan Bertrand, Fraser Forster, Maya Yoshida and Manolo Gabbiadini kicking radioactive footballs at Ronald Koeman to try to knock him into a lava pit.
While critics say it would be almost impossible to follow this episode, the series does continue.
The next episode is set to feature an emaciated Claude Puel climbing out of the lava to try to bite the players, before they realise their slightly altered red and white kit truly does give them superpowers.
Bertrand kicks Puel into outer space before picking up the phone and telling Pep Guardiola to stuff his 100 grand a week as he’s staying at Saints.
Even more remarkably, the players use their superpowers to take three wins in their first four matches of the season against Swansea, West Ham and Watford.
Nemeses Ronald Koeman then leaks a top secret antidote to Southampton’s superpowers of sitting back and hitting it long.
All of a sudden, Southampton struggle to score and a promising start has turned into another comfortable but unspectacular mid-table finish.
The series ends on a cliff-hanger though, as the players debate whether to knock their new manager, who is pleading for mercy, into the lava too at the end of the season.