The Premier League says it is “astonished” that Accrington Stanley’s chairman has accused it of ruining football despite receiving an official Premier League goody bag less than 12 months ago.
Premier League spokesman Tom Wilson says: “Our records show that we sent this gentleman a goody bag last August containing a mug, biro and key fob all featuring our colourful new logo.
“We like to give back to the game, and it pleased us over the winter to think of all the League Two chairmen who could drink from a nice mug instead of a polystyrene cup as they shivered in their portakabin offices.
“That makes it all the more disappointing that people like the Accrington chairman can’t shut up and acknowledge their place at the bottom of the pyramid instead of looking up angrily at their masters.
“We were thinking about sending out a few baseball caps with our logo down to League Two for the summer, provided we can get another billion or two from our Asian TV deals.
“To be honest, we’re not sure any more if we’re going to bother. Those greedy grassroots clubs will just want more, and they hardly give us any marketing exposure anyway.”
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Manchester United have decided to scrap their expensive transfer policy and instead donate £40m to build a new hospital ward this summer.
Club boss Ed Woodward says the Red Devils have no desire to spend huge amounts on an agent for another Paul Pogba-sized mega transfer.
Woodward says: “Come on, don’t take Jose seriously when he moans about his meagre resources – I certainly don’t.
“Even when we rest players in the middle of this monster injury crisis we’re picking a team full of internationals.
“We’ve got the most expensive squad in the world. Christ, how much more money does Jose want us to dish out?”
Despite Mourinho’s initial scepticism, the Old Trafford hierarchy are believed to have convinced the Portuguese manager of the merits of spending £40m on a new ward for Manchester Hospital rather than an agent.
Part of the ward is to be reserved for Manchester United players, with Mourinho given full control over admissions and discharges – meaning he can confine Luke Shaw to a hospital bed to keep him away from training.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s agent, who in a bizarre coincidence also happens to be Paul Pogba’s agent, is also happy with the deal.
He is already in talks with a pharmaceutical company to charge £60m for exclusive rights to research Ibrahimovic’s knee from the new hospital ward – having told a newspaper this week how incredible the player’s knee is.
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Middlesbrough’s season in the Premier League has proved to be so underwhelming that 76% of the country have already forgotten it ever happened.
Boro were in the unenviable position of being the division’s lowest scorers, without ever being as hilariously bad as Sunderland – therefore dropping out of the top flight almost completely unnoticed.
Lifetime Middlesbrough fan Tom Wilson said: “I’m not too surprised. Sadly our season tailed off badly after it reached its high point with the 2-1 away win at Sunderland in August.
“Then we had…oh hang on, I can’t quite remember…well we took the lead twice against Man City at the weekend. That was pretty cool, even if we were already doomed by then.”
Middlesbrough’s manager, Steve Something (that bloke with the bald head, isn’t it? He may still be caretaker manager, but we’re not sure about that), says:
“The lads have given everything but it wasn’t to be this year.
“Now we need to put the bad memories behind us and focus on next season when…what’s happening next season again? The last nine months are one big blank punctured by a handful of Negredo goals.”
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Chelsea have announced that they are renaming a room at their Stamford Bridge hotel after John Terry.
The club have made the move while they consider a petition to rename a stand after their long-serving captain, who is leaving at the end of the season.
Tom Wilson, the manager of the hotel, explains: “JT is known around the world for his passion and his eagerness to get stuck in – whether at home or when he has frequently played away from home throughout his long career.
“We’ve heard that before or after his business is done, he appreciates a comfortable mattress and a good shower.
“What better way therefore to celebrate the person that John is than naming a hotel room after him.”
As befits the former England captain’s no-nonsense approach, the newly unveiled JT Suite has a fairly basic look to it.
There is no wardrobe like in the hotel’s other rooms – instead the JT Suite features a table with a sign above saying ‘leave your kit here love ;)’, which is found next to the condom bin.
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Jürgen Klopp wants to turn Liverpool’s dry pitch to their advantage, should the Reds cling onto their position in the top four and qualify for the Champions League.
The German manager yesterday blamed the state of the Anfield surface for a toothless 0-0 draw against Southampton, but he was in a much chirpier mood today.
He said: “Ja I was a little angry, and it’s true the pitch didn’t help, although that’s not an excuse, oh no.
“But we can make these disadvantages into advantages too, I feel, and maybe next season we’ll have a lot of teams in Europe fearing to come to the Anfield Desert.”
An incredibly fierce spring in the Merseyside area – with temperatures reaching up to 19 degrees at times – has turned Anfield into a dustbowl.
The pitch’s energy-sapping qualities were all too apparent in Liverpool’s performance yesterday.
James Milner, for instance, even got stuck in sleep mode when Fraser Forster squared up to him before his missed penalty, and club technicians had to reboot the left-back.
With the expectation likely to be off Liverpool’s shoulders if they do make the Champions League, it is hoped the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid will fear a trip to the arid conditions of the northwest.
“Messi is still managing to score quite a few goals somehow, but can he do it on a muggy night in Merseyside?” says pundit Andy Gray, who himself is based in a desert in his current role with a Middle Eastern broadcaster.
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The NHS is hiring Jose Mourinho to front an advertising campaign encouraging injured people to “act like men” and ignore their injuries in the hope they recover without treatment.
The health service hopes to reduce waiting lists by raising awareness of an issue close to Jose Mourinho’s heart – people who require medical attention failing to go about their daily business as usual.
A TV advert is to show Jose Mourinho emerging from the fog after a dramatic car crash on a country road at night.
When the bloodied driver of a car reaches to his phone to dial 999, Mourinho says in the advert:
“Wait – that better be a really important injury if you’re about to call an ambulance.
“I know if that was Eric Bailly he’d drive straight home, take a paracetamol and do a few rondos with Daley Blind in his garden. That’s the kind of man he is.
“Sometimes life requires of you that you just have to be brave! The bleeding might stop if you go for a walk, provided you remain conscious.”
Mourinho then sighs as he sees the car of an off-duty paramedic slow down to try to check if the injured man is okay.
“Move on! Now! You’ll be blocking the traffic!” he shouts.
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Mauricio Pochettino shrugged off accusations of Tottenham bottling their title bid in last night’s 1-0 defeat at West Ham by admitting his squad had been hitting the bottle all week.
In an unusual move for the professional and determined Spurs’ squad, they appear to have let their hair down in epic fashion after their win against Arsenal confirmed they will finish the season above the Gunners.
On being asked how his players felt with their title hopes all but ended, Pochettino burped into the camera and launched into a boozy rant, saying:
“Eh? Title? Oh we still had a chance of that did we? Oh yeah I forgot our title bid wasn’t over by January like the Gooners’. Been a bit on the busy side this week, know what I mean?”
The Argentine manager then winked into the camera, before revealing he had been downing bottles of wine while watching repeats of Top of the Pops from 1995 – when Spurs last finished a season above Arsenal.
“After I’d let Cotton Eye Joe, the Outhere Brothers’ Don’t Stop, Wiggle Wiggle and Back For Good by Take That into my mind, I had to crack open another bottle in the hope that would make me forget them.”
The Tottenham players are believed to have celebrated together during the week at a massive house party at Vincent Janssen’s place.
Deli Alli and Harry Kane have been known to develop a cocktail shaking partnership.
The pair have even invented their own cocktails, including the Moujito, named after Jose Mourinho, which is five parts rum to one part salt.
They appeared to prefer this to their Bloody Arsene – which is a random assortment of fruit juices without any spirit.
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Pep Guardiola has announced he is to conduct all future post-match interviews via WhatsApp to avoid having to waste his breath on exchanges with reporters who keep on asking him why Manchester City aren’t winning.
Instead of spending valuable time standing in the tunnel looking deep into the souls of journalists in the hope they might begin to question their meaningless existence, the Spanish manager is to drive straight home after games.
Guardiola has asked reporters to contact him on WhatsApp, and he will then reply if and when he can be bothered or has some time to spare on the toilet.
A friend of Guardiola’s says he has grown frustrated with journalists who fail to understand advanced tactics and ask questions about his team’s courage and missed chances instead of about midfield triangulations and half-space utilisation.
The friend said: “There’s been a reporter who has been pissing him off all season by pointing out how few saves Claudio Bravo makes.
“He can’t believe this guy has never even acknowledged Bravo’s ball retention over expected challenge ratio.
“The way he sees it is that there’s no point talking to people who don’t know anything about football, or Pepball, as he calls it sometimes.
“On WhatsApp he can just send them some emojis of monkeys covering their eyes – that’s a bit politer than his permanent death stare, to be honest!”
An alternative option being explored by the City hierarchy is for Ray Wilkins to be appointed an assistant of Guardiola in order for him to handle media duties.
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Arsene Wenger has promised to confirm by the end of October whether he will remain as Arsenal manager for the 2017/18 season.
Wenger has decided to act due to increasing fears that uncertainty over his future is disrupting the club’s summer transfer plans and affecting the dressing room atmosphere.
Wenger says: “There will be a time when I have to tell you the decision about my future – and I am happy to confirm to everyone that this time will be before the end of October.
“As you know I love everything about this club, so forgive me if I am focused on our upcoming fixtures for now, but when we have a spare Wednesday night next autumn, and the players are at home watching the Champions League, I will let you all know.”
Hostile Arsenal fans claim Wenger is just buying time and plans to release the bad news that he is staying on at a time when cold weather might deter pre-match marches, while fog and darkness would restrict the ability of light aircraft to fly over stadiums.
Others say Wenger merely has a well-disguised sense of humour and is waiting for Halloween to release a video of him signing a five-year contract extension.
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Monaco’s fairy tale run to the Champions League semi-finals is being met with enthusiasm across Europe – particular among clubs that are also based in tax havens and have billionaire owners.
The Ligue 1 side have spent just €150m in the past two seasons in assembling a young squad brimming with attacking talent.
Incredibly, Monaco have made the last four despite an average attendance of 9,000 at their league home games this season and an owner who is only the 156th richest man in the world with a mere $8.5bn to his name.
Their success is making others dare to dream.
Tom Wilson, a fan of Jersey United, who play in the Channel Islands Premier Division, says:
“We’ve got a limited bunch of players who try hard, mixed in with one or two youngsters who have the talent to maybe play for Portsmouth one day.
“The great thing about Monaco’s story is that it shows all clubs there is a path to the top.
“We’ve just got to force our owner out and try to lure in an oligarch who might find it convenient to invest a large share of his assets in our tax haven.
“Then we’ve just got to spend, spend, spend and not look back!
“Unless those financial fair play idiots start moaning and we’ll just put all the cash into young players instead.”
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