Archive for July, 2010

July 26, 2010

Clubs braced for transfer lottery draw

Bill Hack chief football correspondent

Premier League clubs are bracing themselves for the annual transfer-linking lottery draw on Tuesday night.

The event, run by the British tabloid press, will see teams and players drawn together in a completely random manner, leading to an avalanche of transfer speculation and rumour.

Although the results are based on nothing more than the luck of draw, managers nervously anticipate any shock ties or extremely lucky  direct hits, which can send prices soaring.

This year’s draw will mark 20 days to go before the start of the new season.

“It certainly is a nervous time of the year,” said one Premier League manager. “There’s always a chance, however remote, that we get linked to a genuine target and that is disastrous for us because the price goes soaring.”

But the tabloids emphasised the benefits of the system that has been operating for more than  half a century.

“The great thing is that it’s a complete lottery,” said a spokesperson from the tabloid press.

“Its not based on fact or anything – just simple chance. There is so much less work to do. Brilliant.

“Of course they are never going to happen but it gives the papers something to say and sell, the fans something to dream about over the long hard summer, and the players and agents something to grow their modest egos with.”

Despite the entirely random nature of the draw, very occasionally the draw prompts a genuine transfer.

In 2006 fans across the globe were surprised when Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano were drawn together with West Ham and then stunned when the two world class performers went on to sign for the struggling Hammers.

This year’s event is later than normal due to the World Cup in South Africa.

The quadrennial tournament meant that a number of the world’s best players and top transfer-linking personalities took an extended holiday – preventing them from being linked.

The event had to be further postponed as England’s abject performance in the tournament put off the fans for a few days.

* This story is 100% fiction

July 21, 2010

Balls-up

Just as the summer of sport was reaching its crescendo with the World Cup final and the British Open, the SportingBalls team went on holiday!

But they’ll be back soon.

July 10, 2010

Fifa Cast English Villain

Bill Hack chief football correspondent

Fifa have denied perpetuating stereotypes by casting English referee Howard Webb as chief-villain for Sunday’s World Cup showpiece.

The World’s governing body was left humiliated after their failure to introduce video technology contributed to England’s exit from the World.

And now Fifa want to gain revenge for all the negative publicity, tedious questions and troublesome press conferences by appointing an English scapegoat for the final between Holland and Spain.

But groups have accused Fifa of perpetuating stereotypes of the English villain so prevalent in Hollywood during the 1980s and 1990s.

“What we are seeing here is a classic case of stereotyping – it’s scandalous,” said an eminent Professor.

“Just because Mr Webb has an English accent and a bald head does not mean he is evil.

“I thought we had moved past all this.”

In response, Fifa chief Septic Blatter said: “Ha, ha, ha – didn’t see that one coming did you.rr

“Fifa will always have the last laugh. Ha, ha, ha.”

* This story is plain wrong.

July 7, 2010

Stevie G vs Jay-T: The Next Episode

Bill Hack chief football correspondent

Jay-T, the footballer formerly known as John Terry, has indicated his willingness to end his feud with bitter rival Stevie G – but the scouse scrapper has rejected his offer of peace.

The bad blood between two of the business’s biggest players has rocked English football and split the nation after Jay-T undermined Stevie G’s status as head of the England crew.

The feud broke out in the middle of England’s World Cup campaign, splitting camp into factions despite team-mate Aaron Lennon’s plea to “give peace a chance”.

Jay-T told SportingBalls: “If Stevie G, wants to come to me, and plead insanity, then we’ll see.

“But if not, then ya know, fuck it! Nuff said – I’ll chuck him down the old apple and pears.”

However, the Cockney Rhymer’s willingness to talk was not matched by Stevie .

He said: “I’ll bery the hatchet mate – right in his back!

“I’d rather die than make up with him…. But don’t tell him dat. He’s got some nasty mates.”

Big Wayne, Cashley C, Shaun “double-barrelled” and the ironically named Li’l PC all sided with Stevie G when the row erupted prior to 1-0 victory over Slovenia in South Africa.

Jay-T’s latest album Life After Death is released next week as a follow up to his hugely successful Blueprint albums.

The feud with former collaborator Stevie G, born Steven George Gerrard, is the latest in a long line of controversies surrounding Jay-T, who has one of the most feared tackles in the game.

Earlier this year he fell out with former best mate Wayne Bridge following an incident with Terry, Bridge’s former girlfriend, a former table and a former unbreakable bond.

* This story is unfortunately not true.

July 5, 2010

Non-Believers Question Existence Of Messi

Bill Hack chief football correspondent

Non-believers across the globe have united in questioning the existence of Messi after Argentina’s disappointing exit from the World Cup finals in South Africa.

Argentina lost 4-0 to Germany in the quarter-finals throwing  millions into a crisis of faith and forcing them to re-evaluate their belief in the ‘Messi-ah’ – as he has been dubbed.

Prior to the match, Argentina manager Diego Maradona – who has form for claiming to be of divine heritage – was once again charged with “playing God” as he announced Messi would start the game.

But the long-haired artist, who claims to have divine powers and the ability to bring joy to millions, made little impact on proceedings – leading many to question whether he ever existed.

“This has just proven my theory that it was all a hoax,” said professor Richard Dawkins. “A Messi delusion if you must.

“The ‘existence’ of this ‘supernatural creator’ that can dribble round dense and organised 21st century defences at will and bring the nation of Germany to its knees – it was all pure fantasy.

“This myth was perpetuated by the marketing men and agents who stand to profit from millions of people literally buying into this fantasy. Its simply untrue.”

But staunch Messi-followers insist that He does exist and He continues to bring joy and inspirations to millions.

They sight his earlier work in the group stages when He was said to have performed miracles in South Africa.

* These words are almost certainly a work of fiction.

July 2, 2010

Sorry Roy No Money Left – Rafa

Bill Hack chief football correspondent

New Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has revealed that his predecessor Rafa Benitez left him a note reading “Sorry Roy, no money, no prospects and no hope left”.

Hodgson was officially unveiled as Liverpool’s new manager on Thursday – succeeding Benitez who left the club by mutual dissent before being appointed as Inter Milan boss.

After taking his first days training, the former Fulham boss retired to his office to discover a note from Benitez detailing the extent of the situation at Anfield.

Benitez later denied it was intended to be a private joke – instead insisting it was a rigorous and honest assessment of the club’s situation.

Hodgson said: “When I arrived at my desk I found a letter from the former manager Rafael Benitez. I thought it would offer me some advice on managing such a great club.

“Unfortunately, when I opened it, it was a one-sentence letter which simply said: ‘Dear new manager, I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left and come to think of it there are no prospects or hope left either,’ which was honest but slightly less helpful advice than I had been expecting.”

Hodgson’s arrival was the second major piece of transfer activity for the club this summer after successfully sacking Benitez for a “bargain” £6million.

It is tradition for departing managers to leave notes to their successors.

When Steve McClaren was sacked from his role as England manager he left a scribbled note that read “sorry for the massive balls up – p.s. don’t trust any of the goalkeepers” before fleeing to Holland.

While Benitez himself received a note from Jose Mourinho when he replaced the new Real Madrid manager at Inter.

Mourinho’s note simply read: “Dear Substitute, Enjoy your sloppy seconds. PS I am going to take all your players.”