Oxford United boss Karl Robinson came up with a novel way to punish his players after a lacklustre 5-2 defeat at Bury in the Checkatrade Trophy this week. The no-nonsense Scouse taskmaster explained after the game that all the fans who had made the six-and-a-half-hour round trip to support their team would be refunded the cost of their tickets… from out of his players’ own pockets.
101 die-hard fans braved the Arctic conditions to travel to Gigg Lane and the club itself echoed Robinson’s statement by telling supporters to keep hold of their ticket stubs and await a further announcement.
This then, got us thinking at Paddy Power HQ, about some alternative forms of punishment a manager could dole out to his players for basically playing crap.
After a particularly dour performance, the manager gets the starting XI and the subs that were used to go into the stocks, allowing fans to pummel them with rotten tomatoes and onions that have not been used on the burgers or hot-dogs.
The chairman would play the part of the jester and act as the warm-up man, whipping the crowd into a frenzy.
Opposition fans would also be able to take a pop, but would have to pay a £10.00 fee for the privilege and to cover laundry costs.
An alternative to the above could be a throwback to the days of the cult kids TV show Tiswas; where the playing squad are put in a quickly constructed cage immediately after leaving the pitch, whilst disgruntled supporters throw buckets of water and custard pies at them.
Fans would get the same amount of time that the referee added on for injuries at the end of game to do the damage, before the chairman gets the chance to dress as the Phantom Flan Flinger and dump all the waste from the food kiosks onto his hapless team of losers. For opposition fans please see above.
Swap Shop or Tiswas? pic.twitter.com/ULKZSYIYDr
— 60s, 70s & 80s Kids (@60s70s80sKids) October 13, 2018
WORKING AT THE CAR-WASH
After another forgettable display, the players involved have to forfeit their day off to work at the local hand car wash, thus giving migrants from Eastern Europe some down time and the chance to improve their backgammon skills.
All supporters of the club who attended the game are instructed to keep their match ticket stub and present them on the day in question, for a free valet worth up to 15 quid. All ticket stubs must be handed into the chairman on arrival.
WHITE COLLAR BOXING
A controversial choice, this, as there are probably players at clubs all over the land who would be desperate to take a pop at a colleague who is underperforming.
Still, it makes the shortlist due to the fact that it would give fans a chance to finally see the passion from their players that was sadly lacking during the 90 minutes.
What would make it interesting however is the fact that each competitor would have to wear oversized boxing gloves, similar to the ones that Laurel & Hardy used to have and in another twist, one pair would contain metal reinforcements thus enabling the lucky recipient to land that knock-out blow.
The manager gets his underperforming team to appear on BBC’s Question Time where a specially selected audience fire questions at the players on the latest political issues. Jonathan Dimbleby or Jeremy Paxman would host and will instruct the players to not use any the following phrases when answering:
“When you cross that white line.”
“We’re all behind the gaffer.”
“Take every game as it comes.”
“I’m not thinking about my future.”
“This club has huge potential.”
“Every day in training.”
“Best supporters in the country.”