In this day and age, virtually everything that football clubs put out into the public domain has to be sugar coated to such an extent you’re in danger of developing diabetes just by reading it. No matter what the background to the story may be, it’s all about looking professional and respectful.
Every so often, however, that policy is tested – as beautifully demonstrated by West Ham earlier this week. In announcing that the (very) poor man’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marko Arnautovic, had finally secured his lucrative move to China, the Hammers could only stretch themselves to issue a terse 43-word statement. It read as follows:
“West Ham United can confirm that Marko Arnautovic has joined Chinese Super League champions Shanghai SIPG for an undisclosed fee. The 30-year-old Austrian departs after two seasons at London Stadium, during which he scored 22 goals in 65 appearances in Claret and Blue.”
That’s it. No thanks. No quotes. No well wishes. Nada. Just the cold, hard fact that the troublesome forward had finally got his way. In fact, we bet they actually wanted to add in one last line that read something like: “Now you’ve got your move, please just f*ck off and never come back!”
Marko Arnautovic departs.https://t.co/uX2IhifBBD
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) July 8, 2019
Unfortunately the world of football doesn’t quite operate like that. But what if it did? What would happen if clubs could be up front and honest about what they really want to say?
We’ve imagined what statements would be released this summer if such a world existed…
Newcastle United on Rafa Benitez leaving
Newcastle United, which is based just five minutes away from Sports Direct’s Newcastle North store, regrets to announce that manager Rafael Benitez has decided to end his three-and-a-half-year stint as manager of the club.
We had made Rafa a very generous zero hours contract offer – which even included time allocations to use the bathroom on club premises and a whopping 0.5% discount at Sports Direct stores nationwide – but unfortunately this was not enough to convince him to extend his stay.
We would like to place on record our sincere thanks for his hard work during his time at St James’ Park, and request that he returns all club merchandise given to him over the years as this will be reissued this to the new manager in due course.
Howay the Sports Direct.
PSG on Neymar not turning up for training
Paris St-Germain notes that Neymar Jr was not in attendance at the agreed time and place for the start of pre-season training.
The club regrets this situation and will take appropriate action. This will include, but not be limited to, clearing out Neymar’s seven lockers’ worth of hair products at the training ground and upping his transfer fee to beyond Barcelona’s budget. You have been warned, you little sh*t.
Arsenal on Mesut Ozil remaining at the club
Arsenal Football Club is dismayed to announce we have been unable to find a buyer for Mesut Ozil. We have long looked for a club to take the midfielder, who became our record signing in 2013, off our cash-strapped hands but all that faxing has been in vain.
While we appreciate Ozil’s presence has boosted our social media numbers – in turn allowing us to attract Rwandan brewers as club sponsors – the ludicrous f*ck up we made in giving the German a £350,000 per week contract is still causing us significant issues.
Therefore we would like to take this opportunity to inform all match-going fans that there will be money collection buckets outside the Emirates Stadium this season with the aim of raising enough cash to pay Mesut off. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Atletico Madrid on Antoine Griezmann moving to Barcelona
Goodbye and good riddance, you utterly self-obsessed, lying, wannabe actor.
Good luck trying to get in the Barca starting line-up ahead of Neymar, Messi, Suarez and co. We’ll keep a seat on the visitors’ bench warm for you when you come and play here next season.
That’s our La Decision, and we’re sticking with it.
Manchester United on Paul Pogba being sold
The Red Devils can confirm France midfielder Paul Pogba has left the club.
It’s fair to say Paul’s second stint at Old Trafford brought us mixed fortunes. He certainly didn’t hit the heights we had expected of him since we brought him home in 2016 – he had more hairstyles than goals scored in the past three years. But we must also place on record our thanks for Paul being a complete and total bastard at the start of the 2018/19 season, thus giving us a solid reason to sack Jose Mourinho.
For that act, and that act alone, Paul will always be welcome in the red half of Manchester.