BREAKING NEWS: There has been a so far bloodless revolution at the Anne Boleyn Ground in Upton Park.
The ashen-faced vice-chairman, Karen Brady, nicknamed Princess Ida after the Gilbert & Sullivan Opera, stood next to the homberg-hatted joint Chairmen David Gold(W. S. Gilbert) and David Sullivan(Arthur Sullivan), and read out the following statement, tonelessly:
“The Board are delighted to announce the unanimous choice of the Board as Operations Manager and ongoing Player-Manager, Mark Noble. We are sad to announce that Big Fat Sam had lost the confidence of the players, the Club, the Board, and of course the fans. We have, of course, offered Big Fat Sam the usual severance terms and conditions …”
Princess Ida starts at a gunshot, and drops her notes. Gilbert wordlessly kneels down, scrabbles around, and retrieves them for her.
“… and he leaves us with our heartfelt wishes for a happy future.”
She is seen to wipe away a tear
“In future, Mark Noble will run all aspects of the club, including the media. My position, and that of my fellow Board members, will remain the same as always.”
She breaks down into uncontrollable sobs, and has to be led away by Gilbert and Sullivan. A beaming Mark Noble bounces down the steps, jauntily sporting a dashing revolutionary cap with a very large red star.
“Good Afternoon, ladies and gentlemen of the press! My first signing will be Alou Diarra from Marseilles, for which the board will be forking out £2m. I’ve got a little list – I’ve got a little list, they never would be missed – who never would be missed! Any questions?”
Glares round at the open-mouthed assembly.
“No? How very wise! No money – no grovel! Viva la … Academy of Football! Good Afternoon!”
Flies back up steps, as if on the wings of an angel.
The assembled press corps breaks up in total pandemonium. Strangely, a chorus of girls starts singing …
“Comes a train of little ladies From scholastic trammels free,
Each a little bit afraid is, Wondering what the world can be!
Is it but a world of trouble – Sadness set to song?
Is its beauty but a bubble Bound to break ere long?
Are its palaces and pleasures Fantasies that fade?
And the glory of its treasures Shadow of a shade?
Schoolgirls we, eighteen and under, From scholastic trammels free,
And we wonder – how we wonder! What on earth the world can be!”