London - 5 November 2007

The football world was left reeling after Norman Brightside was fired last night. The long serving manager of Whiteside Wanderers was summarily dismissed when the club released a terse statement on their website.

‘36 points. That’s rubbish. You’re fired.’

After a pre-season of great promise, big money transfers and high expectations from fans, Whiteside Wanderers have endured a poor start to the season and are positioned second from bottom after a string of inconsistent performances and bad results.

Brightside defended his record: ‘Don’t look at me. Look at the players. They just haven’t performed. The team has continually been wracked by injuries (Scholes, Rooney), suspensions (Ronaldo, Carsson) and loss of form (Berbatov).’

The Chairman offered a slightly different view: ‘The manager’s lost it. He has made some bizarre selections (Noble, McShefferey). His stubborn refusal to even contemplate the purchase of a Liverpool or Manchester City player was the last straw. I negotiated a deal with Liverpool to get Gerrard for £56 million but he refused. The man is a stubborn idiot and is living in a fantasy world.’

Brightside was left fuming at claims he had ’lost the dressing room’. ‘That’s absolutely absurd. The dressing room is on the right just after the toilets. I can find it with my eyes shut.’

Brightside was coy about his plans for the future and refused to confirm or deny rumours of a £7.50 pay-off. The tabloid press are convinced he will team up with Sammy Lee and take over at managerless Stevenage, a Subbuteo team languishing in the Ryman Premier League.

‘Some think Stevenage would be a retrograde step but there’s great potential there. Besides, Sammy wants to go somewhere where the players look up to him.’