Contained within this quite mental piece is perhaps the most damning rumour I’ve heard about the management of Port. This rumour suggests incompetence on a grander scale than I dared to imagine possible at a professional football club. If it’s true, the person or people responsible should immediately be sacked and shipped out, and I don’t just mean they should lose their jobs. They should be put in a sack, and shipped out to a deserted island where they’re too far away from other sentient beings to do any further damage. One of those picturesque atolls in the South Pacific, perhaps, with a couple of palm trees and no source of fresh water. You could throw in a hammock, but you’d need to include an instruction manual. A recording of Dom saying “You have to take responsibility for what you’ve done!” on repeat would be my final touch, and quite possibly the final straw. Truly cruel and unusual punishment.
So, what is the grievous crime that has inspired my call for this arguably disproportionate course of action? Just how completely inadequate is it possible for members of a post stone-age society to be? Sit ye, sit, and listen to a tale of such ludicrous negligence that I can’t even bring myself to write it in its’ real-life context. To protect myself and the readers from the dangerous and possibly contagious absurdity of what is contained within, the following story has been set in an entirely fictional land, and events that occur in this mysterious hinterland, though they may well bear a considerable resemblance with those of Port FC, are in fact completely unconnected.
Our unstable fable begins in a far-away country called Thighland. In this mysterious land of smiles, corruption and greng jai, there is a football league called P1. In P1 there is a team called Bought FC, known to all for their vulgar but passionate fans and universally loved leader, Miss Giving. Miss Giving is respected throughout the land for her impeccable Instagram photos, her tearful public speaking, and most of all her choice of which family to be born in to. Out of the inestimable kindness of her heart, she employs an army of minions to run the day-to-day affairs of her football club.
It’s early June, and the P1 transfer window is just about to open. Miss Giving and her minions have a dilemma on their hands. They have 7 foreign players in their team, but only 5 are allowed to play. Whatever should they do? Some minions suggest keeping the best 5 – particularly the one who has been scoring lots of goals in practice – and letting the worst 2 go. Their opinions are duly noted, and they are reassigned to toilet-cleaning duty. Another group of minions suggests signing another foreign player, just in case 3 of them die in a freak accident. What a tremendous idea! They’re promoted!
Now there is another, bigger dilemma. Which foreign players should they choose to fill their 5 spots? There’s the Splendid Spaniard, who captains the team to near-universal acclaim, and the Burly Brazilian, who has scored by far the most goals. The Jumping Japanese is a hard worker who always does a good job for the team, and the Surly Spaniard has played well a few times, and not so well a few more times. The Blistering Brazilian has recently recovered from a foot injury, and looks great, but Sicknote Spaniard has been too poorly to play for the whole year. Finally there is the Sleepy Serb, who most people have forgotten is still there, and the Purported Palestinian, who no one has actually seen.
The bothersome P1 rules state that only 2 foreign players can be swapped in the month of June, which was a hindrance to Miss Giving and the minions. By their very nature, the minions are wont to swap things two and fro, hither and thither for no discernible reason. If they weren’t swapping things, they just didn’t feel fulfilled. Despite the fact that other clubs in P1 were taking a competitive approach to managing their clubs in pursuit of lofty, frivolous goals like winning, the minions were just happy that they could justify their existence by swapping things.
And so came the next game, an away match in Superburi. In came the Blistering Brazilian to replace the Sleepy Serb. Oh how the passionate Bought FC fans applauded his marauding runs up and down the pitch, and the minions squeaked in excitement when he shot towards goal. Although Bought FC lost, the Blistering Brazilian had played well, and the minions felt much better having swapped something. So, when it came to the next game – at PAT Studio against the formidable Strongkok United – nothing seemed more natural to the minions than to swap something else. Yes, it was their last swap according to the P1 rules, but why let that get in the way of a good switcheroo?
On the morning of the match, one of them noticed the Sleepy Serb at training. It was hard to miss him, as he sat on the bench snoring loudly while the rest of the players trained. He must have sat there out of habit and just nodded off. The minions looked at him, and so peaceful was his slumber that they decided – so as not to disturb him – to swap him back in to the squad so he could sit on the bench and enjoy the rest of his sleep. The minions sighed peacefully in unison as they saw him snoring away throughout the match, but in PAT Studio, there were agitated mutterings that Bought FC had forfeited the right to play the Blistering Brazilian for no good reason. “Why the f*ck would they use two sodding swaps to achieve the square sh*tting route of f*ck all?” asked one of the uncouth supporters. After Bought FC slumped to a 3-0 loss, another fan asked “Do these brainless minions even know what the f*ck the f*cking rules are?” The minions understood eachother, so why wouldn’t the supporters understand them. It’s part of minion culture to gratuitously change things. It’s how they justify their existence, and the only reason Miss Giving keeps them there. Why couldn’t they understand that?
After all the other fans have left PAT Studio, just one old-timer remains. He sits in the stand sullenly, watching as the last 2 minions turn off the lights. They argue over who gets to do it, before finally flipping the switch, tripping over eachother and crawling around aimlessly in the dark. The old-timer shakes his head, stubs out his cigarette and mutters to himself. “Useless C*nts.”