At least thirty people have died and hundreds more thought to be in critical condition after Stoke City boss Tony Pulis condemned the prevalence of cheating in the English game.
On a dark morning for the world of football, inquests are now being held into how such brazenly hypocritical comments were allowed to filter throughout the nation’s news streams just as people were sitting down to their breakfasts, passing hot liquids to each other and working jagged pieces of cereal down their delicate throats.
Reports are still coming in of kitchens, offices and coffee shops up and down the country being reduced to scenes of panicked frenzy as stunned readers lost all control of their faculties, causing an outbreak of choking, scalding and toast-burning that led in many cases to death, enraged fist fights or soiled garments.
One onlooker said: “It was horrible, complete and utter carnage. I personally have just seen seven of my colleagues wheeled out of the building with respirators on, when just a few minutes beforehand they were about to tuck into their Alpen over the morning’s football headlines.
“Obviously, the shock of Tony Pulis speaking out over cheating is something that affects all of us – after all, he neglected to mention Shawcross’s penalty area wrestling, time-wasting in the first half, and of course tw*tting it forward and taking a bit of a tumble to win a dangerous free-kick up the other end of the pitch – but you can’t stop a c*** from being a c*** any more than you can stop a lion from ripping an antelope to shreds with its bare teeth.
“In that respect, no-one can blame Pulis. The ones at fault here are the irresponsible news editors who allowed such insensitively provocative material to surface at a time of day when people are not only feeling a bit woozy but also handling implements which with a bit of carelessness are capable of bringing about their untimely demise.”
The onlooker added: “You might laugh, but I saw a man crack his own skull to pieces with a teaspoon after reading quotes from Sam Allardyce accusing another side of being ‘too direct’.”