8 Dec 2005, London – Just hours after a 2-1 loss to Benfica in the final Group D game which effectively ended Manchester United interest in the Champions League, the board of directors announced that Sir Alex Ferguson will be let go and replaced with a new manager whose skills not normally associated with top-flight football. Direstraits, a 29-year old native from Malaysia has been appointed coach of the Manchester club with immediate effect.
Malcolm Glazer, the investment tycoon who recently seized ownership of the club, is showing his obvious aptitude in the business of football by bringing in the untested Direstraits. The Malaysian worked as an IT consultant with a closet passion for football management, as evidenced by the Championship Manager 4 posters hanging in his suburban house in Subang Jaya. Glazer was impressed by the impassioned plea for changes made by Direstraits via email seconds after the final whistle of the Benfica game was gone, and immediately gave him the much coveted position in football.
“I can’t effing believe it!”, raged Sir Alex during the press conference from which the announcement was made. “So relying on Alan Smith for midfield duties was a mistake. So not recognizing the fact that Giggs and Scholes are a spent force was a mistake. But to be replaced by a buffoon who did, what… computers?… for a living? It’s total bollocks!” Direstraits, sitting next to Sir Alex and looking cool in a Manchester United jersey worn backwards (accidentally, it is believed), looked unaffected at the outburst.
Sir Bobby Charlton, member of the club’s board of directors, said, “There’s no disputing the effect Sir Alex has brought onto the club since his arrival from Aberdeen. I mean, look at that chap! He has a bigger trophy cabinet than mine, and his on-the-pitch skills are shite compared to mine! No doubt Sir Alex has been a loyal servant to the club for many years, but the time has come for a change of guard. I mean, look at Alan Smith!”
The appalling display at Portugal saw Manchester United pummet from second place to finish last in the group, ruling out the football powerhouse from even playing in the UEFA Cup. The club has previously set a record of 9 consecutive seasons of qualification to the knockout stages of the competition. This is a major financial loss for the Manchester outfit, as Champions League knockout stages guarantee clubs millions in revenue generated from gate receipts and other goodies.
Glazer is excited at the prospect of the new managerial experiment. “Mr Direstraits may not have actual top flight football experience, but his virtual hours at the football management simulator is second to none. His enthusiasm is unbounded, and I think that will translate to results on the pitch.”
However experts say there is no correlation between the real life football and the virtual. “The emotion involved in managing a real life game is missing in simulators. You don’t feel the effects of referees making silly mistakes during do-or-die matches, or rival managers making snide remarks about your player formation and your dress sense,” says Dr George Rest, chief sports psychiatrist at the University of Reading. “However, it will be interesting to see how a manager used to an environment devoid of personal affectations will fare in this league.”
Direstraits wasted no time outlining his plans to address the club’s immediate concerns. “Since we now have to content ourselves with chasing Chelsea, we must see to it that we pick ourselves up. Morale will be down, of course, but thankfully we will hear less of it since Roy Keane’s departure. And it’s a good thing too. Sometimes, the best way to improve morale is to fire all the unhappy people. If he was still here bitching about, I’d have given him his marching orders, me. And let’s do something about Alan Smith…”
When asked about his personnel plans for the club in the short-term future, Straits was adamant the change will be as shocking as his appointment. “I will bring in the best people to rebuild the legacy that is Manchester United. All we need is to reboot and reload the season, and money to buy people like Fandi Ahmad, Bambang Suprianto and Ronaldinho. You may not have heard of them, but they are quality players.” Direstraits seemed shocked that at the prospect that the 26 year old Brazillian may not consider a move from Barcelona to Old Trafford. “I have a strategy too complicated to explain, but rest assured, I will sell everyone if I have to to lure him over. Nothing a good Malaysian meal can’t fix!”
Fans stopped for comments in the streets of London are still, at press time, too shocked to make any coherent sense.
– BBBCNews