Club to be "new and improved"

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND ( American owner Malcolm Glazer said his Manchester United football club will change, "But for the better. Fans need not worry. Everything will be new and improved."

The words barely spoken, Manchester United announced the appointment of his sons Joel, Avram and Bryan as new non-executive directors of the club.

His other son Kevin will serve as President. All titles having been taken, son Ed will serve as The Big Cheese.

Sources within the Glazer camp report that vocal fights broke out amongst the brothers when Malcolm announced that Ed would be The Big Cheese.

Later, Kevin Glazer clarified Ed's position. "His title will be The Big Cheese, that's what it's gonna say on his business cards, but let me make something absolutely clear--it will be nothing fancy, no Gouda or Emmental, more like sliced cheddar, pasteurized. Cause dad's the real Big Cheese, and I'm the President, so I'm also pretty Big Cheese. So, if Ed's sliced cheddar, say, then that makes dad, and to a lesser extent me, uh, like a real fancy brie, I guess, but one that doesn't smell too strong."

Glazer's wife, Linda, will replace Sir Alex Ferguson as the new head coach.

Addressing her lack of experience, Linda Glazer said: "I don't see it as a problem, but rather more of a challenge. I've always been comfortable around young men, especially young fit men in tight shirts and shorts. I know how to motivate them. It's a matter of camaraderie. For example, if I have to take showers with them after games, I'm willing to go that far to make this club a success."

Other changes include the use of cheerleaders, uniforms, club and stadium names and shape of ball.

Joel Glazer explained enthusiastically: "We're gonna have cheerleaders like we do at (the American football team) Tampa Bay. Baby, that's always a real crowd pleaser. We're gonna change the uniforms to look more like Tampa Bay's, too. More fancy, different colors. Gold, shiny. Maybe put some padding on the shoulders, too, make the boys look a bit meaner, you know the drill. Also, the ball--it's too round. We're thinking of making it something between a soccer ball and a rugby ball, and letting the guys use their hands. Oh, and a goal will now be known as a touchdown. We're also thinking of calling the club Manchester Pirates, something like that, and re-naming Old Trafford, Nokia New and Improved Trafford, get some money from Nokia or someone like that. Who wants to be known as 'Old Trafford?' You know what I mean? Everything here's gonna be 'new and improved.' You betcha."

Fans' groups, such as Shareholders United, have been up in arms well before the takeover and their anger has hardly abated.

Shareholders United chair Nick Towle told BBC Radio Five Live: "Where did this family come from? I thought such people only existed on Jerry Springer. It's an outrage. They look so--what's that American term?--goofy, the whole bloody family. They're always smiling like imbeciles. Blank look in the eyes. Ok, the cheerleaders might not be such a bad idea, and maybe bringing in Nokia to sponsor the stadium, but as for the rest, it's all a bunch of rubbish, mate."

The announcement came as chairman Sir Roy Gardner resigned on 6 June, as did non-executive directors Ian Much and Jim O'Neill.

"This club is steeped in tradition," Gardner said. "I will not be part of the cheapening of this club."

However, Gardner's resignation seems to have other causes, for he was overheard saying: "If I can't be The Big Cheese, I'm out."

Time will tell how the saga turns out. For now, all Captain Roy Keane will say on the matter: "At least the showers will be a lot more fun."

Copyright 2005, TheShortStraw



TheShortStraw is intended for use by those age 18 and older. All stories are fictional and satirical and should not in any way be construed as fact. All contents Copyright 2004-2005, TheShortStraw. All rights reserved.



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