Police have raided three top football clubs today as part of a nationwide investigation into binge-drinking in the game.
One of the places they went busting-in brandishing their truncheons was at Newcastle United, where players routinely quaff three or four pints of Brown Ale before taking the pitch. After questioning suspects, the policemen went back to their station, well-oiled and a little worse for wear. No arrests were made.
The investigation is not thought to be part of the farcical Lord Stevens inquiry, which was held after a Panorama documentary 'revealed' that there was a dodgy underside to transfer dealings in this country.
Some of the top managers were implicated in that inquiry, of which former Bolton manager Sam Allardyce, now the St James' Park boss, was one. He denied, and denies, any wrongdoing.
Northumbria police spokesman PC Arthur Pint said:
"This inquiry is totally independent of that farce Lord Stevens presided over."
One of the other two clubs that was raided was in Scotland at Glasgow Rangers, but no details of that raid are currently available because everyone on the scene is paralytic. The identity of the third club isn't yet known.
Newcastle and Rangers are the top two 'drinking clubs' in Britain, and can drink most other teams 'under the table'.
Asked about the details of the raid, PC Pint said:
"We had a bit of a punch-up and a few jars. It was nice."