Fresh from the news that the British Government was going to take over the running of Newcastle United, the Premier League was left reeling after the U.S. State Department announced late last night that it was going to take control of all Premiership sides with American owners.
Joe Schlepenhopper, a spokesman for the State Department, commented, "We've become increasingly concerned with the level of investment that Russian oligarchs have in Premiership clubs. The recent moves by Arab investors to invest in the Premiership and the nationalisation of Newcastle United by the British Government have left us with no choice but to act."
Mr Schlepenhopper went on to add, "The U.S. Government feels that it has no option but to take control of these clubs in order to protect American investments overseas. The money that is invested in these clubs has been made here in the USA and it is our moral obligation to ensure that that is where the money stays."
The four affected clubs, Manchester United, Liverpool, Derby Country and Aston Villa, will be re-located to cities in the USA with the same name to minimise re-branding costs. Although they will complete the remaining fixtures this season, they will join the MLS at the end of the season.
Bryan O'Neil, spokesman for the Premier League, said "We are saddened to hear that the American Government has taken this unilateral action. Obviously, we would have liked to have discussed their concerns first, but at the end of the day, it is American money invested in these clubs, and besides, they've got guns and stuff, and we've only got some pens and a few paperclips."
The Premier League have announced that in order to minimise disruption to the existing fan-bases, the four clubs will be replaced by clubs near to the affected areas, rather than by promoting four more teams from the Championship.
This sees Notts County replacing Derby County, Walsall replacing Aston Villa, Tranmere Rovers replacing Liverpool and Stockport County replacing Manchester United.
Early rumours had suggested that Carshalton Athletic might replace Manchester United as they are actually based in Surrey, but this has proved groundless.
This move will surely have fans talking all over the world, and will beg obvious questions, such as who will fill the power vacuum left by Manchester United and Aston Villa?
A spokesman for Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea owner, commented last night "Ha ha ha, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha".