After selling Jonathan Greening and Mark Wilson to Steve McClaren's Middlesbrough, Johnny Evans, Phil Bardsley, Liam Miller and Kieran Richardson to Roy Keane's Sunderland, and loaning young defender Danny Simpson to former Manchester United midfielder Paul Ince at Blackburn, Sir Alex Ferguson today announced his intentions to loan the entire United catering team to Steve Bruce's Wigan.
"I always try to look after my ex-players when they become managers," explained Sir Alex this afternoon. "They played hard for me, so I do what I can with our cast-offs to support them. Crumbs from the table and all that. I give them mates rates and let them take our squad players for a bit; unfortunately in the case of Steve Bruce, we were unsure whether any of our cultured entertainers would be able to perform on their ploughed field of a pitch, so I lent them the tea ladies. They are ever so nice, and Steve said he needs a squad of eleven just to feed Heskey, so I'm sure they will be useful additions."
Steve Bruce declared himself "pleased, if not overwhelmed" by the move. "I would have liked to get Rio Ferdinand more," he admitted. "But I suppose Jennie the tea lady will do just as well. She's been at United for seven or eight years now; she has served tea, coffee and a selection of biscuits and crisps in the United directors' box on some of the most special European nights I can remember, so she has bags of experience. I will make certain the rest of the facilities staff here at Wigan make sure to pick her brains as well. Hell, if she's been inside Old Trafford that long I may even throw her on in centre-mid- she'll probably be at least as good as Scharner anyway!"
Jennie herself also expressed her desire to make an impact on the Wigan team. "I just felt I needed a new challenge," she explained. "When you've been at the top of your game for so long it's easy to get complacent. I felt I needed a change just to keep my head in the game- serving different people will allow me to rediscover my enthusiasm for hospitality. I just hope I can repay Steve's faith in me and confectionary without any problems for the foreseeable future, and with any luck we will be serving coffee here to a European standard in a few seasons."
She refused to be drawn on speculation over her future however. "I have a contract at Wigan," she stated. "I am just concentrating on that, and looking forward to meeting my team at lunch time on Tuesday. It was Steve's passion for fizzy drinks and chocolate biscuits which drew me here; his vision for the canteen was unbelievable and we wanted to be a part of that."
Jennie and the rest of the dinner ladies will start work in the Wigan canteen from next week, with only a few days to get their bacon buttie practice in before the start of the new season.
A cheeky £5 million bid from Celtic manager Gordon Strachan for Carlos Tevez is said to be 'under consideration'.