Astonishing news emerged from Old Trafford this afternoon when it was revealed that Manchester United had taken the extraordinary step of severing the contract of Wayne Rooney's elbow.
The right elbow, nicknamed the Terminator, was the cause of so much footballing punditry at the weekend after it smashed itself into the head of Wigan Athletic player James McCarthy, was told to go home as soon as it arrived for training this morning, and not to come back.
It was Rooney's feet that recently 'did the talking' against Crawley Town, when they scythed down Kyle McFadzean as he went on a spirited run through the United defence during the two teams' enthralling FA Cuptie which the Reds eventually sneaked 1-0.
Elbows are dangerous things when used as tools with which to gain an advantage by projecting them into someone's face, and can do long-term damage. The elbowing case always cited in this type of discussion, is the one involving Wimbledon striker John Fashanu and Tottenham's Gary Mabbutt. The two went up for a ball in the Spurs v. Wimbledon game in 1993, with Fashanu ramming his elbow into the side of Mabbutt's face, fracturing his skull.
Fashanu went on to further his violent career in TV's Gladiators, whereas Mabbutt took up gurning.
As United fans tried to take in the latest elbow news, Sir Alex Ferguson told us through an interpreter:
"Rooney's a great player, but he's also a fucken liability. If he's on the ball, he's fine, but the moment he loses it, we all look away. You can hear the crowd fall silent in morbid anticipation, as they wait for a crushing blow to be delivered. It's time the elbow moved on."
Terry Micklethwaitroyd, a United fan who has expectantly been waiting for news outside the gates of Old Trafford since Saturday, said:
"I agree with Sir Alex. It's time Rooney was given the elbow."
A spokesman for Wayne Rooney's elbow told us:
"My client, Wayne Rooney's elbow isn't about to take this lying down. He'll be back. You'll be lying. Down."