Fulham today confirmed the appointment of Victor Meldrew as their new manager. Patrick Trench was installed as his assistant, with the Craven Cottage club confirming that Chris Coleman was no longer bringing out the best of the team. Chairman Mohamed Al Fayed said that it was in the best interests of all concerned that these arrangements had been made.
Fulham are home to Liverpool this weekend and with this in mind, our reporter visited Meldrew earlier today. He asked the new Whites boss what he thought of coming out of retirement to take up this challenge.
"I don't believe it!! There I was yesterday, helping to remove a streetlight from our bedroom, when Margaret tells me the Fulham chairman was on the phone. As you can imagine it all sort of flowed from there".
What were his initial views of the club? "Well that would be from behind that hill over there. I stopped the car to look at the club from a distance, when this bloody great traffic policeman clamps my wheel. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT FOR?!! He tells me that two of the tyres are smooth and the registration has expired. NO THEY'RE BLOODY WELL NOT!!! THEY'RE ONLY 120 000 MILES OLD AND MY ..."
Did Meldrew have any ideas on bringing Liverpool down over the weekend? "Well if Andy Cole and the rest can stop getting themselves sent off then we're well on our way. I mean what is the point in paying these players a King's ransom if half of them don't finish a match? I let them know my feelings on this the minute I met up with them".
Did the players have any views on the sudden departure of Chris Coleman? "Well none of them said anything but I did notice that the longer I spent with them, the more they started crying, sobbing really. I think there might be a few cases of depression at the club which means it's a good thing I've arrived just in time."
What qualifications does Mr Trench have? "Patrick has been certified as psychopathic. We've pinned that up in the changeroom and the players have been very co-operative ever since."
Where is Patrick now? "He took the players for training. He throws a tennisball onto the highway for them to chase...gets the heart pumping. Then they have lunch from a trough in the parking lot"
Aren't you scared they'll rebel? "Well Mark Pembridge, the lad with two strong feet, both left, told us that we'd be hearing from his agent. I don't believe it!!! I pin up a perfectly good certificate of Patrick's credentials for all of 'em to read and it turns out this genius is illiterate. I had to explain to "Red" that the last genius to take on Patrick was served up with beans and a Chianti .....".
Was there any truth in the rumours of a Turkish bid and where would that leave Meldrew if it was true? "The chairman has rubbished these cheap rumours as nothing more than meeting with any parties who express an interest in investing in the club".
Was he excited about taking charge of his first match at Craven Cottage over the weekend? "Can't really say, Margaret has told me I have to take her out shopping".