Pegs flew and tempers flared at the final matches of this season's Premier League after the armchair decision to complete fixtures not in stadiums behind closed doors, but at the Cat and Custard Pot in Paddlesworth, Kent, a pub long in tradition with the old English game of Cribbage.
The card game, including board and pegs, appeared appropriate for the Football Association, and was considered to provide a level playing field for the managers involved.
"These continentals learn quickly," sniped Greg Clarke, Chairman of the F.A. "No unfairness or disadvantages I can see. Policing the empty stadiums would have been too much effort. Here we can finish things off and enjoy a pint in the process."
Liverpool, requiring only two wins from their remaining fixtures, messed it up in the figure of Jürgen Klopp. And Manchester City's Pep Guardiola didn't fare much better. True, neither of them had even heard of crib before, but then...when in Rome...
Klopp asked if it was like 'Doppelkopf' or Canasta which he said, in typical modesty, he was quite good at. Pep played to the rules of Julepe and lost all games hands down. Klopp almost salvaged a victory in one game (played with four teams, of course, on this occasion against Brighton, Wolves and Watford) but was drawn back after the VAR squad decided he had held on to his peg for too long. Naughty Jürgen!
Surprise League Champions are Sheffield United, only the second time the Blades have finished on top in England, the previous title dating back to 1898. Their manager, Chris Wilder, fended off a late challenge from Chelsea's Frank Lampard to score a skunk and seal first place.
The trophy was ceremoniously handed over together with a chunky hand-made cribbage board varnished in red and white stripes for the dressing room.
"Jelepe is far superior to cribbage," explained Guardiola. "I think marbles would have been fairer."
Maybe next year, Pep!