There was disappointment yesterday for 148 Liverpool football fans hoping to fly to the Champions League final in Athens, when the plane they were due to fly out to Greece on was stolen from John Lennon airport.
The fans, themselves all shoplifters and pickpockets, were left stranded in the departure lounge when the Bagsnatch Airways DC-10 flight went missing from the runway about 45 minutes before it was due to take off for the Greek capital.
It was later discovered in a lay-by on the A651 near Birkenhead.
Airport staff admitted that they are mystified by the incident, but said that thieves in the area are extremely adept at making things disappear.
The absence of the 148 fans was barely felt in Athens though, as more than 45,000 other Liverpool supporters managed to empty the stores of anything worth having, without having to open their own wallets, although many of them opened someone else's wallet.
Greek police were still reeling from the 'Merseyside Effect' this morning as shellshocked traders counted the cost. Sergeant Nikolai Stevegerrardopolis told Greek newspaper reporters:
"Those Scousers! They cleaned us out!"
The Greek FA have already vowed to look into the matter. Spokesman Dimitrius Kevinkeeganopolus said:
"Ey, dichead! Don' think y' gedinaway with this, whach!"