Tottenham are under investigation from FIFA, after it turns out they have been passing off a monkey as Welsh international Gareth Bale for a number of months.
The left footed youngster is believed to have been switched for a chimpanzee during the latter part of last season, a change which brought about a remarkable upturn in fortunes for the player wearing the Bale shirt.
Prior to the change, Bale had failed to feature in a game that Spurs had won. That includes a match they were leading 12-0 against Wolverhampton Wanderers, when - with seconds remaining - Harry Redknapp introduced Bale from the substitutes' bench in the hope of breaking his duck. Bale promptly scored 13 own-goals and conceded four penalties, and Tottenham lost the game.
Since the switch, the Tottenham number three has turned in a series of devastating displays, including scoring a Champions League hat-trick against Inter Milan. Redknapp immediately held his hands up when confronted by reporters:
"Fair play, lads... you got me. It's not just Arsene Wenger than can ship in players cheap from Africa, y'know. Although it wasn't strictly Africa I got this monkey fella from. It was Longleat.
"Me and the missus went for a day out, and the little bugger climbed in through an open window in the car. It was her who pointed out he had exactly the same face as Gareth, so I thought I'd give him a go in the side... he couldn't do any worse."
It is not clear what has become of the original Gareth Bale, but nobody, including Redknapp, appears to care. Tottenham have successfully shaved more than £20,000 off their weekly wage bill. All the "Monkey Bale" has asked for in return for his match-winning performances of late is:
- a crate of bananas each month
- a flat cap
- and an unlimited supply of PG Tips tea
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has also indicated that he is happy with a member of a different species playing for his football team - partly because he had a piano which needed moving up some stairs, and the Monkey Bale said he and a few of his tree-swinging buddies could help out.