Bust-ups for Daz, Kaz and Baz

Mitchell Brothers records a turbulent week in the life of the latest Midlands soap opera
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The Independent Online
Birmingham City visit Leeds United in the second leg of the Coca- Cola Cup semi-final today, attempting to join their neighbours Aston Villa in the final by retrieving a 2-1 deficit. It has been quite a week of preparation at St Andrews, which, it is understood, is soon to be turned into a TV location for a new Midlands successor to 'Crossroads' entitled 'Brumside'.

Dramatis Personae

Daz: David Sullivan, club owner and soft-porn publisher

Kaz: Karren Brady, managing director

Baz: Barry Fry, manager, once of the comedy drama Barnet Unfair and the soap Southenders. Thought he was transferring to Eldorado. Given its fate, perhaps he has.

Daishy: Liam Daish, centre-half and club captain.

Cleggy [after the character in Last of the Summer Wine]: Steve Claridge, star striker.

Mr Brady: Paul Peschisolido, Stoke City striker, ex-Brumsider, married to Karren.

Plot Outlines For The Week

Weekend: It is reported that Baz and Daz have had a bust-up because Kaz wants to buy back Mr Brady from Stoke, who beat City 1-0 on Saturday. This would mean selling Cleggy, who is thought to have been asking for an improved contract. He denies it. Leicester City want him, and are willing to pay pounds 1m, but Baz wants him to stay. Baz even considers quitting. "Barry is the most volatile manager in the world but I would be very surprised if he wasn't still there on Monday," Daz says.

Monday: Baz is still there. He has given permission for Cleggy to talk to Leicester, which he does, and he looks likely to go. Cleggy does find time, though, to act as linesman during a first-team training match. Meanwhile, Coventry City have been in for Daishy. The fans are left wondering why, in the week before a semi-final, the captain and best player in the first leg are being allowed to leave.

Tuesday: Daishy trains with Coventry but is summoned back to St Andrews for that night's match against Barnsley. When he gets there, he is left out of the team. Cleggy, though, is recalled. After a 0-0 draw, Baz refuses to talk to the press [note to director: that bit may not quite be realistic] but is collared by TV and says that although Cleggy reckons he has agreed terms with Leicester, the manager there, Martin O'Neill, says he hasn't, and that the deal is off. He does tell the press steward, though: "I'm over the other side of the ground signing my 49th player."

Wednesday: Baz signs his 49th player. Or, at least, he is taking the Peruvian midfielder Roberto Palacios on trial. Baz also phones local press to say he is speaking to the press. Daishy is sent back to Coventry.

Thursday: Daz receives an apology in the tabloid that has reported the "bust-up" with Baz. What were they thinking of? Furthermore, Daz says that Baz will have a pounds 5m fund for new characters in the summer. Kaz still occupied with club's attempt to find fan in red identified on video throwing snooker ball at the Leeds player Gary McAllister in first leg.

Friday: Daishy's pounds 1.5m move to Coventry goes through. Another Brumsider, Paul Tait, has been on a week's trial with Coventry but Baz wants pounds 1m for him. "For that price," the Coventry manager, Ron Atkinson, says, "I could get Lyle as well." Cleggy trains with first team, though it's not clear whether he will play against Leeds, who are also becoming known as Ellandale. But that's another story . . .

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