April Fools' Day 2014: Arsenal and Tottenham to share the Emirates, robot referees and the 'original' transfer window - the best pranks from the sporting world
From the original transfer window, to a north London ground share and the Rafa-Jose Chelsea dream team, we round-up the best pranks of the day including our own sneaky scoop
Once again, the jokers have been out in force as April 1 comes around, and with stories ranging from the original transfer window involving an actual window to a new robot referee, we’ve rounded up the day’s best April Fools' sport stories of the day. Did you spot ours?
Original transfer window to be displayed at National Football Museum
The Football Association often comes under-fire for being out dated and out of touch with the modern game, but even they can enjoy a laugh or two. For they have made plans for the original, 112-year-old transfer window – yes an actual window – to go on display at the National Fottball Museum. Measuring in at 3ftx5ft and made of wood and from the old Football League’s offices in Winckley Square, Preston, Lancashire, the window was built in 1902 and required clubs and players to official submit their registration documents through it – coining the phrase the ‘transfer window’. The FA also confirm that the window “has never had a blind” and will only open twice a year on pre-arranged dates – no matter how hot it gets in the office.
“Football League bosses would have to open the window and shout the names of the players about to be transferred through the open window. According to FA rules, as long as no one shouted back to question the proposed transfer the clubs involved were then allowed to proceed with the deal.
“And the Transfer Window system has as many detractors as it has fans in the Beautiful Game. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says it is unfair. French legend Michel Platini believes it is damaging and QPR manager Harry Redknapp has even likened it to ‘gang warfare’.”
Betfair launches robot referee prototype
April Fools’ Day is a favourable day for bookmakers, and Betfair didn’t hang around in getting their latest idea on the airwaves. Using the “very latest artificial intelligence and computer technology”, ‘RoboRef’ will be pitched to the Premier League and FA at the end of the season, in the hope of eradicating the controversial decisions made by human error. Let’s just hope Andre Marriner didn’t fall for this one.
England to wear yellow in Brazil
The Daily Mail exclusively revealed that the England national team will wear a yellow kit in a one-off match at this year’s World Cup, in order to pay homage to hosts Brazil. Complete with Adam Lallana, Daniel Sturridge and captain Steven Gerrard kitted out in yellow England shirts, they go on to reveal that England will play in the ‘limited edition’ kit in the final group game against Costa Rica.
Comically, an ‘FA insider’ said: “If we want to play like Brazil and win like Brazil, we should start looking like Brazil. This could be a masterstroke.”
Manchester United to wear Manchester City blue for away kit next season
The Mirror reported that United were going to reveal their new away kit for next season, and shock fans by playing in the same blue kit that their city rivals have made famous. They even managed to get their hands on exclusive footage of a sample shirt spotted in Fillaporo, Thailand, and using David Moyes’ admission that United want to “aspire” to playing like City. An ‘Old Trafford source’ said: “It might take fans a bit of time. But we really believe that the fans will warm to the new kit. Blue is now considered a lucky colour in the Asian market and hopefully that luck will rub off on the team next season.
“Also, don't you find it hilarious that we're still in the Champions League and they're not? In Moyes we trust.”
Mourinho and Rafa ‘managerial dream team’
The Evening Standard made the bold claim that Roman Abramovic has put plans into place to unite long-time rivals Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez in the Chelsea managers job, to form what they label a ‘managerial dream team’.
A ‘Chelsea source’ claimed: “Roman is always searching for the perfect coach until he realised one day - two coaches are better the one. He wanted to pair the club's most successful ever manager with the man who masterminded the winning of the Europa League. What could possibly go wrong?”
Benitez’s release from Napoli is based on Eden Hazard heading to the Italian club, while also agreeing to sell Fernando Torres to Serie A rivals Inter Milan in an effort to weaken their squad. Nasty.
Arsenal and Tottenham to share the Emirates
The Express decided to unite north London and revealed that Arsenal and Tottenham will enter into a ground share agreement, with Spurs ditching their hunt for a new location to build their own stadium and instead tapping into the resources at Ashburton Grove. Plans to alternate the seats from red to white depending on who was playing was a particular highlight of the drawn up agreement, which would come into effect from the 2016-17 season. Talks were of high security, leading to Arsene Wenger calling Daniel Levy from a London phone box to retain the secrecy .
A ‘club source’ spoke of how Spurs’ arrival would double the chance of the Emirates crowd finally seeing a trophy. “Fans may have waited nearly a decade for glory but this move immediately doubles the chance of the Emirates crowd seeing a trophy won.”
Manchester City’s Moon Slide
The Premier League contenders revealed plans on their website to build a new state-of-the-art ‘Moon Slide’ that will help transport fans out of the stadium after matches as well as provide a leading attraction in the north-west. Head of Infrastructure Peter Bradshaw said: “The structure is unique in that it looks like one tall storey but is put together like a jigsaw. We are sure it is going to work and that the fans will like it and if it proves a success we might incorporate a smaller version at the North Stand end for our younger fans though they can use the big slide if with an adult.”
It may not be in the pipeline, but we’re confident there isn’t a fan that wouldn’t enjoy a post-match whizz along the Moon Slide.
United establish direct line between Moyes and Ferguson in Old Trafford dugout
Did you spot ours? Under-pressure Manchester United manager David Moyes has had a new chair fitted (by chair-makers Mak In Gitup) in the Old Trafford dugout that would allow Sir Alex Ferguson to give his close friend tactical instructions in the hope of turning around their performances. Of course, this is not true in the slightest, although we imagine the former United boss remains as vocal as ever when watching in the stands.
And finally, the biggest joke of them all…
The FA’s plans to sell the 2014 England shirt for a staggering £90. We hoped that this was an April Fools’ joke a day early, with Nike releasing the plain white kit on Monday, but alas, it is not.
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