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Banana Championship

(Perhaps obvious) Disclaimer: Gary Caldwell (probably) never said or did anything mentioned in this article. Once again, I opted not to call him for confirmation in favour of making stuff up.

Wondering why Wigan aren’t playing this weekend? Well, in this division supporters are given ‘time off’ for international weekends. So you can watch Will Grigg’s smouldering posterior melt the Northern Ireland bench in some exotic faraway land! Or at least, you could if he wasn’t here in the UK expecting Billy Grigg Junior.

But that’s not the only ‘advantage’ of playing in the Championship over League One. Those charitable chaps at the EFL (Elephant Flatulence League) granted the club an assortment of small presents to be opened on New Season’s Day – vouchers redeemable at selected supermar- er, points in the 2016/17 campaign.

In this 12th Man special feature, we go back in time to the moment Gary Caldwell ripped open that bronze envelope, a look of delighted anticipation etched between his prickly but stylish four-month chin stubble.

What exactly did Father EFLmas bring him?

This voucher good for: Three fat outside broadcast television vans occupying all staff parking spots outside the South Stand at home games. Note: ensure all persons/sand reserves/climbing walls are cleared from the area by 1pm on day of arrival.

Caldwell: “Brilliant! I love the town centre car park – I get to play with those pay and display slot machines.”

Get Out of Jail Free Card: Please allow Wigan to sit out the Checkatrade Trophy as they have backup striker and right back issues. Signed, the EFL.

Caldwell: “Aww! I was looking forward to playing Fulchester Under 23s at Ramshackle Park on a Sunday evening – Callum Lang could finally have been given a full 90 minutes.”

This voucher good for: FREE Friday night television matches.

Caldwell: “Magnificent! I do so enjoy a ride on the 10:05pm from Preston to Wigan North Western of a Friday evening – the drunken office partygoers are an absolute hoot.”

This voucher good for: One large hole in your wallet thanks to £50 away tickets. Note: you must use this voucher six times within 8 months or risk having your league membership revoked.

Caldwell: “Er… you’re not taping my every word for some cheesy newspaper article, are you? If so, no comment.”

And so Mr Caldwell proceeded to ‘accidentally’ drop the voucher book in his shredder, instantly claiming he never saw or even heard of such an item. Which is a good job, as that book was actually the product of a 419 scam company operated from a converted garden shed in Cheetham.

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