Burn, baby, burn
If you’re going to burn a replica shirt in a heroic protest against a traitorous past-player, you need to do it in style and with an air of professionalism.
Simply, take one shirt with the money-grabbing player’s surname on the back, a lighter, lighting fluid for aesthetic enhancement, an angry mob foaming at the mouth and a location just outside the home stadium and within view of an imbecilic Sky Sports News cameraman.
Shamefully, these two chancers fail on these key principles: giving Andy Carroll’s shirt a light-grilling in an empty back-garden, shot on a dodgy phone camera – all done to the soundtrack of local radio advertisements.
But here are five things shirt-burning connoisseurs can learn from this pair of clowns:
1. Always come prepared with back-up lighter fluid
You don’t want to be caught out on the big day by a gusty wind or a particularly stubborn bit of polyester that refuses to ignite. This daft duo go it alone with a single lighter, making very heavy going of the whole thing. They look like they are turning the shirt into a pleasant Chinese lantern instead of a flickering cauldron of hate. Fail on this key preparation principle and you risk an almighty anti-climax as you shuffle back home inconsolable with incandescent rage unquenched.
2. Be local
To garner sympathy and add authenticity to your plight, it helps if your actually from the area of the club you support. Our cameraman here – choreographing the slow and painful death of a Newcastle shirt – has a strong East Anglian accent. In addition, you must orchestrate merciless barrage of expletive-heavy verbals admonishing the player in question. Our man here simply offers up a brief and calm bit of instruction: ”Hold it right still, thats a right good shot.” This would sound more at home on the set of a poorly directed British porn film than a jersey-flaming epic.
3. Rent a mob
Always get an enraged posse to give your lights display a bit of atmosphere and really ram home your message. The town centre, just outside a Wetherspoons at 2am: yes. Your back-garden, filming your mate Geoff: no. Basic stuff.
4. Turn the radio down
When burning, do not have the local radio playing in the background. Adverts for McDonalds, Milky Bars and Lloyds TSB really undermine the edgy, corporate-hating tribal ritual you are performing. If you must have a soundtrack, you need to plough out some intimidating audio: go for a dash of Metallica, the Gladiator soundtrack or a Joe Kinnear press-conference.
5. Pre-season training
Always keep your training up to scratch between transfer windows. It’s easy to lose those shirt flame-throwing skills in the months of stability. Stay sharp and ahead of the game by re-joining the Scouts, keenly observing riots in Egypt and watching Ray Mears re-runs on Dave. If you are particularly keen to get going and your an Arsenal fan, why not get some early practice in before the summer and cremate a Fabregas shirt today.