Spoof: The Premier League table releases it’s very own autobiography
Another season, another football autobiography – except this one is a little different.
After 20 years in the job, the Premier League table has finally spilled the beans on his time as the true barometer of football’s top tier. “Laying My Cards On My Table” will be available to buy next week and OTP has already seen a preview copy of the warts-and-all publication.
To be frank, it’s a bit of a dry read with whole chapters committed to fonts and little known facts about column alignments. But the table seems a humble, hardworking bloke and there are a few gems to be had.
On telling the truth:
“The table doesn’t lie.” Fans love that cliché and I appreciate their trust in my integrity. The simple answer is no, I never lie. Mum says it was my Christian upbringing. Certainly ever since my dad, Football League First Division, passed away in 1992, I’ve been well-behaved.
I won’t say I haven’t been tempted. Last season I had a tasty spreadbet, which included Blackpool staying up and I really toyed with moving things around in my favour on the last day. I had 200 notes riding on that, but my conscience got the better of me.
I was said to see Blackpool go. They gave me a real breath of fresh air Blackpool. Everyone commented on it. I’ve never smelt so good.
I guess there have been a few white lies. Last month, when no one was looking, I popped a few extra goals in the ‘for’ column for Wolves recently. Terry Connor has shown a lot of dignity under huge pressure so I did my bit to show some support. Nobody important noticed but I got a nice letter from Terry the next day, which was kind of him.
On his relationship with Kenny Dalglish:
I’m as straight as a die and I think everyone in the game respects that. Well, most of them. I’ve had a problem with King Kenny of late. Things got really out of hand a few games back when Kenny Dalglish drove to my house and started ranting and raving about what a “lying c**t” I was.
Apparently hitting the woodwork more than any other team meant Liverpool were in a “totally false position” and should be in and around fourth spot. I told him what I always tell the managers: ” I even myself out over the 38 games played.”
He went absolutely potty after hearing that and the police were called.
On his changing format:
Over the years, the bigwigs have played about with me a fair bit. The latest thing is the live ‘as it stands’ table that the BBC uses. It just doesn’t feel right for people to see me changing. I used to do it overnight in private and now it’s all on show. It’s a lot of pressure and for me and it takes all the magic out of the process.
Modern times I guess. The Big Brother society.
On his mystery tattoo:
As for the dotted line just above my bottom, everyone still thinks that it’s to denote the relegation zone. It’s actually a tattoo I picked up during a huge night out in Thailand in the early 1990s, before I had any responsibility. It could have been worse. Let’s just say it’s very lucky no one sees the back of the league table.
It was also in Thailand that I met my wife, the Bundesliga table. She was everything you could want in a table: a slim 18 teams wrapped up in a sensible winter break and no threat of administration drop-outs. She had me at ‘Borussia Monchengladbach’.
On new tables:
The main thing that winds me up are all these imaginary leagues that have suddenly cropped up – the so-called ‘if the league started today’ knock-offs that you see doing the rounds in the tabloids. I hit the roof when I saw the ‘Since Fabio Capello resigned table’ and the ‘Since Martin O’Neill took the Sunderland job table’. Utter bollocks. Give it a few weeks and they’ll be dishing out imaginary trophies and imaginary parachute payments at the end of the season. Ah, don’t get me started.
Laying My Cards On My Table will not be available from all good bookstores on May 18.