In a move designed to avoid discontent among fans and shareholders, Manchester United officials have taken the unprecedented decision to ban tablets, laptops and anything else that might bring about access to the league table from within the hallowed portals Old Trafford.
Instead, fans will be treated to calming music, pastel-shaded kits and Louis van Gaal dressed as Sir Matt Busby. The club has claimed it is merely reacting to a security threat, that 75,000 United fans may spontaneously combust if they are to go another season driving all the way from Surrey to watch the team play badly and win no silverware.
‘The problem with last year was not our inability to win, it was that the other teams created an unfair comparison,’ said Sir Bobby Charlton. ‘We just don’t need any reminding about our neighbours in blue. Your average United fan would much prefer to stay in 1999, enjoying the treble and imagining the sexually peccadilloes of George Michael and Monica Lewinsky, while listening to Celine Dion sing My Heart Will Go On.
Embracing the North Korean model of sporting denial, psychologists have suggested delusions of grandeur are preferable to the grim reality of seeing Marouane Fellaini and Tom Cleverly fall over their own shadows. To prolong the psychosis, players will be forced to wear face masks of the main contributors to United’s bygone era of success, with Robin van Persie as Eric Cantona, Michael Carrick as Bryan Robson and Wayne Rooney as Eamonn Holmes.
Tannoy announcers at Old Trafford will now only read out half-time results from the Ferguson years and everyone will be hypnotised into believing David Moyes is still at Everton. While Greater Manchester Police have said they were not involved in the ban decision, they have admitted that everyone would be safer in Manchester if they immersed themselves in Friends box sets and imagined a time before Olly Murs had declared himself a fan.