Adjusting his life-jacket, a rat said: ‘Nobody panic. We’re tactically withdrawing – in the same way Man Utd have from most cup competitions. Some have accused us of exiting faster than Ted Kennedy leaving the scene of a car accident, but we adhere to the maritime tradition of managers and rats first.
‘You’re much less likely to sink with less of us on board. Which is why we are asking all referees to start future matches with seven short whistle blasts followed by one long one. Stay calm, wait for rescue – or Ryan Giggs’.