Pre-Season Patter


Royal Standard de Liege chairman Bruno Venanzi called a press conference this morning announcing big changes for the Belgian club.

‘After discussions with manager James Foster, it’s become abundantly clear that we don’t have a sufficient transfer budget. We’ve seen large transfer fees being paid for players around us, and were simply not able to compete. As a result of this, I’d like to announce some new commercial deals.’

‘As of this morning, the Academie Robert Louis-Dreyfus training ground shall be renamed the Guylian Training Complex. Whilst we realise naming a training ground after a substance that melts under heat and pressure may not send out the best portrayal of our team, chemically speaking it has perfect composition, with multiple health benefits. For a team that suffered with injuries before the current coach was brought in, we need all the help we can get.’

‘Meanwhile, we have also signed a deal to rename the Stade Maurice Dufrasne to The Anheuser-Busch InBev Arena. AB InBev are a huge multinational company with untold resources and we Belgians love to drink, so what better sponsor for our stadium. Well, I say sponsor, technically neither of these companies have agreed to give us any money, we’re just hoping that they see their names and feel generous. Should his approach fail, we’ll just carry on as we are and hope that some profitable transfer deals come our way!’

‘I’d also like to update the fans on our pre season training. Foster has been working on the outfield players agility quite intensely. To begin with he made each player hold a pint in both hands, whilst Antonio Adan and Matz Sels pushed them over, if they can fall without spelling their pint they can move on to the next phase of training, as we all know that’s the pinnacle of agility.’

‘After that comes the speed and fitness test. Whilst most professional sports teams use tried and tested methods such as the bleep test and cross country running, we dropped half our players off in Bruges, and the other half in Anderlecht with eggs and toilet roll. The first team to return to the Guylian Training Complex after egging and teepeeing PMW and Davy’s houses won, and were exempt from the final training session.’

‘David Moyes used to run an infamous session called the horseshoe. We’ve adapted that slightly. We run a session called the artist formerly known as Prince. Each player must run the gruelling 16 mile circuit in the shape of that stupid symbol he used. This is an intelligence test. I mean… If they can find their way round that series of ridiculous lines they can find their way round a Division 5 defence!’

At this point Venanzi was asked by a journalist why manager James Foster wasn’t present;

‘Well he’s busy, he’s In Bruges at the Carillon Tower with Ray, Ken and Jimmy. Jimmy struggles with stairs so he may be a while…’

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