The Great SPL Brainstorm
January 13, 2012
— celtic, craig brown, gordon ramsay, hampden park, hearts, neil doncaster, neil lennon, old firms, rangers, spl, terry butcher, vladimir romanov
by Emelie Okeke
Scottish Premier League Extraordinary Meeting, 11am 13 January 2012, Hampden Park Stadium. Minutes taken by Emelie Okeke.
Chairperson: Neil Doncaster (Chief Executive)
Attendees: Neil Lennon (Celtic) Terry Butcher (Inverness Caledonian Thistle) Vladimir Romanov (Hearts) OB Noxious (Extreme Sports Channel) Gordon Ramsay (Rangers).
Objective: To explore and propose new and exciting initiatives to increase the desirability and standing of the SPL (and get a bit more telly money while we’re at it).
Duration: Twenty-three minutes.
11.01 – Neil Doncaster thanks all present for attending and points out the impressive selection of refreshments available on a nearby table. He also apologises for the tardiness of Aberdeen’s representative Craig Brown, who is running late as he is having a Stannah Stairlift implemented into his home today.
11.02 – Gordon Ramsay interrupts Doncaster to question the quality of the refreshments.
11.03 – Doncaster retorts that the vol-au-vents, currently being inhaled by Terry Butcher, contain Scottish salmon sourced from local rivers. Quips then abound as to how there’s more local quality produced in Butcher’s mouth than in the Rangers first-team squad. Or in a Ramsay restaurant.
11.04 – Neil Lennon applauds uproariously. Ramsay launches into an expletive-filled missive. Lennon tells Ramsay to shut up, with even more colourful expletives.
11.05 – Butcher ends the argument by confirming that there is always quality local produce coming out of his mouth. The statement leaves everyone dumbfounded, until Vladimir Romanov inexplicably proceeds to remove his belt and lash it in the general direction of Doncaster’s arse.
11.06 – OB Noxious clears his throat in an attempt to return some semblance of order. All other parties at the table stop to glare murderously at him. Noxious thinks better of his actions and takes up an in-depth study of some foreign material located under his fingernails.
11.07 – The pause does cause everyone to forget the cause of the mêlée, and a fragile peace ensues. Doncaster takes the opportunity to outline the three main talking points for today’s meeting: composition of the league, re-introduction of a winter break, and TV rights moving forward.
11.08 – At the mention of TV rights, Noxious’s eyes widen. As no one else has been following Robert’s Rules of Order, he interrupts Doncaster to pitch to the table some of the ‘innovations’ he has in store should the league agree to switch their live match rights from Sky and ESPN to Extreme Sports. These include ‘Winter Break-Dance’ which involves a mid-season nationwide search to find the player with the best breakdancing skills, the prize being a Europa League place for the winning player’s team. Also, ‘Silver Goal’ where any matches level at full-time will be decided in an extra 15 minutes play by the supporters of the clubs in question who are aged 70 and above.
11.11 – Rolling his eyes in disbelief, Lennon asks Doncaster whether Noxious is a wind-up. Romanov, however, likes the ideas. Butcher reminds Noxious that ‘Silver Goal’ will not work in practice since Brown is the only remaining man in Scotland aged 70 or above. The remark reminds him to ask Doncaster of Brown’s whereabouts. Doncaster informs Butcher that he has been texted with the information that Brown’s stairlift has malfunctioned halfway down the staircase, that Brown is wedged in the chair, and that the jaws of life are being applied. Doncaster, nonetheless, is sure that Brown will be present soon.
11.13 – Romanov launches into a garbled monologue, comprising one quarter Romanian, one quarter Russian, one quarter Scots Gaelic and one quarter Esperanto. He mentions ‘monkeys in tuxedos’ and ‘the downsides of loving Rudi Skacel’ before concluding by claiming he would rather eat all the grass in Tynecastle than co-operate with ‘the ne’er do-wells at the SFA’. No-one responds. No one really knows how.
11.16 – Noxious takes advantage of the awkward silence by suggesting that to appease the Old Firm’s desire to move to the English Premier League, the SPL could accommodate two English teams in an ‘extreme football version of wife-swap’. He argues that he for one would love to see Peter Crouch contend with being taller than most of the stands in the SPL’s stadia, and Abbey Clancy enjoying the delights of shopping in Dundee City Centre.
11.18 – By this time Ramsay and Lennon are now wrestling in a corner of the room, with Romanov pointing and laughing maniacally at the squabbling pair whilst wearing his maroon tie around his head, trousers around his ankles, and belt being whirled above his head like a lasso.
11.19 – Butcher claims that this meeting is even more farcical than that ‘drug-fuelled pint-sized crazy genius I had the misfortune to share a pitch with in the late 1980s’. Doncaster quips that is no way to talk about Paul Gascoigne. Butcher threatens to give Doncaster a Glasgow kiss.
11.20 – Noxious suggests rebranding Celtic and Rangers as the ‘Young Firm’, with the extreme challenge being that the two Glasgow clubs must try to win the title with teams composed wholly of players aged 15 or younger. Lennon, sporting a black eye and cut lip, emerges from Ramsay’s headlock to ask for more of a challenge than that. Ramsay, face even craggier than usual after his scuffle with Lennon, says that Glasgow 15-year-olds will be too busy looking after their newborn children. Lennon and Ramsay resume their activities.
11.21 – Butcher aggressively bemoans the fact that the vol-au-vents are finished and proceeds to attempt to strangle Doncaster. Romanov is now sitting astride the back of Lennon, who is leaning over a floored Ramsay whilst stuffing shortbread into the man’s mouth and asking if “that’s enough fresh f***ing produce for you?” Noxious is on the phone to the home office, claiming that negotiations are going very well.
11.22 – Exasperated, Doncaster decides to adjourn the meeting and manages to blow the famous SPL Meeting Adjournment Bagpipe, despite the best efforts of Butcher to asphyxiate the Chief Executive. All members of the table walk out of the meeting room single file, with Lennon using Noxious’s phone to ring Richard Scudamore.
11.24 – Craig Brown, tartan-covered hot water bottle in hand, walks into the empty room and asks, “Have I missed any good ideas?”
The Great SPL Brainstorm by Emelie Okeke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at strangebounce.com.
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