A fan enters a football ground.
Fan: 'Ello, I wish to register a complaint.
(The director does not respond.)
Fan: 'Ello, Miss?
Director: What do you mean "miss"?
Fan: (pause) I'm sorry, I have a cold. I wish to register a complaint!
Director: We're closin' the tea-bars.
Fan: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this FCRM what I purchased not half a year ago for this very ground.
Director: Oh yes, the, uh, the Chelsea Blue...What's,uh...What's wrong with him?
Fan: I'll tell you what's wrong with 'im, my lad. 'E's gone, that's what's wrong with 'im!
Director: No, no, 'e's uh,...he's resting.
Fan: Look, matey, I know a vanished FCRM when I see one, and I'm not looking at one right now.
Director: No no he's not vanished, he's, he's restin'! Remarkable manager, the Chelsea Blue, idn'he, ay? Beautiful tactics!
Fan: The tactics don't enter into it. 'E's f*cked off.
Director: Nononono, no, no! 'E's here!
Fan: All right then, if he's here, I'll call him! (shouting) 'Ello, Mister FCRM! I've got a lovely fresh wad of fivers for you if you show...
Director: There, he is!
Fan: No, he isn't, that was you pretending!
Director: I never!!
Fan: Yes, you did!
Director: I never, never did anything...
Fan: (yelling repeatedly) 'ELLO FCRM!!!!! Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! This is your match day alarm call!
(Runs round ground looking under seats and behind vandalised tea-bars.)
Fan: Now that's what I call an absent manager.
Director: No, no.....No, 'e's hiding!
Director: Yeah! You frightened him, just as he was coming out! Chelsea Blues frighten easily, major.
Fan: Um...now look...now look, mate, I've definitely 'ad enough of this. That FCRM has definitely scarpered, and when I fell for it not 'alf a year ago, you assured me that its total lack of commitment on the contractual front was due to it bein' unnecessary.
Director: Well, he's...he's, ah...probably pining for the coast.
Fan: PININ' for the COAST?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that?, look, why did he go missing the moment I turned my back?
Director: The Chelsea Blue prefers hidin' round the back! Remarkable manager, id'n he, squire? Lovely tactics!
Fan: Look, I took the liberty of examining that manager's record when I got home, and I discovered the only reason that he had been sitting in this club in the first place was that he had got everything he wanted.
Director: Well, o'course he got everything he wanted! If we hadn't given that manager everything he wanted, he wouldn't be here now. He'd have nuzzled up to those cash points, drained 'em with his credit card, and VOOM! Feeweeweewee!
Fan: "VOOM"?!? Mate, this manager has "voomed"! 'E's bleedin' disappeared!
Director: No no! 'E's hiding!
Fan: 'E's not hidin'! 'E's passed on! This manager is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's dematerialized and gone to meet 'is next employer! 'E's an absentee ! Bereft of presence, 'e's left no trace! If you hadn't nailed 'is picture to the wall 'e'd be pushing off without a memorial! 'Is managerial processes are now 'istory! 'E's off to Sarfend! 'E's kicked the traces, 'e's shuffled off out the building, run down the slip-road and joined the bleedin' League!! He's f*ckin' pissed it!..... THIS IS AN EX-FCRM!!
Director: Er, you're right. Sh*t. Well, We'd better replace him, then.
(he takes a quick peek behind the goal)
Director: Sorry squire, I've had a look 'round the back of the club, and uh, we're right out of managers.
Fan: I see. I see, I get the picture.
Director: (pause) I got a caretaker.
Fan: Pray, does it manage?
Director: Nnnnot really.
Fan: WELL IT'S HARDLY A BLOODY REPLACEMENT, IS IT?!!???!!?
Director: Well! I never wanted to be the director of a football club in the first place. I wanted to be... A LUMBERJACK! Leaping from bough to bough........
The "Peace In Our Time" Trophy, to be awarded monthly for the stupidest comment made relating, however broadly, to Conference football, for September goes to a last minute entry from John Fry, chairman of Yeovil Town F.C. "I'd put David [Webb] in the same category as Bill Shankley and Brian Clough."
This column's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.