What on earth is Rowley going to do without his Popinjay...?
It seems Mike Ashley's sausage fingers were nothing to do with that...
Is He Being Funny? He's Being Funny, Right? Right?
We're really not sure what to make of a section from Martin Samuel's column in The Daily Mail today.
'Could just one footballer please come out and be gay, so everybody can be really cool about it and the sport can get on with its life? Just one, it's not much to ask surely?
'Football is beginning to sound a little desperate with its pleading. Rugby, cricket, they've all had their gay watershed moment. And until football does, too, it will continue to be presumed that the sport has not evolved enough to handle male homosexuality.'
Erm, sure Martin, let's push someone out of the closet before they're ready so we can find something new to talk about. Is this a joke? Is he being funny? We're not sure. He continues:
'So here's a thought. Joey Barton continues his quest for intellectual and social respectability. Why not come out as gay? Instant credibility, instant respect, untouchable by the Football Association or future employers. His past misdeeds mentally reprocessed and explained. Well, of course he put his cigar out in that bloke's face, Gary. He was a tortured soul, forced to live a lie.'
Oh. It is a joke. He is being funny. Well, obviously he's not actually being funny, but perhaps we should take our moral, PC, pinko sensibilities and get a sense of hum...oh, he's not finished?
'And imagine the new material. A never-ending treasure trove for Barton's Twitter feed: Alexander the Great, Leonardo da Vinci, Oscar Wilde, Lady Bunny.
'And, let's face it, with that new accent, he's probably halfway there.'
There you go. Bit of a silly French accent = half homosexual.
And people wonder why no gay footballer has come out, eh?
Fernando Llorente finally confirmed that he would indeed be leaving Athletic Bilbao next summer, when his contract runs out.
"It isn't about money because the offer the club (Athletic) made was irresistible."
"I am going to leave on June 30."
Said Paul Merson on Sky Sports News this morning:
"To fix the rut they'll need to take two steps backwards, to take one step forward."
That's progress for you.
Correction Of The Day
'Euro flop: Mancini faces crunch talks to convince City he is the right man - Roberto Mancini faces a battle to convince Manchester City's new hierarchy he is the man to lead the club forward long-term...Mancini will meet City's newly-appointed chief executive Ferran Soriano and director of football Tixki Begiristain this week to discuss their vision for the club' - The Daily Mirror, November 8.
'On November 8, we published an article stating that Roberto Mancini was meeting the Manchester City hierarchy to convince them he was the right manager to the club forward. We now accept that no such meeting took place and we are happy to set the record straight' - The Daily Mirror, December 5.
Headline from The Sun website: 'The Real truth is Kaka could leave.'
Intro from The Sun website: 'Kaka admits he may be on his way out of Real Madrid in January after failing to force his way into Jose Mourinho's starting XI.'
Actual quotes from Kaka: "I keep doing my job to stay in Madrid. Then, to see what happens and what the club wants...I do not know what will happen but I have a contract until 2015.
"The club called me in the summer and we did not find a solution. In January, I hope to know what the club wants. If they choose a solution, I'm open to talk."
Writes Oliver Holt in The Daily Mirror, about Roman Abramovich's decision to sack Roberto di Matteo:
'Since then, Chelsea have taken two points from three games and their title challenge has fallen apart.'
While Mediawatch doesn't necessarily agree with the decision to dismiss Di Matteo, the idea that it and Rafa Benitez has wrecked Chelsea's season isn't quite right. They had taken two points from their previous four games, and were four points behind Manchester United. They're now ten points back, which when one considers Manchester City were eight behind with six games left last season...you get the point.
We know footballers are sometimes not the brightest, so well done to FC Twente's Leroy Fer for managing to stand out as a bit of a dunce today.
Apparently Fer wanted to get his ladypartner a gift, so presumably relying on the old truism that 'ladies love a stallion', he bought her a horse. A big horse, that cost £22,000 and is called Django, to keep as a pet, ride around the meadows, basically do what she pleases with.
However, on receipt of said steed, the lady in question pointed out that keeping it might prove difficult, because she lives in a town-centre apartment block, which in Holland anyway don't generally come with stables as standard.
The good news is Fer did seemingly manage to sell Dobbin on - for a £3,000 loss.
We expect there was mad bantz from the Twente boys after that one.
Tortured Intro Of The Day
'Astrologically, there is only one month out of 12 called Leo. But 2012 has been the year of another Lio - and the king of football could be crowned as the greatest goalscorer ever tonight' - Martin Lipton in The Daily Mirror.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'The Real truth is Kaka could leave' - The Daily Mirror.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A US judge has ordered a man with nine children to stop procreating until he can afford to pay for them. Corey Curtis, 44, of Racine, Wisconsin, was told to stop breeding as a condition of probation until he can financially support his nine children from six different women, The Smoking Gun reported. Racine County Judge Tim Boyle sentenced Curtis to the rare punishment as a condition of a three-year probation order for failing to pay $50,000 in child support, plus another $40,000 in interest.
"Common sense dictates you shouldn't have kids you can't afford," Judge Boyle said. "I will make that a condition of the probation." Curtis told CBS 58 that he planned to comply with the condition. "Judges, they make rulings," he said, "they make them kind of hastily. So, if that's what he feels one of my conditions should be then I'm going to abide by it." Court records showed that Curtis has been arrested and charged with failure to pay child support on numerous occasions over the past 11 years' - Orange.
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotters Martin Landon and Matthew Millward. If you see anything that belongs on this page, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.