So I Don't Have To Dream Alone...
That's the Daily Mail's utterly bizarre reaction to the departure of the chairman of the club currently in ninth place in the Premier League. Not the owner, not the manager, not any of the players, but the chairman. The former Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese to be exact.
The 'DREAM WRECKER' in question is of course Katharina Liebherr, who took over ownership of Southampton in August 2010 after her father's death, which came four days after the Saints lost their opening game of the League One season against Plymouth. It was presumably then that Katharina 'wrecked' the 'dream' of Southampton by being in charge for back-to-back promotions to the Premier League. She has since 'wrecked' the 'dream' by spending £70m on transfers since they secured promotion to the top flight, breaking the club's transfer record three times. The bitch.
But perhaps it's not Southampton's dream that she is wrecking but Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail's dream to go on another trip to Southampton's training camp next summer.
In July, in a puff piece about Cortese being just plain wonderful, Ashton wrote: 'Unquestionably he has a low tolerance threshold, showing occasional signs of agitation when things don't run smoothly during the team's stay at the magnificent £400-a-night Falkensteiner Schloss Hotel on the side of Lake Worthersee.'
Because of course the nightly tariff and the magnificence of the hotel are integral to the story.
In Ashton's 'DREAM WRECKER' piece, he revisits memories of his stay, writing: 'This week's events have been bubbling since last summer, when Katharina arrived unexpectedly at the club's pre-season training camp in the stunning Alpine setting of Velden, Austria. It was on the banks of Lake Worthersee, on the decking of the Seespitz Restaurant on the evening of Wednesday, July 24...'
Again, the name of the restaurant is integral to the story about the woman who has had the temerity to take over the running of a company she owns. For it is a woman. We know because Ashton makes a point of writing that 'there are no signs of the £3bn fortune in the way she dresses'.
Unfortunately Ashton does not report how she was dressed on the evening she turned up at the sumptuous Falkensteiner Schloss Hotel - with simply wonderful dressing gowns for the guests - on the side of Lake Worthersee...
'Her long-term plans are unclear but there is a suspicion she may wish to cash in on the club's Premier League status and make a huge profit on the £14million her father spent to buy it in 2009,' writes Ashton.
She plans to sell her own company? To make a profit? The bitch.
To be fair, the Daily Mail are not the only newspaper to dedicate their back page and a massive pile of ire to Liebherr, with The Sun splashing a particularly unflattering picture of the heiress with the words 'EXCLUSIVE', 'REVEALED' and 'Woman at centre of Southampton nightmare'.
A woman?? A woman?! In charge of a football club? They'll be asking for the vote next.
Dancing With Myself
Congratulations must go to The Sun for their 'Q&A exclusive' in which their journalist (Geoff Sweet) exclusively answers all his own questions about Southampton. Apparently they're the 'questions all football fans are asking'. And 'all football fans' should thank Mr Sweet for exclusively taking it upon himself to answer those questions. Posed by himself.
'Is there any way back from the abyss?' is one question Geoff Sweet exclusively asks and then exclusively answers.
There is absolutely no hint of melodrama as he writes: 'They probably have enough points in the bag already to guarantee Premier League survival this season, so the threat of relegation is not realistically looming.'
Probably? Probably? The chairman (sorry, 'club supremo') has left. The sodding chairman. Is a side 'brimming with young international talent' going to stop playing because their chairman's gone? If they do, then f*** 'em, we say.
The headline in the Daily Express: 'Herr indoors is in charge now.'
A tearful Ben Smith of the BBC wrote on Wednesday night: 'Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese has left his post at St Mary's, with club owner Katharina Liebherr installing herself as his replacement. Cortese, 45, tendered his resignation in the autumn and has now departed.'
Autumn, you say? That's odd because Smith wrote a piece just last month headlined 'Southampton: Nicola Cortese at heart of Saints success story' in which he wrote this sickeningly sycophantic paragraph about a man who had apparently already offered his resignation: 'Spend a few hours at Southampton's Marchwood training centre and you will form a different view of Cortese, The kit men and the groundsmen know him as Nicola, not Mr Chairman. He knows the names of their wives and family. He sends birthday cards. He actually seems to care.'
Smith writes a paean to Cortese again today which ends with these words: 'Love him or loathe him - he will be missed.'
We're sure he'll call, Ben.
Note to the Daily Mail website: If you're going to tag something as 'exclusive', do not include the words 'the Dutchman told UEFA Champions magazine' in the fifth paragraph.
Sky Sports News' Jim White has a curious definition of the word 'secret'.
"One of the most experienced managers in Uruguayan football is Nacional's Gerardo Pelusso. He knows what England will bring, but he isn't panicking, because they have a secret weapon playing his football in the English Premier League."
Who the f*** could he mean?
Shock Of The Day
'MANCHESTER CITY may hand Aleksander Kolarov a shock new deal,' writes Phil Thomas in The Sun.
Phil Thomas must be easily shocked: Kolarov is City's first-choice left-back and no full-back in the Premier League has scored or assisted as many goals.
And they want to keep him? Crazy talk.
New West Brom boss Pepe Mel's promise to his old club Real Betis was rather sweet.
He said: "We need reinforcements, but I'm not signing any Betis player. It's sacred for me. If there's anything that's impossible to buy in football then it is people's love.
"The Betis saga is so painful to me but I am nobody to talk about Betis."
Since Betis are currently bottom of La Liga, seven points from safety and their squad was gutted in the summer anyway...that's probably just as well.
The Power Of A Union
'Ravel Morrison has threatened to go on strike at West Ham to force through a move to Fulham' - The Sun.
'Ravel Morrison will not agitate for a move to Fulham' - The Times.
We'll Always Have Paris
Reports The Daily Star: 'DAVID MOYES is plotting a £30m swoop for Brazil and Paris Saint Germain midfielder Lucas Moura.
'The Manchester United boss travelled to Paris to watch Moura in action against Bordeaux earlier this week.'
Of course, David might have been a little lonely if he'd gone to Paris, since the game took place in Bordeaux.
We've got an image of David sitting in the Parc de Prince, alone, occasionally glancing at his watch but not wanting to make it look like he's been stood up. Perhaps he'll take out a copy of the Daily Star to look busy.
To Whom It May Concern
When is a concern not a concern? When it's in the Daily Mail of course! In an article on Julian Draxler they write:
'Arsenal are ready to splash out on the German wonderkid whom they believe can be the next Robin van Persie and the injury concerns are not a concern.'
Quote Of The Day
"I would prefer death rather than relegation" - Norwich chief executive David McNally.
Headline Of The Day
'WALK AWAY RENE' - We'll never get tired of this one from the Daily Mirror.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'BACK OF THE NEG' - The Sun.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A shopper fell for a stranger and had sex over the bonnet of a car in broad daylight. Katy Holmes, 33, wept as she heard she had narrowly avoided jail for her 9.45am romp with a man she had met in a newsagent's shop. Magistrates were told the couple met as she bought a bottle of water. A mum had to shield her child's eyes before she dialled 999. The man fled over a fence in the cul-de-sac as an officer grabbed his ankles. Prosecutor Don Green said: "She saw Holmes and the man remove articles of clothing and have sex. The first time she was on the bonnet. The second time he was. Holmes was smiling and laughing and appeared to be enjoying what was going on." Holmes admitted the act and was given a suspended jail term by Blackpool magistrates. She told police: "The man started flirting with me. We had met at the newsagents. I was on the way home. What happened was consensual - but I accept people who saw what was going on might think it lewd and offensive" - The Daily Mirror. We like the quaint 'fell for'.
Thanks to today's spotters Jonathon Jones, James Ogilvy and Stuart Evans. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at email@example.com, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.