A Happy Christmas And An Alternative New Year


here is a rumour going round that Pinewood Studios are in the process of making a remake of the Dickens Classic, “A Christmas Carol”.

The new movie is going to be based loosely (and I say that for legal reasons only) on the reign of an entirely fictional owner at Direct St Sports James Parking Arena, and is currently being filmed with a working title of “A Chris-less Carroll” .

As the story begins we see the central character, a miserly individual who believes that money is everything, standing, weeping over the body of a colleague who has recently passed on. Heavy-Geezer Scrooge has checked the pockets and come up well short of the £35 million he was hoping for, that’s why he’s weeping.

With not a minute to spare he jumps into a passing Bentley and heads off to his cozy mansion doon-sooth, where, popped up to the eyeballs on Campari and Crème De Menthe he falls asleep by a crackling log fire.

As he lies slumped in an armchair, he is awoken by an unrecognisable spectre – a raging Marley – played to perfection by Chris Hughton with a monk on.

“NO WOMAN NO CRY” wails the apparition

“What the Fu@&?” screams Scrooge – who for an awful moment thought he’d woken up in the cheap seats.

Scrooge rubs his eyes: “Didn’t I already sack you?”

“You can’t sack me – I’m a Spirit!” informs Marley

“Alright” replies Scrooge becoming more irritated. “I’ll buy you out”

“You can’t buy me out – I’m dead, you bloody idiot!”

“Well, you wont be getting a 44 thousand quid share option, unlike 2000 employees earning 20 grand a year” says Scrooge going for a bit of commercial propaganda along with the last word.

Marley advises Scrooge that he’s a git. Has always been a git, always will be a git, and will die a lonely git. Unless he gets his act together.

Marley warns that Scrooge will be visited by three Ghosts.

“I’ll sack them aswell!”

Marley leaves Scrooges office experiencing a strange feeling of Déjà vu.

On the stroke of 1am Scrooge is awoken from his restless slumber by an angry ranting ghoul with tousled hair and a temper like Robbie Savage on a sugar rush.

“Begone Evil Spirit, or I will return you from whence you came” screams Scrooge

“Bring it on” replies the apparition. “I would just love it if you tried – LOVE IT” screams the ghost of Christmas Past, who bears more than a passing resemblance to Kevin Keegan.

Christmas Past leads Scrooge to a far and distant place where a young Bobby Moncur holds up a large Silver Trophy.

“Who’s that?” asks Scrooge.

Christmas Past also shows him packed stands and FA Cup finals, and slow motion hi-definition replays of Malcolm MacDonald, Alan Shoulder, Pop Robson, Peter Beardsley, Paul Gascoigne and Chrissie Waddle, Andy Cole and Alan Shearer.

“Why are you showing me these videos that have obviously been jacked from Youtube?”

“Stick with it Sparky, you’ll get there eventually.”

“Hang on – I know some of these players. Beardsley played for Liverpool, Gascoigne for Spurs, Cole for Man United, Waddle for Sheffield. The name Shearer rings a bell, but I can’t place him”.

Christmas Past replies “You really do know bugger all about football, don’t you!”

“There are two things you should heed and heed well.” Continues Christmas Past

“The first is that this was once a great and proud club with a great history. Then you came along and everything changed”

“What is the second thing?” asks Scrooge

“You’re a dick!” replies Christmas Past, hitting him on the back of a head with a snow shovel.

Scrooge wakes up in front of his fading fire an eternity later with a splitting headache, and a mouth reminiscent of the early morning Gorilla visit, only to see in front of him the Ghost of Christmas Present.

“So what monstrosities do you intend to show me, oh hideous Demon?”

Christmas Present whisks Scrooge away to a far off place called Newcastle. He shows him empty seats, the empty car parks and the balance sheet. He shows him the demonstrations. Then he takes him round the back of the Haymarket Bus Station and shows him something he won’t forget in a very, very long time.

He then shows him a five-year-old boy sitting by his bed adorned with black and white pyjamas, with a black and white quilt with a black and white pillow, kneeling, and praying.

“Dear God, at this time of year please remember the people who are less fortunate than we are. The women down on the quayside who can’t afford long skirts. People who live outside the city and cant get full rate broadband. Even people who have to live in Sunderland.”

“And God, please also help Mr Scrooge to see the error of his ways and help him to restore the pride that we used to have in this once great city.”

“If not, can you please make sure the fat f**k gets run over by the Gritter?”

Shocked Scrooge asks “What could I possibly have done to have such a young fan wishing such ghastly things upon me?”

“Well lets think. There’s Keegan, Kinnear, Shearer, Hughton, Martins, Bassong, Beye Duff, Ireland , Campbell, Nacho, Xisco, Milner, Emre, Carroll, Nolan, Barton…”

“Hang on a minute” interrupts Scrooge, in deep thought – “which one was Carol Nolan? Was she the one in ‘I’m in the mood for dancing’ with the big knockers?”

“You mean none of those names mean anything to you?” asks Christmas Present, stunned.

“Errrrr, Shearer! I recognize Shearer!”

“OK, replies CP “What about DENNIS WISE?”

Scrooge falls to the floor, wailing like a ten quid hooker.

“Is this yet another gruesome banshee that I must suffer this hideous evening? The ghost of Dennis Wise?”

“No” replies CP, “He’s in pantomime at the City Hall. But apparently he’s not happy”

“So which one is he?” Asks Scrooge turning to the camera with a smile.

“Anyway, boss, back to the plot. There are two things you should remember”.

“Go –on then”

“First of all, Newcastle United is more than just a rich man’s plaything. It is the very embodiment of a city’s soul.”

“What’s the second thing?”


When Scrooge comes to he’s lying face down in the snow. He manages to lift his fat frame up and climb to his feet. Looking around he is shocked to see a dilapidated grandstand, obviously unused for many years. Looking up he can see in faint outline letters of red on what was once the grey roof of his prize possession.

He thinks to himself “God that red writing looks naff!”

He stops and weeps.

A hideous apparition approaches wailing and gnashing, thrashing his chains and dragging one deformed foot behind him.

“Are you the ghost of Christmas Future?” asks Scrooge, recoiling in fear.

“No” replies the ghoul “ I’m the NCP car park attendant and unless you’ve paid and displayed you can’t park your sorry carcass there”.

“But what happened to St James’ Direct Parking Sports Arena? My investment? My executive box?”

Just then there is a loud whoosh and Scrooge is transported, screaming in agony, across the rooftops, 12 miles down the road to a 100,000 seater stadium. The stadium is full to capacity of fans wearing both red and white and black and white, cheering and generally having a canny time.

“But what’s this?” enquires Scrooge. “How can it be” he adds grimacing through the pain.

The Ghost Of Christmas Future, or Geordie, as he’s known to his mates down the Grapes, gently lowers Scrooge onto the roof of the stadium by his testicles, which have now become quite red and swollen.

“Well, Bonnie Lad” continued Geordie “even the most loyal dog’ll aanly tek seh much of a hammerin’ like, afore it’ll, bugger off somewhere else”

“But my business plan was sound” interrupted Scrooge, trying to get a glimpse of Geordie’s face, under his hoodie, “it was calculated to be just sufficient to maintain premier league status while reducing the deficit at a rate marginally ahead of the interest rate ensuring sustained existence while not actually winning anything. It was commercially viable”


“Ahh, Sorry” says Geordie “ That was a bit premature. Ahh bollocks. Wake up yu soft southern shite!”

Scrooge found himself hanging from the roof, when he woke up.

“But what’s all this?” asked Scrooge “Newcastle and Sunderland are sworn enemies. How can they be sitting together like this with nobody bleeding?”

“Whey that’s aall yor fault man!. Ye were the one who pushed them together. Ye were the one that destroyed the Toon. Ye thowt ye had a captive audience, but they just buggered off doon the road. Aall they wanted to de wes watch footbaall, hev a beer, a scrap and a kebab on the way yem”

“So where am I now?”

“Just haad yor whisht a minute”

A distant tannoy announcement is heard “…and can we now please have one minutes celebration of the life of Heavy-Geezer Scrooge”

There was total silence.

Scrooge was devastated, but slowly the ground began to sing. The swell of a hundred thousand voices in harmony reverberated around the new Stadium.

“Are they singing for me??” Scrooges little round face lit up.

“Aye, Bonnie Lad, but just listen carefully”

“The big fat f**k is dead. The big fat f**k is dead. Eey Aay Aadio, The big fat f**k is dead”

The enormity of the situation stops Scrooge in his tracks. “Tell me spirit – Is this a vision of what will be, or merely what may be? I can change, I really can!”

Geordie seems to fade into the falling snow “Porsonally, a divven’t think ye can. Think Leopard and Spots, think Dog and New Tricks. Think Arsehole Points Doon, and ah think ye’ll hev a rough idea, son.”

“But what can I do?” screamed a desperate Scrooge.

Geordie left him with two things to remember.

“First of all – Hope. All they need is a little hope. Hope that the team might win games. Hope that the manager might stay long enough to have his name painted on his office door in something other than whiteboard marker. Hope that a players name and number on the shirt that they bought in August might still be right in May. Essentially they don’t ask for much”

“And what’s the other thing?”


Scrooge was vaguely aware of lying face down on a cold concrete floor. He had a splitting headache, but most peculiarly, his nuts were killing him.

He ran across to the window and was surprised to find himself overlooking the training facility at Darsley Park. A 12 year old boy wearing a black and white tracksuit ran past below the window.

“I say , you there!!” Yelled Scrooge

The boy looked up.

“Oohhhhh Crap!” Replied the boy

“You there” Scrooge continued

“Yes Mr Scrooge”

“What day is it?”

“Why it’s Christmas Day, sir”

“Boy – I’d like you to go find me the biggest turkey you can and bring it here, and here’s 50p – you can keep the change”

The boy returned 10 minutes later.

“What’s that?” Enquired Scrooge

“It’s Shola” replied the boy. “And I got 40p change!!”

“You’re sacked!” yelled Scrooge.

“But I don’t work for you, Ah’m just finishing me paper round”

“Shola, do you think you can find me a big turkey?”

“Whey aye boss” says Shola falling over. Twice

Shola returned 10 minutes later with Derek Llambias.

Scrooge continues “Derek, I’m having a hell of a time trying to find a big turkey, what do you reckon?”

“It’s no good asking me – I’m a DVD player, pause, stop, rewind EJECT EJECT EJECT!!!”

And, as they say in the City, “The pantomime continues”

Have a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

54 thoughts on “A Happy Christmas And An Alternative New Year

  1. Well Archie. I’ve took the Micky out of you for your long winded self indulgent articles but to be fair I enjoyed that.

    It hits the point well. . Of course there is benefits to his strategy but there is no doubt we also fear for the future in case it is premier survival or mediocrity year on year.

    Well done! 😛


  2. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahaha


  3. @Toonsy

    How you finding running the blog these days? There seems to be plenty of Toonsys little helpers which is good. ?


  4. Troy

    Good to hear you enjoyed it

    Johno – bit disappointed – you could have got another couple of “Ha”s in there
    😉 😉


  5. Premandup
    What was the harsh bit. The Turkey reference or the fact he got 40p change?

    Just kidding – he’s been a great servant to the club.


  6. Just on a different note, despite the ridiculous amount of money that the Man City owners have ploughed into their club, it hasn’t half opened up the premiership title race this season. But on the flip side, the Toon would likely be in 6 th place instead of 7th this season.

    The good thing is that, 2 of the big 6 are going to lose out on champions league football this season and it would cripple the likes of Liverpool, Spurs and Arsenal.

    All 3 need to qualify or they could end up the same as we did by having a huge wage level and a huge dip in revenue by not qualifying.

    It’s probably the most interesting season in many years.


  7. Troy – Tough at the minute, but only because I have a lot going on away from the blog. Not bad stuff like, just annoying stuff like decorating…. Plus working pretty much everyday isn’t helping…


  8. Sorry Archie. Yes he has been a great servant of the club, but the spirit of the article demanded that I could not give unreserved praise, and that was all I could come up with.


  9. @Toonsy

    I don’t know how you manage it at times. When I’m at work I often don’t get time, or can’t be bothered, to post nevermind run it.

    Keep it gannin! Toon! Toon!


  10. Premandup

    Understood mate, sometimes you just have to!!

    Spirit of the article? Don’t make a Spectre of yourself…..


  11. Troy@13

    with you there mate- dont know how Toonsy does it.

    I have enough trouble doing one article now and then, keeping the blog going must take a huge chunk of time.


  12. Ha Ha. Good stuff Archie, but ya lost the plot a bit with the united football clubs. I’d rather have a rat gnaw my bollox off than go down that route.
    All the best to you any how.
    Have missed your alternative assessments lately, so pull ya finger oot. 😆


  13. Beardsleys Boots – Cheers
    Aye a bit of fantasy there but it was intended to show how far this “fictional” owner had pushed the fans.
    I think Heavy-Geezer knows he’s got most of us with quite a bit of pushing still left to go


  14. These are the PL scorers this season. 
    Apart from Ba then the rest of the first team particularly midfield are not contributing enough. 
    The argument of Nolan’s weaknesses and strengths spring to mind. 

    Demba Ba 11      
    Leon Best 3           
    Ryan Taylor 2        
    Yohan Cabaye 1    
    Shola Ameobi 1              
    Dan Gosling 1                
    Jonas Gutierrez 1            


  15. Troy

    Aye – its always nice to have a 20 goal a season man in there, but as you are saying 2 or 3 others who can get 10 make a hell of a difference to your finishing position.


  16. Totally agree with you Troy, our midfield is not yet good enough.
    HBA needs to improve drastically, but in order to do that he needs game time. I still think he has upset Pardew by refusing to play a couple games for the ressies, even tho it would do him the world of good.
    French arrogance springs to mind.
    Somehow tho I think he will start on wednesday in place of Besty, and Vukic in for Cabaye.
    I think Vukic has goals in him, but has been unlucky with injuries.
    Sameobi isn’t ready for 1st team football imo.
    Ba is a revelation thank god. Was unlucky on saturday, could easily had another brace. We will miss him in Jan/Feb if our midfield dont sort themselves out.


  17. Archie I would pay to go watch that Lad 😆 😆 😆
    I thought the 40p change was a bit ott, I would’ve expected atleast 45p change. What I would give to play with Jabba with a snow shovel 😉

    Troy whats up with the pug lately I havn’t seen him about for yonks ?


  18. BB – Agree that Sameobi was lacklustre and looked out of his depth on Saturday, I’ve been impressed other times…

    Thought Best was very good, Ba was immense and very unlucky.

    HBA needs games simple as that really.

    Pardew has been excellent so far this season but he needed to make a tactical change during the 2nd half on Saturday when it was obvious that weren’t going to score. We needed to move off 4-4-2…


  19. @Dave

    He’s got loads of stuff on at hone. He’s been building his own house and has his hands full at the mo. I’m sure he will be back in the not too distant future.


  20. @big Dave

    He’s having difficulty sourcing quality straw for his house. The pig nosed squealer is trying to do it on the cheap like his hero Ashley. 😛


  21. Archie, as the bloke who wrote this year’s village panto, that post is a total crack-up – brilliant! Cheers for making Monday morning that wee bit less shite. 🙂


  22. Cheers Whumpie!

    It’s a lot easier when there’s so much good material around to work with.



    Good luck with the Panto


  23. Cheers Nobbie – glad you enjoyed it.

    Gotta say – “warped” is one of the more complimentary things that have been said about me


  24. As brilliant as your article is Archie, where is your alternative assessment for the Swansea game?

    As a paying Nufcblog.co.uk customer :mrgreen: I demand it.


  25. Panto went well, although we did start a book on how many complaints we’d get. Given the average audience age of, um, dead, and it being a very gentile little Devon village, I’m thinking “shedloads”.

    Just to make sure, we did managed to squeeze into the last performance:

    – Snatch
    – Flange
    – Suck on a fag
    – Once you’ve had black you never go back
    – It makes your futtocks squeak and if it gets in yer rollocks you never hear the end of it (yelled out by 9-year-old girl)

    You get the idea. Nobody walked out, but that’s only because half of them couldn’t get their zimmer frames past the other seats.. 😆


  26. Nice one Archie 😆

    …very entertaining. Although I know why you did it, I think the ghost of Christmas future’s prediction was a trifle far-fetched. 😯 …point well-stated though! 😎

    Be funny if Fatty actually read this, I wonder what he’d make of it ❓


  27. Whumpie

    Sounds like my kind of Panto

    A mate of mine out here is from Devon – he says you can always spot a Devonian by asking them to spell “mirror”

    Emm, Oi, Ahrr, Ahrr, Ooh, Ahrr!


  28. Nobbie – sorry mate , have taken a break with the AAAs for a while, just

    havent got the time.

    Only did the Chris-less Carroll while I’m laid up on the sick for a couple of weeks, and that was a quick update of something I did last last year


  29. lol Archie, cracking story. very entertaining. well done. 🙂

    @Troy I think you would be a cracking editor. I will look forward with excitement for your first article :). Don’t worry about Thuds rejectment, I’m sure he’ll treat you gently 🙂


  30. @mark

    Your bond with Thud is commendable. Can you tell me where he gets his checked shirts from? They would go well with my skinnys and UGG boots. 😛 😛


  31. Troy @23 , my point all along we have not replaced nolans goals and will find it very hard to. , as for the post loved it read it lads its all true ha


  32. Hey,

    Does anyone know any good daily deal sites where you can see a bunch of offers for the UK, most of the ones I see are made for the USA or some other far away country.

    The only two I know are HotUkDeals.com and Offerbot.co.uk and both don`t seem to have that many good offers on ?

    Anyone know any others ?



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