Football after Brexit

Never send to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.

Act V, Scene 1

Enter two clowns with spades etc. “Nice to give us a break from the ol’ grave-diggin’ for a day, innit.” “Yeah...but we’re on BONG duty on Friday night, y’know.” “Oh, yeah...that’ll be a laugh. Shall we ‘ave a practice, then?” “Yeah. Good idea, mate.”

BONG!!

One: Dutch lad – bin ‘ere since he was 16...wants settled status...might be lucky BONG!!

Two – couple ‘a nurses – Portuguese – earning £22k each...you’re joking...low value, y’see...forget it! Anyhow we don’t need no more nurses. We’ve got loads of ‘em. I’ve seen ‘em all when the missus is watching Call the Midwife. I like that posh, blond one.

BONG!!

Three – ‘blind...’ Nah, you can stop right there – no disability category – don’t care if they are bloody mice.

BONG!!

Four – Swedes, I think –yeah...what was it?...money, money, money...yeah, they’ll do ...temporary work visa, tho’

BONG!!

Five – Mmm ...Scottish geezer...‘anley...bin ‘ere a while tho’ – benefit of the doubt for ‘im. For the moment, anyhow.

BONG!!

Six - German – division 4, I think – nowhere near enough points – I know a bit o’ German, y’know. ‘Zimmer’ means ‘room’. Well not enough room for the likes o’ you, mate...might as well catch the first flight back.

BONG!!

Seven – Good God, what ‘ave we got ‘ere? Have you ever seen a lot like this? Perhaps we’ll split ‘em up...kick out four and let three in. Better follow government policy tho’. OK: sloth, greed, lust – in y’come, could do with a bit more o’ you...envy, wrath, pride, gluttony – you can bugger off.

BONG!!

Eight – Bosnian, eh? Are they in or out? Can’t remember...violent, aren’t they?...always ‘avin’ wars an’ that...says ‘dead ball specialist’ on his papers. We’ve got enough of them, an’t we? Y’know, Beckham ...an’...

BONG!!

Nine – ‘Nein’...issa joke...geddit? Nine...Nein...just showing off me German again. You need to practice that word, though...you’ll be using it a lot.

BONG!!

Ten – another German...all these Germans...so many Germans. Not sure about this one...Moritz – sounds a dodgy name...don’t think so...nah

BONG!!

Eleven: who the hell are these? Looks like the Ol’ Farts’ mixed hockey team...I’ve just counted ‘em up and there are eleven ...hold it, I recognise a couple of ‘em, I’ve seen ‘em on the telly...they’ve come to the wrong section, stupid sods They’re leaving not trying to come in. They’re the Supreme Court judges...out of a job all of ‘em...traitors, o’course.

“Thass it, then.” “Thass only eleven BONGS. I thought we were leaving at midnight.” “We are...midnight, European time.” “What! We’re leaving at their time?” “Well...yeah.” “Thass ridiculous...tell you what, I’ve got an idea...why don’t we do thirteen BONGS, then we’ll be one ahead of ‘em. That’ll show ‘em we mean business.” “Oh...OK, then.”

BONG!!

BONG!!

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith...

Editor’s comment...

The current City squad of 24 is made up of 20 (83.3%) foreigners covering Netherlands, Germany (six) Scotland (two) Switzerland (two) France, Norway, Bosnia Herzegovina, Slovakia, Cuba, Argentina and Finland. A familiar pattern thoroughly the Premier League.

The Premier League relies on free movement, around 40% of its players are non-EU nationals. We are yet to find out whether there will be work permits and rules which could include special treatment for footballers.

The league are apparently confident restrictions will not be placed on European players. They believe that England is leading the world as the top brand for professional football. In the other corner is England boss, Gareth Southgate, who continues to see a reduced opportunity for home talent to find a starting position in the top league.

Interesting times.

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