Rupert swears off football

The Mail & Guardian can reliably speculate that the three South African businessmen linked to a rumoured £300-million takeover of English Premier League side Newcastle United balked at the deal after hearing foul-mouthed Irish coach Joe ”JFK” Kinnear on the rampage.

Arriving at his first press conference as caretaker coach at the club, JFK abruptly asked Daily Mirror reporter Simon Bird to identify himself.

When Bird raised his hand, Kinnear told him: ”You are a cunt.”

”Thank you,” was Bird’s stunned response.

”Which one is [Niall] Hickman?” Kinnear asked. Before Daily Express reporter Hickman could indicate, the coach unleashed a diatribe in which he used ”fuck” or its variants 52 times — hence the addition of the ”F” to his initials.

South African tobacco baron Johann Rupert, billionaire entrepreneur Vivian Imerman and BidVest executive chair Brian Joffe have all denied media reports that they are bidding for Newcastle.

The hacks had written that on his first day at work, Kinnear gave his players a day off instead of holding a training session. The club lies a lowly 18th on the league table.

”You are out of order. Absolutely fucking out of order,” he told Hickman. ”If you do it again, I am telling you, you can fuck off and go to another ground. I will not come and stand for that fucking crap. No fucking way. Fuck, you’re saying I turned up and they [Newcastle’s players] fucked off!”

When one of the reporters objected that he wouldn’t ask for a day off on his first day at work, JFK countered with another dry witticism: ”It’s none of your fucking business. What the fuck are you going to do? You ain’t got the balls to be a fucking manager. Fucking day off!”

When the reporters continued probing his absence, he explained: ”I was meeting the fucking chairman, the owner, everyone else.”

The browbeaten hacks were given the choice of being roundly abused or getting no information at all.

”None of your business,” was JFK’s reply to a question about the length of his contract. ”Write what you like — makes no difference to me. Don’t affect me, I assure you.”

No wonder Rupert told the media: ”I have a preference for cricket and rugby. I don’t know anything about football and I’m not a football man.”

Said Imerman’s spokesperson: ”Vivian Imerman can reconfirm that he has no involvement whatsoever with any proposed purchase of Newcastle United nor any other football club.”

Rupert has now been linked to the possible purchase of Blackburn Rovers. Is this because Blackburn coach, former fiery England midfielder Paul Ince, is now a model of restraint?

An actual Black Friday deal

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Percy Zvomuya
Percy Zvomuya is a writer and critic who has written for numerous publications, including Chimurenga, the Mail & Guardian, Moto in Zimbabwe, the Sunday Times and the London Review of Books blog. He is a co-founder of Johannesburg-based writing collective The Con and, in 2014, was one of the judges for the Caine Prize for African Writing.

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