Wembley: like the KC only bigger
Fans of Championship Playoff rivals Hull City and Bristol City were today united in protest at the last minute decision by the Football League to switch the venue for Saturday's final from Wembley in North London to Twickenham Stadium in the leafy South-West of the capital.
"It is regrettable that we have had to make this last minute decision and I would like to apologise for the inconvenience to those travelling supporters, especially those who will be refused admittance owing to the smaller capacity at Twickenham," said league supremo Brian Mawhinney.
"But unfortunately we were left with no choice when it became apparent that the original venue was double booked with the Neasden and Dollis Hill Line Dancing Association's annual festival."
Twickenham: odd shaped balls
Rumours that the event was switched at the request of a local journalist were firmly quashed by Mr Mawhinney.
"It is ridiculous to suggest, as I have seen in some local papers, that this unfortunate last minute change in venue is for any reason other than that which I have already explained."
However speaking from the bar of the Rifleman public house in Twickenham, Spraying the Rays' Beer and Football correspondent Stray Photon issued the following statement:
"I only realised a couple of days ago that Wembley is bloody miles away from where I live. I mean it might take me as long as an hour or more to get there. Don't you think I've got better things to do with my time than stand on a tube train with a load of sweaty Northerners pointing and gawping at London's electric lighting and modern sanitary facilities?"
Mr Photon continued, "I just gave old Mawhinney a ring and reminded him about some rather unsavoury episodes from his past that he might prefer did not come to the attention of my colleagues on the national news desks, for example his membership of the Conservative party amongst other things, and bingo, it was sorted."
Mawhinney: dubious associates
Bristol City manager Gary Johnson was quick to express his unhappiness about the situation: "Now we've got to reprogramme the Satnav thingy and I've lost the instructions. Bother."
Meanwhile, in Twickenham itself local residents seemed unaware of the change in plans. "Ooh no, dearie, think you've got that wrong," one passer by told STR's on-the-spot reporter earlier today. "I think they only do pop concerts there nowadays. We've got that lovely REM lot coming up soon, and then of ourse there's the Ariels' comeback tour finishing up there as well."
Michael Stipe was unavailable for comment.Next week: Bristol's day of glory: full report