Hefty bans have been handed out following the A-League pre-season melee between the Jets and the Phoenix despite the aggressors presenting a highly plausible defense. During the hearing to decide the fate of those involved, the player that sparked the brawl, Manny Muscat, revealed that it was all just an elaborate welcome to the new FFA chief executive, David Gallop.
“Although it hadn’t been officially announced, news leaked into the dressing room before kick off that Gallop was the new boss (of the FFA). I had a quick chat with the players and we thought it best to welcome the man in the best way he knows how… with a big, pungent, steaming heap of controversy” Muscat revealed as the players faced the match review committee.
As he elaborated on the ‘welcome party’ it became even more apparent that the entire event was orchestrated by Muscat, and it was only through some quick thinking and the help of technology that he managed to get his opponent Tiago Calvano involved.
“We were trying to fire the Jets boys up in the tunnel to goad them into a bit of biffo, but I was struggling with Calvano as my Portuguese is more piss weak than Ronaldo following the slightest contact to his face. But then I was hit with some Gallop-spiration. I quickly borrowed Ricki Herbert’s I-phone and showed Tiago the infamous picture of Joel Monaghan and the dog with the blurry face. Turns out Calvano’s a real dog lover as they’re everywhere in Brasil. You could almost see the stream coming out of his ears… he was always going in hard. After that I just had to clock him one in the face, you know, as a congenial gesture to Mr Gallop.”
Despite his honest omissions, Muscat was still handed a 4 match ban by the FFA but was philosophical following the punishment. “Look, it’s only right that Gallop is immediately shown that suspensions & the name Muscat are synonymous in Australian football. I’m just glad I was able to make him feel at home in the A-League and get him up to speed.”
Other players involved, such as the Phoenix’s Ben Sigmund and Andrew Durante were also handed bans for charging in swinging during the incident that cleared both the benches. Durante’s defense was similar to Muscat’s as he explained his part in the fisty-cuffs. “For both teams to come running in like that is unheard of in the pre-season, especially after only 20 minutes or so. Plus there wasn’t even that much in the tackle. So i’d say it is pretty clear from the outside that this brawl was our way of rolling out the red carpet for the finest sports administrator in the country.”
Durante was probed further by the committee to try to reveal his motivation for this violent show of hospitality. “It was a momentous day” he states “I mean, the fact that Gallop can now say the word ‘football’ and it actually convey the correct meaning is landmark.”
When asked by the press outside what he believes Gallop might add to roundball in Australia, Durante said “well, we’ve got a new TV deal coming up and there are also mining magnates galore wanting their piece of the A-league, so there appears to be some cash money on the horizon for us players. So I dare say (Gallop’s) experience of being equipped to deal with a bunch of overpaid, uneducated, ultra-competitive morons who are generally a pretty thirsty lot with far too much time on their hands, might just come in handy.
But mostly i’m looking forward to a few rule changes. Maybe ’10 in the bin’ following a yellow card, or even tweaking the shoulder to shoulder contact law to also permit full-blooded shoulder charges. We do that, then the likes a SBW, Folau and Hunt might all be up for a code switch. I mean, another code switch.”
Muscat, Calvano and Sigmund were unavailable for comment following the hearing, as they were all off to the pub for a heavy session followed by a trip to the local tattoo artist.
It appears the welcome for David Gallop is only just beginning.