James Beattie has today issued a ‘come and get me’ plea to The Royal Bank of Scotland after admitting he feels his time at Stoke City is drawing to an end. When asked where he sees himself come the end of the January transfer window, the burly front-man replied “being showered with money whilst I watch poor people cry at the tips of my fine Italian shoes. Ideally a corner office, but I’m not picky”.
Beattie’s statement comes after a week of unrest at the club. Started by an alleged dressing-room dispute about a promised day off after the Christmas party during which, it is rumoured, the manager and player embarked on a naked brawl in the course of which Pulis’ head butted Beattie. In the confusion, it is also possible that his butt headed Beattie, but all eyewitnesses have since gouged out their eyes.
No apology from either player or manager has been forthcoming and Beattie feels that their differences cannot be reconciled. The striker is of the opinion that if you want the best talent to stay at the club you have to reward them with days off . “My message is clear, when we start playing well again then we can have less days off, but right now we need a stimulus to play well. You’d think money would work, but all the roll-neck jumpers in the world won’t make me try harder to get on the end of a cross. I want to be rewarded for poor performance, and that’s why I can only see a career for myself in the banking sector”.
The manager’s position is equally stubborn, firmly repeating that the club had a “veto” over the decision to award players with a day off, and in light of the poor performance, he feels that any time off should be limited and reasonable. Pulis is expected to confirm today that annual leave now has to be limited to a strict 175 days, not including headbutt injuries. Though the manager intimated that he may now move to further limit the leave of his senior players saying “you would expect the broadest shoulders to bear the greatest burden, and James’ shoulders are very broad indeed”.
The reaction of the fans to the situation has been equally vociferous. Jake Punchington, head of the Stoke City supporters group, believes that resorting to a one-off high impact head based sanction on Beattie is a damning indictment of a manager struggling to assert his authority. “Unprovoked violence is not what Stoke City are about”, he said, somehow keeping a straight face.