Dubai: Manchester City fans were left fooled by their own club on Tuesday after details of a new slide from the top of the Etihad Stadium’s South Stand were announced in the best of the day’s April Fools’ jokes.
A Filipina architect named Flora Pi Lo, an anagram of April Fool, unveiled plans for the 1,204-foot ‘Moon Slide’ via the club’s official website.
In keeping with the club’s ‘Blue Moon’ theme song, fans were told they could travel on bespoke moon buggies to vacate the stadium in just 25 seconds using special moon rock tokens starting from spring 2015.
Elsewhere, Tottenham Hotspur fans were relieved when they found out plans to move into Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium as part of a new groundshare agreement were false.
The Daily Express reported that the north London rivals would move in together from 2016/17, with Arsenal taking £40 million (Dh245 million) in rent from Spurs per season to spend on new players. The agreement, the report claimed, would save Tottenham £400 million in costs to refurbish White Hart Lane, while seats would alternate between the two clubs’ colours.
Other April Fools’ Day pranks included a report from the Daily Mirror that said Manchester United were about to release a new sky-blue away kit from next season similar to their rival’s Manchester City. The move was said to be an attempt to reverse coach David Moyes’ poor fortunes and tap into the Asian market, where blue is apparently now seen as a lucky colour given City’s success.
The Independent also reported that Moyes’ chair in the Old Trafford dugout had been installed with a two-way speaker system direct to his predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson’s seat in the stands. The company responsible for the design was reportedly called ‘Mak In Gitup’.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reported that the England national team were releasing a yellow kit for this summer’s Fifa World Cup in order to pay homage to hosts Brazil, with one official saying: “If we want to play like Brazil, we should start looking like them.”
Chelsea didn’t escape the false headlines, either. The Evening Standard reported that stand-in boss Rafael Benitez last season was returning to Stamford Bridge to join Jose Mourinho in a ‘managerial dream team’. Benitez’s release from Napoli was on condition of Eden Hazard going the other way and Fernando Torres going to Inter Milan in order to weaken their squad and improve Napoli’s Serie A chances.
Betfair also announced that robot referees would be trialled by the end of the season.
But perhaps the most convincing of the pranks surprisingly came from the usually straight-faced officials at the Football Association (FA). They claimed the original transfer window — a 112-year-old wooden frame from which documents pertaining to player’s contracts were passed — would be exhibited at the National Football Museum.
The FA said the window, which coined the phrase ‘transfer window’, never had a blind and only opened twice a year no matter how hot the office got.