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A Symptom of a Greater Malaise
with Grant Mortar
Grant Mortar on the Transfer that Rocked Football
The Deadline Day Shocker to end all Deadline Day Shockers:  
Katie ‘Jordan’ Price Joins Sky Sports For World Record Fee
Lightning fizzed. Thunder pummelled through the sky. The 
clocks stopped. Midnight on the thirty-first day of January 
and a gigantic boulder rolled slowly into place, covering the 
gaping maw which was heretofore known as the Transfer Window, and forever the world was changed. Forever,
31st January 2011 will be known as Maximum Overdrive Momentous Motherfucking Monday, at least until the
next big Transfer Window shuts. 

Here, HDUK soccer correspondent Grant Mortar looks back on how our soccer landscape came to be
changed for good, and also at how Sky Sports heroically managed to hold back ‘the forces of darkness’ and preserve its moral integrity when, all about them, everyone else was losing theirs.

Rome wasn’t built in a day…

Let’s set the scene. And to do that we need to set the timers on the DeLorean back a
meagre three weeks. Of course, with the benefit of hindsight we can see that Sky Sports
football department had becoa bloated, decaying mess ripe for a fall. If you know your
history, the behind the scenes behaviour was very much like that of the courtiers in Rome
in the last, tumultuous days of Nero. 

The previous regime’s roost-rulers, its Neros if you will, were the hirsute Richard Keys and
the growling Andy Gray. Two unlikelier looking men to take over the empire have never
been seen before. Keys had the look of a half-turned werewolf and Gray that of a Scottish
security system repairsman after a night on the tiles in Aberdeen. That they managed to
pull off the illusion, convincing the world that the Sky Sports product, the Premier League,
comprised the one true God, was their saving grace.

It enabled them to develop a monotheistic system with themselves as high-priests. They won all the power as though in a game of Top Trumps.

The Empire Strikes Back

The Sky Sports soccer empire, at its height, stretched from one side of the globe to the other, and 
was the envy of many (as Keys was later to observe). With a geographical spread greater than that 
of the Romans or Alexander the Great, the Sky Sports soccer empire looked unstoppable. And yet,
the seeds of its destruction were sown from within. The ‘forces of darkness’ which Keys talked 
about were in fact those in the head of his werewolf-alike body, and in that of Gray’s whisky-fuelled 
mug. Their hedonistic tendencies, their ultimate lack of respect for the one true God, Premier 
League football, was to prove their ultimate undoing, as we shall see.

Porno for Pyros

The renowned historian Harry Redknapp (left) takes up the reins of description: ‘The scenes at
Sky Sports Towers were positively pornographic. Such was the gruesome twosome’s lust for
sugar, spice and all things nice, they often hired ladies of the night should a game proceed into
Extra Time, claiming it was some new form of prayer.  Job interviews consisted of candidates
smearing their bodies in butter and ‘performing’ for the gruesome twosome. It was Key’s
particular penchant to have the excess hair on his hands surgically lazered off by a dame
dressed as Cleopatra. This generally happened on the very desk on which they would later
discuss developments in the matches. A sacrilege, really.’

The inevitable crash

But their empire was soon to come crashing around their ears after Gray was videoed eating packet after packet of peanuts from a piece of cardboard, mid-show, when he should have been concentrating on the stats board. With each packet he ate, more and more of the image that was on the piece of cardboard was revealed; more and more of the image of a scantily clad young woman who had no more asked for Gray’s wandering eyes all over her than she had to become the face of mid-game snack-food. This, allied with Keys’ stubborn refusal to allow a make-up girl to touch his hallowed skin without wearing gloves, were to prove the straws which broke the footballing camels’ backs.   

And so, from drink-fuelled orgies and gladiators on drugs to self-flagellation and prayer, 24/7 in a matter of days, that’s what we’re talking about. It seems the Romans (Sky) simply couldn’t wait to get all straight-laced.

‘It rather looks as though Sky have developed the equivalent of the Catholic guilt complex,’ says Redknapp. 
‘And in this case, the employment of the buxom Jordan is the equivalent of saying a hundred Hail Mary’s. It’s 
penance, if you will.’

Terry Venables (right) agrees: ‘Sky want the whole world to know they are sorry after the Keysgate affair, and 
bringing Jordan in, expensive though the fee may be, is like wearing a hair-shirt or going in the stocks in 
public. It’s making amends, holding out a hand, and saying look, we’re not perfect, nobody is, but we’re 

Sky, who announced record profits this year, are understood to be unhappy with Venables’ description of 
them as being ‘not perfect’ and, indeed, pointed to their swift move to replace Keys and Gray as evidence 
that they were, in fact, the once true church after all. 

The New Priestess 

The world of football was well and truly rocked, in a manner akin to Richard Curtis’s boat in that film, this week
when Katie ‘Jordan’ Price completed her shock move to Sky, where she’ll front the football coverage for the
foreseeable future.  

Sky Sports are thought to have paid a world record fee which could approach £100m once all the various
clauses have been taken into account. A figure which will dwarf the previous record, the £80m which Real
Madrid paid Manchester United to secure the services of Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009. 

Cleaning out the closet

Katie ‘Jordan’ Price, 48, will, Sky hope, act like a breath of fresh air. ‘Price will 
dust out our cupboards and that. She’ll freshen up the show in all the right 
places. And she’ll also tick all the boxes when it comes to Equal Opportunities 
and that,’ said a Sky Sports flunky, Wayne Stubble. 

‘We know Price has her knockers at the moment, but she’s already shown a 
good eye for the analytical side of the game, and she can be counted on, 
without question, to never come out with anything in the remotest bit sexist 
because she’s a girl and girls can’t be sexist or something.’

‘And besides, her job won’t be that difficult. It doesn’t matter if she doesn’t 
understand offside, though we have tried to explain it to her using condiments 
in the canteen a la Billy Liar. You see, all a Sky Sports presenter really has 
to do is keep plumping the ‘product’. We pay so much for the rights to show 
football, that we have to make our money back somehow… Thus you’ll never 
see any proper analysis or criticism, not here.’

A good move

More support for the new partnership came from the unlikely source of TalkShite’s resident wife-beater Stan
Collymore (left): ‘This is a move that will suit both parties. Jordan’s stock has hit rock bottom recently after her
will they, won’t they antics with erstwhile hubbie Alex ‘The Reidenator’ Reid. And the Sky Sports name has
been dragged through a hedge backwards after the scandal known as Keysgate in which the former presenter
was discovered to be two-parts Velociraptor.’

Poisoned Chalice

But it’s not all positive commentary. Long-time Keys supporter and close family member Alicia Keys 
(right), who two years ago discovered she was Richard’s long-lost sister, still talks about ‘forces of 
darkness’ coming to hunt Jordan down. ‘Jordan will see that the soccer hot-seat has become more like 
an ejector seat,’ said Alicia Keys. ‘And she’d better get her marigolds on because they’ll have her doing 
all kinds of scrubbing to get their reputation clean again.’

Mortar’s Comment

It remains to be seen how Katie ‘Jordan’ Price will do in her new role, but one thing’s for sure,
she has the opportunity to bring in regime change from top to bottom. She’s a new broom, and
that can only be a good thing. Because we need priestesses like her to ensure we maintain the
sanctity of the Premier League as the one true God. Man, woman, black, white, ruddy 
Polka-dotted. I don’t care, as long as the product is safe, our Holy Grail.

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