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So the England's Brave John Terry verdict is in. This is the sort of story that gives the Fiver all sorts of problems, truth be told, so we're going to play it straight. We know you'll agree with that decision. But as a reward for your understanding and patience, we've commissioned a clown to tell us a funny joke at the end of the article.

England's Brave John Terry has been found not guilty of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand.

[Mr Chuckles arrives in his car]

The 31-year-old Chelsea captain has been cleared of a racially aggravated public order offence.

[The doors fall off Mr Chuckles' car]

Delivering his verdict, the chief magistrate Howard Riddle said the case was not about whether EBJT was "a r@cist in the broadest sense of the word".

[Steam parps out of the bonnet of Mr Chuckles' car]

He had heard a great deal of evidence to show that he was not, Riddle said, adding: "It is understandable why [EBJT] wants to make this point; his reputation is at stake."

[The square wheels fall off Mr Chuckles' car]

Alison Saunders, the chief crown prosecutor for London, said: "The very serious allegation at the heart of this case was one of racial abuse.

[Mr Chuckles falls out of his car]

"It was our view that this was not 'banter' on the football pitch and that the allegation should be judged by a court.

[Mr Chuckles' auguste, Señor Humour, enters, carrying a bucket]

"The chief magistrate agreed that Mr Terry had a case to answer …

[Señor Humour throws the contents of the bucket over Mr Chuckles' head]

"… but having heard all of the evidence he acquitted [EBJT] of a racially aggravated offence.

[It's shiny multi-coloured confetti]

"That is justice being done and we respect the chief magistrate's decision."

[Mr Chuckles asks Señor Humour to smell his funny flower]

Riddle also praised Ferdinand for having come forward for the trial.

[Don't smell Mr Chuckles' funny flower, Señor Humour!]

He said it was a "brave" thing to do.

[Señor Humour smells Mr Chuckles' funny flower]

The case was unusual in that the chief prosecution witness, Ferdinand, had not himself complained of racial abuse.

[Whoosh! Hose! Splash!]

Police proceedings were initiated as a result of a single complaint made by an off-duty police officer watching the game on television.

[That's a very funny flower]

MR CHUCKLES: I say, I say, I say, why are elephants so poor?

SEÑOR HUMOUR: I don't know, why are elephants so poor?

MR CHUCKLES: Because they work for peanuts!


MR CHUCKLES: I say, I say, I say, what is the biggest ant in the world?

SEÑOR HUMOUR: I don't know, what is the biggest ant in the world?

MR CHUCKLES: An elephant!

[swannee whistle]

MR CHUCKLES: I say, I say, I say, what's big and grey and protects you from the rain?

[Señor Humour punches Mr Chuckles firmly in the mouth]


"I know I can still bang them in at the top level. I proved that nearly every time I played for Man Utd. At 32, still got a few years in me" – Michael Owen says he's still got it. Five Premier League goals in his three-year spell at Manchester United suggest otherwise.


Now we come to think about it, the story about Pope's Newc O'Rangers getting banished to the fourth tier of Scottish fitba doesn't really merit humour either. Plenty of you will be enjoying a good hearty rush of schadenfreude at the misfortune of the fallen Ibrox giants, of course, but fair's fair, it's not their supporters' fault that their club has been driven into the ground by a shower of footpads. After all, nobody laughed when Nasty Leeds were … well, OK, but you get the point. It's a bit grim to kick folk when they're down. So we're going to play it straight. We know you'll agree with that decision. But as a reward for your understanding and patience, we've asked Mr Chuckles to cheer us all up at the end of the piece.

Scottish Football League clubs have voted against the Pope's Newc O'Rangers entering the SFL First Division.

[Mr Chuckles enters pedalling furiously on a very small bike]

The decision potentially places the club into SFL Division Three for the start of the new campaign.

[Mr Chuckles falls off the bike]

At a meeting at Hampden Park, 25 out of 30 SFL chairmen dismissed a plan to accept Rangers in the Scottish game's second tier.

[Señor Humour arrives, carrying a large pie]

Rangers had previously had their bid to start life in the Scottish Premier League unanimously rejected by that division's member clubs.

[Mr Chuckles picks up a bucket and empties it over Señor Humour's head]

Scotland's football authorities had been anxious to secure a First Division place for Rangers to avoid what they estimate as a £16m loss to the game. 

[Splish! Splash! Soak! The bucket was full of water]

The SFL chief executive, David Longmuir, said: "The member clubs of the Scottish Football League have today voted to willingly accept the [Pope's Newc O'Rangers] as an associate member of the Scottish Football League.

[Mr Chuckles asks Señor Humour to smell his funny flower]

"Furthermore, the Scottish Football League's only acceptable position will be to place [the Pope's Newc O'Rangers] into the Third Division of the Irn-Bru Scottish Football League from the start of this season."

[Don't smell Mr Chuckles' funny flower, Señor Humour!]

"I'm comfortable today that the Scottish Football League made a very, very decisive decision that was based on sporting fairness.

[Señor Humour smells Mr Chuckles' funny flower]

"I think the Scottish Football League were in the right place to make that decision.

[Whoosh! Hose! Splash!]

The SFA is now expected to suggest league reconstruction, in order to parachute Newc O'Rangers into a new, larger second-tier division.

[Señor Humour cocks his arm back in order to fling his pie into Mr Chuckles' face]

A club statement said: "It is now understood that on the back of a briefing SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster and SFA counterpart Stewart Regan gave to clubs last week that the SPL will introduce a plan for SPL 2 – which would include Rangers – and invite existing Division One members to join."

[Mr Chuckles pulls Señor Humour's arm round, sending the pie into Señor Humour's face]

But as things stand, Newc O'Rangers look likely to face the likes of Elgin City, Berwick and East Stirlingshire.

[That's a very funny pie]

MR CHUCKLES: Are you the front end of a donkey?


MR CHUCKLES: Are you the back end of a donkey?


MR CHUCKLES: Then you must be no end of an @ss!

[Señor Humour toe-punts Mr Chuckles squarely in the trousers]


"If Nottingham Forest's new owners became fabulously wealthy from air conditioning and cooling systems, does that make them fridge magnates?" – Matt Shelton.

"Who is Chris Blane (yesterday's Fiver letters) trying to kid? If he unsubscribed from the Fiver a month ago, how does he know of Don Sinclair's trouble in receiving the Fiver in USA! USA!! USA!!!? Unless he has, in fact, cracked time travel and read about Don's troubles before he unsubscribed, in which case why did he not say so last month when time travel was all Fiver readers could talk about?" – Mario Michael (and 1,056 others).

"Today I received my Fiver but only thanks to Brian Cronin who was kind enough to forward it to me. I tried three doors down on the right – no one home, so tried No4, where I met a charming divorcee with absolutely no interest in football at all. She does, however, have a number of other sporting interests. Thanks for that. As far as I can see unsubscribing is an exercise in futility as you apparently continue to receive it but apparently don't read it. Stranger and stranger" – Don Sinclair.

Send your letters to the.boss@guardian.co.uk. And if you've nothing better to do you can also tweet the Fiver.


Step one: open an account with Blue Square and deposit any amount; step two: place a bet of at least £5 on any sport; step three: we will match your bet with a free bet of up to £25.


We keep trying to point out the utter futility of advertising an online dating service "for interesting people" in the Fiver to the naive folk who run Guardian Soulmates, but they weren't having any of it. So here you go – sign up here to view profiles of the kind of erudite, sociable and friendly romantics who would never dream of going out with you.


Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Mr 15% has dismissed rumours his client is about to join PSG. That, or he's providing the inside track on US-Chinese trade talks. It's hard to tell. "Is everything done with PSG? We are far away or, to put it better, we are as close [to agreeing terms] as America and China," moustache-twirled Mino Raiola.

Fabio Borini is a cough-for-the-doctor away from signing for Liverpool after the club agreed a fee thought to be around £12m for the striker with Roma.

Meanwhile, Alberto Aquilani will return to Anfield this season. "Aquilani will remain at Liverpool. He has a contract and hence there is nothing new," said his Mr 15% Franco Zavaglia, who hasn't let said contract stand in the way of his charge playing for Milan and Juventus for the last two seasons.

And Inter president Massimo Moratti has joined Lord Ferg and Roberto Di Matteo in giving Sao Paolo winger Lucas Moura the glad eye. "He is a player that has great talent. We are watching him closely," stalked Moratti.


Barney Roney reckons it's time to cut Andre Villas-Boas some slack – after all, he only wants to be the most important man in the known footballing universe.

David Hytner interviews Tottenham's Kyle Walker and keeps a straight face as the defender reveals "there are no egos at Spurs".


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