Last Thursday, barmy Barcelona president Joan Ã¢ÂÂJoanÃ¢ÂÂ Laporta was slumped on his throne, in the deepest darkest corner of the Kingdom Cataluyna.
Poor Joan was not a happy bunny.
Stroking the trigger of his PinSat laser deathray, he chuckled as he reflected fondly on those dreamy days spent taking sub-orbital potshots at RonaldinhoÃ¢ÂÂs agent or bailing out Oleguer after his latest bar brawl.
But then his smile faded. Laporta knew something was missing from his life.
The BarÃÂ§a bigwigÃ¢ÂÂs mood of melancholy was further worsened when the grey, sleep-deprived, sweaty face of RamÃÂ³n CalderÃÂ³n popped up on his gigantic plasmatron screen.
Ã¢ÂÂMafia! Conspiracy! Lizards! Aaarrrggggghhhh!Ã¢ÂÂ yelled his Real Madrid counterpart in one of the most bizarre press conferences held in la Liga since Miguel Angel Lotina burst into a chorus of Happy Talk after a Deportivo disaster. Ã¢ÂÂYou may have stolen the last two league titles, but youÃ¢ÂÂre not taking my role as the most paranoid Primera president!Ã¢ÂÂ yelled the fist-pumping Laporta, hurling his crown at the sixty-foot screen.
A president and a King. Don't ask.
With everything going tickety-boo on the field for his football team, Laporta had to get creative. And quickly. So, on Monday, Joan went before the press to reveal the conspiracy that Real MadridÃ¢ÂÂs journalistic minions were embarking on their own conspiracy to derail BarcelonaÃ¢ÂÂs fine form by complaining about Catalan referees.
Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs normal that when things are going well, people try to destabilise us,Ã¢ÂÂ opined Laporta on those terrible headlines in Marca claiming that Ã¢ÂÂthe Dream Team is backÃ¢ÂÂ and Sunday's evil editorial saying that Barcelona were Ã¢ÂÂa team with no limits, this season, in every competitionÃ¢ÂÂ.
Laporta also leapt upon the publication of footage of Messi spitting in DudaÃ¢ÂÂs direction, the previous Saturday, as further indication that those in Castle Greyskull are rocked and rattled. Although La Liga Loca thinks that if someone canÃ¢ÂÂt have a good gob on the football field then thereÃ¢ÂÂs something wrong with the world, this particular locomotive of controversy appears to have ground to a shuddering halt just a few metres out of the station. Not unlike the Barcelona metro.
Mundo Deportivo have put their inky-fingered weight behind LaportaÃ¢ÂÂs latest rant with Francesc Aguilar asking if Ã¢ÂÂpeople are that afraid of Pep GuardiolaÃ¢ÂÂs BarÃÂ§a?Ã¢ÂÂ However, his opining partner-in-crime, Santi Nolla, has come out with all Catalan guns blazing by pointing out that Barcelona are currently top of not one but three European leagues. Ã¢ÂÂIn Europe there are two more leaders,Ã¢ÂÂ wrote Santi, possibly swigging some turps. Ã¢ÂÂThe Chelsea of Deco in England and the Milan of Ronaldinho in ItalyÃ¢ÂÂ.
"You will support us. You will support us. You will..."
SportÃ¢ÂÂs efforts are focussed on getting those lazy-boned, workshy, armchair loving Barcelona fans out of their houses and into the Camp Nou for TuesdayÃ¢ÂÂs Champions League clash against Basel.
And to do this, they have produced a handy five-point plan on why being rained on for two hours is a fine way to spend the evening.
1) To see the team qualify for the next stages. 2) The chance to watch another thrashing of some hapless footballing stooge. 3) To respond to the good work of Guardiola. 4) Help continue the run of wins. 5) Joan Laporta knows where you live and will destroy your houses with his deathray.
At least one of those should be incentive enough.