Things are heating up as the Premier League season draws to a close, quite literally for one for St James' Park hero, as Back of the Net's John Foster reveals...
Fearing their Champions League bid may be derailed at the last by divine disfavour, Newcastle United have announced plans to appease the football gods by making a human sacrifice of cult hero Rob Lee.
According to a statement released by the club today, a pyre of wooden idols and animal carcasses will be erected outside St JamesÃ¢ÂÂ Park before the clubÃ¢ÂÂs season-ending clash with Everton.
Ex-midfield general Lee, who made over 350 appearances for the Magpies between 1992 and 2002, will be bound to a totem in the middle of the pyre, his body painted with charms, mystic symbols, and the Champions League logo.
Then, director Derek Llambias, stripped naked and smeared in holy oils, will set the pyre alight, in the hope that the sacrifice of the clubÃ¢ÂÂs former captain will be sufficient to prevent Tottenham from claiming victory against Fulham, or Arsenal from claiming any points at West Brom.
Ã¢ÂÂWeÃ¢ÂÂd hoped to have our destiny in our own hands going into the final day,Ã¢ÂÂ commented manager Alan Pardew. Ã¢ÂÂBut as it turns out, our destiny is, as ever, in the hands of the ichor god, Bel-Shamharoth.
Ã¢ÂÂAfter the Man City game, it became clear that Bel-Shamharoth was angry. So I consulted some runes, had a chat with the chairman, and we both agreed the best way to appease his anger is with an offering of blood.Ã¢ÂÂ
Lee, 46, declared himself Ã¢ÂÂhonouredÃ¢ÂÂ to be selected for the rite.
Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs not every day you offer yourself in burnt tribute to the Eater of Souls, but IÃ¢ÂÂve never run away from big decisions,Ã¢ÂÂ the one time Wycombe Wanderers midfielder told FourFourTwo.com.
Ã¢ÂÂAfter all, finishing fourth is the most important thing these days.uÃ¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂOnce in the Otherworld, I shall journey to the Dark Mountain to make entreaties to the Beyond Ones, and hopefully we can avoid a playoff against someone like Atletico Madrid.Ã¢ÂÂ
The sacrifice, which will be presented by Donna Air, will be shown live to subscribers of Newcastle UnitedÃ¢ÂÂs official television channel, and will be sponsored by Sports Direct.