England players unhappy with post-season matches

Disgruntled England stars are protesting at being made to play matches even though the season is finished, Back of the Net reports...

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Led by team steward Wayne Rooney, England begrudgingly took to the field against Ireland on Sunday but refused to do anything not mandated by their contracts, including passing forwards, shooting at goal, and breaking a sweat.

"It's June," Rooney said. "The season is clearly over, but there we were in Dublin for the sake of the bosses.

"I told the lads that nobody could force them to get stuck in early doors, and that lost causes were lost for a reason. I couldn't be prouder of their lack of effort.

"It was good of the Irish team to strike in sympathy," he added. "They didn't come close to threatening our picket line."

The game was played mainly at walking pace, while the second half saw a go-slow led by Adam Lallana.

The Liverpool man expertly broke up his own team's attacks before lifting his jersey to reveal the slogan, 'Incompetence is no grounds for dismissal', in support of his manager Brendan Rodgers.

He later led the England bench in a tuneless but rousing chorus of "We shall overcome," to which a handful of unidentified younger players added the lines 'no surrender'.

Rooney later confirmed that until his players were adequately compensated for their time, they would refuse to attend training sessions, practice penalties, or pose in their tracksuits for moody publicity photos.

Boss Roy Hodgson said he was disappointed by the industrial action, and added that he expected a far more hard-working style of incompetence for next weekend's clash with Slovenia.

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