An investigation is underway at Craven Cottage following accusations that Fulham’s matchday programmes are simply repurposed copies of literary magazine Granta, with a teamsheet crudely stapled to the back.
It is not known how long fans have been buying copies of the quarterly journal, which since 1979 has published short fiction by rising stars of the British literary establishment.
“I always read the programme with my pie and my pint at half time,” Fulham fan David Ilcombe, 47, told Back of the Net. “But recently, where you’d expect to see a Q&A with Steve Sidwell, there’s a first-person monologue by Ian McEwan imagining the inner lives of an unhappy Notting Hill couple during Carnival weekend.
“Instead of the lowdown on our next opponents there’s a thing about the 10 best German novelists under 40. You expect a few pieces like that, obviously, but I thought things were going too far when they replaced the chairman’s column with a poem by Jeanette Winterson.
“I didn’t really get it,” Ilcombe added, “though now I know much more about issues of identity and belonging in contemporary British lesbianism, which I must admit is something Martin Jol rarely touches on.”
Pundits are already drawing comparisons with the 1990 World Cup, which saw the BBC mistakenly broadcast over a hundred hours of Italian opera instead of the fourteenth edition of football’s showpiece event - though in hindsight, most fans supported the decision.
Meanwhile, Granta have announced record sales of their latest issue, featuring the previously unpublished Adam Foulds story, Ten Things You Never Knew About Dimitar Berbatov.
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