I've nicked this one from the Guardian's tea-timely e-mail: Enjoy!
THAT 8-0 RESULT EXPLAINED: IT APPEARS EVERYONE AT BESIKTAS IS GOING INSANE
Last Saturday, Besiktas were beaten by their Istanbul neighbours Fenerbahçe for the first time in more than six years. The 2-1 defeat was controversial: according to Today's Zaman, an Istanbul newspaper which quite literally talks our language, the game featured "hair-pulling, pushing, shoving, rough tackling and provocation by both sides, and above all, terrible refereeing decisions. It will go into the record books as one of the worst-officiated Istanbul derbies in the Turkish soccer league since its inception in 1959. There were so many obvious errors, so many wrong calls and so many non-calls that it would be impossible to enumerate all of them."
The worst refereeing performance since 1959? Impossible to enum-thing? Oh me, oh my, that's some bad whistlin'! But what did referee İsmet Arzuman do that was so wrong? Well, it seems he should have sent off Fenerbahçe's Brazilian star Deivid for a second bookable offence, and blew up for an injury-time foul by a Besiktas player only for Besiktas to, er, ignore the whistle, jog up the pitch and slot the ball in the net. All of which doesn't sound particularly heinous to us, especially as Besiktas missed three open goals and may want to put their own house in order first. "Except for a few mistakes, Arzuman refereed the match pretty well," came the ringing endorsement from Turkish Football Federation president Haluk Ulusoy. So let's just hope the reaction from Besiktas president Yıldırım Demirören was measured and proportionate, then, eh?
"Arzuman, who virtually caused a scandal on the pitch in the first 30 minutes with his never-ending one-sided calls, must give up officiating starting from today!" parped Demirören from the front page of the Besiktas website (www.volcanicfunk.tr). "As a protest, we have decided to play our upcoming game against Sivasspor with our youth team. We also ask our fans not to come to this game. If our sponsors want to cancel their contracts so be it. We are fed up with bad calls. These calls have already cost us two crucial derbies! If Mr Arzuman decides not to resign, we will reconsider our position and probably step on the field with our youth team in the following games as well."
Demirören's protest hasn't been confined to Turkey, either. Last night at Anfield, with the gaze of Europe upon them, Besiktas elected to drop their entire first team and replace them with heavy items of household furniture (4-5-1): Wardrobe; Bookcase, Sideboard, Really Quite Sturdy Hat Stand; Sofa; Chair, Chair, Dining Table, Chair, Chair; 42-inch Television Set. "We may have to part ways with some of our players," muttered a distracted Demirören after the side's subsequent 8-0 shellacking by Liverpool, perhaps wondering if Besiktas should have fielded Occasional Table, Pouffe and Four-Poster Bed instead.