An Open Letter To England Fans From Paul Downton

Subject: An Open Letter To England Fans From Paul Downton
From: Mr Downton
Date: 31 Mar 2015

Dear Fans,

Hi. I'm Paul, but you can call me Mr Downton. You might remember me from the bank, which, regrettably for you, I no longer work at. You didn't meet me recently - I keep my interactions with people outside cricket as infrequent as possible - but earlier this week some of the gentlemen of the press started going on at me about public dissatisfaction and the welfare of the England cricket team. But what mattered to me wasn't public dissatisfaction or the welfare of the England cricket team; it was my pride and ego, so I didn't address those questions.

Which is a shame, because the points you weren't able to make do actually deserve answers. Although not - and I can't emphasise this enough - as much as I deserve not to have to eat any humble pie, especially as it's been going cold since the day I started my new job. Now, before I go any further, I should clarify exactly what my current position is because, having spent the last year being a faceless yet incredibly damaging influence which has brought misery to millions, many still seem to think I do actually still work in the banking sector. I don't. I work full-time running the ECB.

So, for the people who weren't at the press conference, let me describe the kerfuffle. With no warning except a call from my exemplary head of media a day earlier, people with microphones and voice recorders burst into the room where I was trying to get some work done and started asking me questions. What were they hoping to achieve? I expect they hoped to find me leading Giles Clarke around on some diamante leash as we both quaffed champagne. And then, instead of doing something educational, like altering my words so that they made some sort of sense and didn't come across as the deranged rantings of a man whose business bookmakers would kill to secure, those very same press men then aggressively decided to print my words verbatim. I'm sorry, fans. That's not basic journalism, but a global conspiracy to make me look an elitist ninny.

You also claim that the ECB have propped up a failing captain with public school money. But here's the thing about the Alastair Cook bailout, fans. The plan was never to bail out Alastair Cook so that he could continue to make huge losses. That would be asinine. The idea was to support Alastair Cook with public school money, wait until he became profitable again, and then stick two fingers up at anyone who disagreed with us. People who, incidentally, are going to look pretty silly when we get the returns on that scheme sometime in 2018.

And that is the key thing you need to know about being an England cricket fan. It comes with conditions attached, namely that the game is still run by a group of rich, pompous men like me that would rather have to eat a plate of cold sick than admit that those beneath them might have been right all along.

I'm off for a quinoa paella.


Mr Downton