Harry Redknapp finally walked out on QPR this week, citing impending knee surgery for his reason to quit.
It had absolutely nothing to do with the Londoners being in the relegation zone and having failed to win away all season. Absolutely not. Nuh-uh.
So we thought we'd take a look at football’s best ever excuses. We narrowed it down to these 11...
1. Mancini lacks “holistic approach”
There are many reasons why a manager can be fired. Not winning enough trophies, not avoiding relegation, failing to connect with the fans… but to lose your job because you’re not holistic enough, which was the reason given by Manchester City when they began their search for a new manager, was… odd.
2. No ball boys!
There wasn’t a great deal for Jose Mourinho to smile about during his time in Madrid. Another defeat by Barcelona at Camp Nou led the two-time Champions League winning boss to blame the lack of ball boys in the second half.
3. Grey day for United
Perhaps the most infamous excuse on this list comes from Manchester United, who claimed that their grey kit was to blame for the 3-0 scoreline at half time against Southampton in 1996. Alex Ferguson ordered his players to change colours at half time and, despite a slight improvement, they lost the game 3-1. “I told them to get changed at half time,” said Ferguson after the loss at the Dell. “They couldn’t see each other in that grey kit”.
4. Frogs to blame for Ukraine loss
Ukraine opened their 2006 World Cup campaign with a crushing 4-0 loss to Spain in Leipzig. And it was all down to the frogs outside the team’s hotel. Defender Vladislav Vashchuk explains: "Because of the frogs croaking we hardly got a wink of sleep. We all agreed that we would take some sticks and go and hunt them." Clearly the hunting expedition didn’t quite go to plan.
5. Dalglish blames bouncy balls
While manager of Newcastle, Kenny Dalglish rolled out this wonderful excuse as the reason for his team’s draw with non-league Stevenage Borough in the 1998 FA Cup. “The balls were too bouncy,” said a frustrated King Kenny.
David James was known for the odd clanger in the mid-'90s, but when he conceded three against Newcastle, his excuse surprised everyone: “I was on the PlayStation for hours on end last night. I was too busy playing Tekken II and Tomb Raider”
7. Card tricks
Frank Rijkaard’s Netherlands made a bad start to the 2000 European Championship and, when quizzed about it, he revealed that his players do not have their mind on the football. "My players prefer to play cards and have been taking little interest in what is happening elsewhere and that has disappointed me."
8. Wenger didn’t see it
Wenger is so good at not seeing things that he’s made it into something of an art form. Here’s a few of his best “I didn’t see it” moments…
- "I did not know anything about it. I didn't see it." …after an altercation between Nicklas Bendtner and Emmanuel Adebayor in 2008.
- "I do not want to score offside goals but I didn't see that, frankly." …after Robin van Persie’s offside goal at Stamford Bridge in 2008 was allowed to stand.
- "I don't know about food throwing. I did not see if something was thrown – you'll have to ask someone else, because I don't know." …after the infamous Old Trafford ‘Pizzagate’ incident in 2004.
- "I know nothing about that at all. I'm sorry, I can't speak about something I haven't seen." …after Cesc Fabregas was seen spitting at another player in 2009.
- "I didn't see Sol's challenge." …after Sol Campbell’s heavy challenge on Djemba-Djemba in the 2003 Community Sheld.
- "I didn't see the picture." …after a tabloid photo showed William Gallas smoking in 2008.
You get the idea.
9. Cheerleaders too distracting
Anyone who has been to Selhurst Park for a Crystal Palace game in recent years will tell you “The Crystals” are a fine addition to the pre-game entertainment. Everyone except one unnamed Palace fan, who claimed the eye-catching ladies are putting the players off their game. “When they come out waving their pom-poms I just hang my head,” he said. “They put everyone off the game – you see the players eyeing them up when they should be focusing on the game. The sooner they go the better.”
10. I Don’t Like Fridays
The 1989 title came down to one game: Liverpool vs Arsenal at Anfield. It was a winner-takes-all clash that took place on a Friday, rather than a Saturday. Arsenal won and Liverpool defender Alan Hansen later blamed Liverpool's defeat on the fact it was played on a Friday, not a Saturday. Pull the other one, Alan!
Raheem Sterling’s admission that he asked not to play for England in Estonia last year because he was tired raised a few eyebrows. How can a 19-year-old be tired, we hear you ask. Well, Roy Hodgson gave him the night off and it led to another war of words between the England coach and Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers.