The new Barclays Premier League season has begun, but it isn't just the fans with glee in their eyes. With women's football all the rage after London 2012, literally tens of ladies are quitting more traditional women's sports, such as hedgehog painting and husband baiting, and taking to the fields to emulate professionals, such as England international, Rachel Yankey.
And out of respect for the fairer sex, the FA has decided to update venue changing rooms; the grim conditions have been condemned as 'sexist' by some women, who say they are 'fit only for men'. As such, the FA has neutralised changing rooms countrywide by adding mirrors, padded benches, flowers and toilet paper with extra pleats.
The changes have been welcomed by female competitors, but male referees have also expressed their delight at the mod cons. An FA spokesman said, "I can recall my father, referee shorts round his tits, socks up past his knees, jogging around the house when he thought I was out, practising his refereeing. He'd run up to the umbrella stand, blow his whistle and shout, 'oi, that's your last chance mate. And any more from you, small porcelain elephant, and you're booked!' Whenever he did this, he'd jog round to the bathroom to practise his 'no-nonsense face' in the mirror. He'd love the new set up - now he can actually check his expression in the new mirror whilst booking a house plant for for a two-rooted tackle."
To keep within the spirit of the game, display screens linked directly to the latest William Hill odds have been installed for referees' convenience, with adjacent telephone. A second phone links directly to Sir Alex's mobile phone, after referees voted to introduce new 'phone-line technology' to clear up misunderstandings.
The top venues will also have a stereo system in the officials' changing room, with a complimentary copy of Referee Sing-along Classics, including Baddiel and Skinner's hit 'You don't know what you're doing', Dizzee Rascal's cover of 'The referee's a wanker', and Tony Robinson's spoken word classic, 'Booooo'.
The FA is quoted as saying, "Referees need to be thick-skinned these days, with the amount of abuse they suffer. There's no better way to prepare for discontent of 20,000 home fans when you've given United a penalty for no apparent reason in the last minute than to listen through that CD before kick off. Sometimes you've just got to face the music."