England’s highly paid smokers are set to pocket 40 free ciggies if they can overcome the minnows of Montenegro later today.
Manager Roy Hodgson gave the go ahead for the controversial bonus despite Joe Hart blaming his recent dip in form on passive smoking in the England dressing room.
The England boss expects to name a full squad for tonight’s clash with the exception of social smoker Ashley Cole who will undergo an eleventh hour scan for a shadow on his lung.
And Hodgson received a late fitness boost after twenty-a-day man striker Wayne Rooney showed up for duty having overcoming a nasty bout of bronchitis.
Hodgson said, ‘Ashley has had a bit of a niggle with shortness of breath and coughing up blood so we’re sending him for a check-up as a precaution. ‘
While Rooney attributes his new lean look to Marlboro Lights, teammate Jack Wilshere attracted criticism this week after being pictured smoking outside a nightclub.
Hodgson insists the bonus will cost the FA nothing and is part of a batch of duty-frees he brought back from the team’s trip to the Ukraine.
Hodgson added ‘We all know how adept this squad is at passing around a cigarette or joint. Now I’d like to see them do the same thing with a football.’
Meanwhile, Hodson admitted he has some concerns over Wilshere’s recent lacklustre form.
“The lad’s worked in hard in training, but he’s coming along in patches. “
“I think they’re called Nicotinell."