Following Theresa May’s ultimatum to Russia over the Sergei Skripal affair, it’s understood that England football manager, Gareth Southgate, is counting down the hours to midnight, desperate for Vladimir Putin to ignore Mrs May so the team will then be instructed by government to withdraw from the World Cup Finals this Summer.

Speaking to Gary Lineker he said: ‘The lads have had a tough season already and the nation’s exceptions, hopes and dreams are with them. But off the record, we’re sure to crash and burn as usual. it’s unlikely that we’ll even make it out of the group stage in my view.’

‘So this piece rather timely diplomatic brinkmanship may just work in our favour and give us an easy way out. That way fans and pundits alike can spend the whole tournament speculating on how ‘if only our heroes hadn’t been forced to pull out by that useless dollop of lard Boris Johnson’ then we would’ve easily won the tournament.’

‘It’s a perfect classic lose – lose scenario for the nation…where in the end we’re all winners.’