POLICE last night thanked the Premier League for lulling an over-excited Britain back to sleep.
Amid fears that riots could start again as people had time off from the same jobs many of the rioters seem to have, Premier League fixtures were so soporific that radio stations warned not to listen to coverage while operating heavy machinery.
Superintendent Roy Hobbs said: “It’s all been very relaxing and nicely tedious. Torres not scoring, United bagging a late winner and Liverpool being disappoi…ah, you appear to have nodded off.
“We were concerned that Joey Barton having a one-man riot on the pitch might flicker some insurrectionist flame but by now his state of almost-permanent enfunkment has the same soothing effect as the sound of a distant seagull amid the gentle lapping of waves against the shore.
He added: “It’s Manchester City against Swansea tonight, which should hopefully… I’m really sorry, I just can’t keep my eyes open.”
The league was helped by television coverage of the games, which leading footballologists described as high-defintion, surround sound Valium in inexplicably tight, shiny suits.
Ray Wilkins’ voice during Sky’s Sunday coverage did spark a minor panic, as some people called the broadcaster fearing he must have been suffering a series of bereavements while commentating, but by the time the final whistle blew at the Hawthorns most viewers were sleeping like drunk babies.
Meanwhile, the BBC’s persistence with Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer ensured that Match of the Day could stop a Mexican prison riot with a single line of banter about Alan Hansen’s dismay at a poorly organised back four.