Where Are Toothless Hags? Demands Homesick Pavlyuchenko

SPURS striker Roman Pavlyuchenko last night hit out at England's lack of beetroot sandwiches and ugly, toothless old hags.

The £14m signing has revealed how he misses walking down a street and being accosted by dozens of bearded old women wrapped in shawls.

Pavlyuchenko said: "They cackle, they shake baby in face. In London, is not so much. Except maybe on underground.

"I come to England in hope of better life. But where is brutalist architecture, apart from Coventry? When will wind chill reach minus 40? And how I find man who poke dancing bear with sharp wooden stick?"

The striker added: "The Spurs canteen offers fruit, salad, pasta. Where is fried beetroot toastie and potato marmalade?

"And training ground is so smooth and flat. Where tractor ruts? Where drums full of industrial waste? Where deformed nuclear sheep?"

Pavyluchenko said settling into the English way of life had been difficult, particularly as he has been forced to spend much of his spare time teaching Andy Gray and Mark Lawrenson how to pronounce his name.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp admitted many of his new signings were finding it difficult to acclimatise, adding: "We have to keep stealing things from Robbie Keane and then selling them back to him in the pub.

"And since moving from Man Utd Fraizer Campbell has found it very difficult to get used to that whole 'being in a team that could get relegated' thing."

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Hbos Risk Control Run By Evel Knievel

THE risk control department at HBOS was run by Evel Knievel for nearly a decade, it emerged last night.

Former executives revealed how the late US daredevil would approve multi-billion pound transactions while snorting cocaine off the buttocks of the prostitute he had been with drinking with all night.

Tom Logan, a former HBOS accountant, said: "From about 1999 onwards the bank's business model was based very closely on Mr Knievel's book Jumping the Grand Canyon on a Rocket Bike: A New Approach to Financial Risk.

"He rubber-stamped all the major deals. I remember how it was always slightly awkward going into his office, what with all the skanks and whores.

"We would give him a quick summary of the proposed transaction and then he'd bang the table and shout, 'fuck this pansy-ass shit, let's fucking do it!' before picking up a Jack Daniels bottle and throwing it in the direction of our heads."

Logan added: "Sometimes he was more reflective and he would tell us about one of the many times he had broken every bone in his body.

"He'd say, 'guys you don't wind up with 14 pins in your head and a chronic addiction to pain medicine by adhering to the standard banking model of using savers' deposits to fund prudent and responsible loans.

"Then he'd tell us to go out there and 'jump our own Snake River Canyon', but instead of a rocket bike we'd be using 'millions and millions of pounds that would never appear on the balance sheet'. He was an incredibly dangerous man."

Meanwhile prime minister Gordon Brown last night pledged to crackdown on bank bonuses in his latest attempt to blame all of this on someone else.