Newcastle United St James' Park

As Newcastle United’s failure to impress fans both on and off the football pitch continues unabated, Sky and BT have issued a joint statement saying that all Magpies games next season will be broadcast in standard definition only.

The cost-cutting measure, brought in due to falling television audiences for Newcastle games, will in the most literal sense take the focus off United’s players and new manager Steve McClaren.

A source for Sky said: ‘We did think about just not showing any Newcastle games at all, but then our accountants pointed out that it was actually beneficial for tax purposes to show them in SD’.

Chairman Mike Ashley said: ‘At first I thought, what’s the point? That’s crackers. What’s in it for me? Then I realised SD is the same acronym as Sports Direct. Cashback, man’.

‘Everyone’s a winner. Apart from our fans, as usual. I win again!’, the 50-year-old added.