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Last Updated: Friday, 10 September, 2004, 10:59 GMT 11:59 UK
Rude song ruffles rugby rivals
Dylan Thomas statue wearing an Ospreys mask
Previous stunts include giving a Dylan Thomas statue in Swansea an Ospreys mask
The Ospreys regional rugby team have ruffled the feathers of their rivals with a song that mocks other players, their chairmen and supporters.

The Neath-Swansea club went looking for sore points to put in the lyrics by monitoring opposition websites for jibes which had most hit home.

The Ospreys claim it is merely light-hearted banter to help their fans have more fun on match day terraces.

But Wales' other regional teams have called the song "unprofessional".

The lyrics have fun with the troubles of the squad's three regional rivals - the Llanelli Scarlets, Cardiff Blues and the Newport Gwent Dragons.

We do not need throwaway comments like these - it merely invokes hostility and is very unprofessional
Andy Marinos

The Ospreys - who play the Scarlets in the first all-Wales clash of the new season at Stradey Park on Friday evening - call their Llanelli neighbours "Stradey squatters".

This is a reference to the Scarlets selling their stadium to the Welsh Rugby Union in 1997 when they had financial difficulties at the start of the professional era.

Cardiff Blues chairman Peter Thomas is ridiculed for his dress sense while his squad is dismissed as "a team that likes to mince".

The lyrics include:

They come from the east / They come from the west / They come from afar to face the best / But you should see the Ospreys crest / Don't attack the Ospreys nest

They even comes down from the Gwent / Well, half of them - the others went / Okey Cokey comes to town / Flashing all his cash around / He puts it in he takes it out / He likes to wave his wad about / When the tragic dragon puffs / Old Okey says he's had enough

Sometimes they comes from Cardiff / We're not too convinced / A boss that's dressed like Larry Grayson / And a team that likes to mince / I said: "Peter, you'll have such a fright / Dressed like that on bonfire night" / He stood there looking so surprised / 'Cos someone's eaten all his pies!

Sometimes they comes down from the west / In their shell suits and their vest / They're all dressed like Rodney Trotter They're a bunch of Stradey squatters / They won't win a single thing / According to predictions / When the union man calls for the rent / They're up for eviction.

The Newport Gwent Dragons are mocked for recent problems which saw one of their merger partners, Ebbw Vale, leave.

Paul Allen
Paul Allen also wrote You Can Stick Your Chariots Where The Sun Don't Shine, about English rugby

The club's long-term benefactor, Tony Brown, is dubbed Okey Cokey after a dispute with the WRU about his investment in which he threatened to pull out of the set-up.

The Ospreys called on comedian Paul Allen, who had a local hit in 2002 with The Mosh Song, to put the jibes into a terrace anthem.

Ospreys chief executive Andrew Donald said: "Research consistently points to the fact that for sports fans, and in particular rugby fans, rivalries with other clubs is one of the key factors in heightening the enjoyment of the match day experience.

"Fans from all regions like nothing better than some light-hearted banter."

But other club bosses did not see the funny side of the Ospreys' anthem.

'Really flabbergasted'

Dragons chief executive Andy Marinos said: "It is totally inappropriate to knock benefactors who have contributed so much to Welsh rugby when it has been required most.

Ospreys symbols sprayed on ground
Osprey logos have appeared all around Swansea overnight
"What the Ospreys are doing leaves a very bad taste in the mouth, especially when we are working hard to build relationships between the regions.

"We do not need throwaway comments like these. It merely invokes hostility and is very unprofessional."

Cardiff Blues declined to comment.

An official at one of the clubs named in the song told the BBC Wales news website they were "really flabbergasted" .

The Ospreys and their three regional rivals were borne out of the WRU controversial regional vision for the professional game in Wales.

The team is proud of its marketing strategy. Last year it ran a mystery mask campaign, which was later adopted as the club's official logo.

Scrum V Live: Scarlets v Ospreys (BBC Two Wales and 2W, 1845-2100 BST, Friday)


SEE ALSO:
Wales' regional rugby map
08 Jul 04  |  Welsh
Season preview: Cardiff Blues
26 Aug 04  |  Welsh
Scarlets home in on stadium site
01 Jul 04  |  South West Wales
Dragons net new sponsor
06 Aug 04  |  Welsh


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