The fortunes of a West Country junior school football team look set to be transformed after the children’s team was bought by oil-rich billionaire Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum of Dubai.

Newton St Cyres Church of England junior school, near Exeter last season finished second from bottom of the East Devon schools league but already look set to improve on that with the £35 million signing of Wayne Rooney from Manchester United, who replaces ten year old Timothy Johnson up front. Timothy’s younger sister Alice who played in goal last season letting in 107 goals in six games also looks vulnerable after the signing of Peter Cech from Chelsea. ‘Alice may well have to give up the school’s coveted number 1 shirt’ said her mother, ‘although to be honest I think they may have to get another shirt.’

Other teams in the East Devon school’s league claim that being able to spend upwards of a billion pounds in the transfer market gives Newton St Cyres junior school an unfair advantage, but this is only jealousy says new manager Luez Felipe Scolari; ‘Their fans wouldn’t complain if it was them who was buying Ronaldinho to partner Steven Gerrard in midfield.’

However proof of the old adage that money does not always buy instant success was borne out by the school’s first game, when the highly-paid team of soccer superstars from the Premiership and La Liga, lost 7-0 to local rivals, Clyst St Mary Under 11s. ‘The team needs time to bond’ said Scolari. ‘And they have to get used to the more physical game at this level.’

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