Preamble - It's 8.10 in the morning, and Dalton is already on BBC Radio Lincolnshire providing a recap on the The Biggest Trial in the History of Boston United™.
impsTALK doesn't have any interviews to complete, just a cup of tepid instant coffee to drink and two cats to feed.
Before we carry on, it's perhaps best that we clear something up right at the start. impsTALK isn't wishing a custodial sentence on Evans. In many ways, the sentence passed today doesn't matter. There are, of course, the physical restrictions that come with a prison term, but Evans is no more guilty if he gets a custodial sentence and no less guilty if he doesn't. Fact is this: he's guilty!
No - today is more interesting for the opportunity to perhaps hear from Evans himself, and maybe even Crazee Jimmy, but don't count on it. We're also desperate to know if Evans turns up at court wearing BUFC cufflinks in order to express his love for the club. Live updates as soon as we know.
The action starts at 2pm, by the way. A little later than we thought, which means we have time to kill, with what, we don't yet know. First up for us though: a bowl of strawberry Jordan's County Crisp. With skimmed milk of course.
8.45am - First update of the day - the Postbag. There's one rather large contribution in there. We'll add to this during the day. Remember to send your thoughts on whatever you like to editorial@impsTALK.co.uk.
8.50am - Michael Hortin proclaims today as the Biggest Day in the History of the Club™. And then says BBC Radio Lincolnshire are going to play an interview with Graham Bean (aka The Sleazebuster) on Friday Football tonight. That gushing sound you can hear is impsTALK wett- no, let's leave it there.
9.00am - One of the more interesting aspects of today is the 'ace' that Evans supposedly has up his sleeve. What the hell might that be? According to some fans, Boston is buzzing with rumours of this 'ace'. Our prediction? We can only assume Steve is going to show up at court accompanied by ED209.
9.05am - Today's weather in London (and the first image of the day from our mole) - Bright and sunny.
Is that a Gherkin I see before me?
9.15am - First mobile phone picture of the day
"I'm innocent!" reads the caption. No you're not Steve!
9.35am - Time for an e-mail. A group of us (an exiled Imp, plus 2 Impstalk-loving Sunderland supporters - one of whom is good mates with a certain Jamie Clarke*) are keeping an eye on events, courtesy of your site, from up here in the North East, writes Ghost of Bob Cumming. Like you, we don't think Swagbag will be taken down to the cells, but you never know, you might get lucky. All the best!
*Since his drink-driving ban Mr Clarke is a regular user of National Express coaches to get to and from his native Sunderland apparently. Obviously, not on Joachim-type wages then. We could also tell you why his contract with Rochdale wasn't renewed, but perhaps there's enough legal stuff going on already for one day.
Indeed, GOBC, you can save that one for a rainy, slow news day.
9.55am - GOBC is back! Sorry, I've just noticed that another Imp has already messaged you with details of his experiences at York Street, he says. I too used to enjoy the odd trip to York St throughout much of the 90's, and I was there when you beat Gloucester 6-1 (which should have been 5-1 with the VAT discounted). Didn't that clinch the Doc Marten's title? Good day, I won some money on the National that day too, 'Cos' got a hat-trick (I think), and Gloucester's goal was the best of the lot (an absolute screamer). So there!
Not quite, GOBC. We didn't clinch the DML title that day, although it wasn't long afterwards (two weeks to be precise) that we did finally wrap it up against Grantham. Although it's immaterial now, since Evans' grubby titles, forever tarnished, have been expunged from the records (in our hearts that is, not Soccerbase).
10.20am - Here's one game forum savvy Boston fans can play at home today - BUFC Bingo. Well, it's not really bingo, at least not in the traditional Gliderdrome sense, but nevertheless you get an idea. Simply print out your playing card, try and spot today any of the situations described and tot up your points. The winner receives, er, well, nothing. Nothing at all. Download BUFC Bingo Card (PDF)
10.25am -It's 5.30am on the east coast of the US, and America stirs to news of this massive breaking development
- As ever, it's good to see that the Lincolnshire Echo is leading the
newshounds with its searing condemnation of what's going on at York Street. Its fearless reporters are tearing up the established order, posing the difficult questions, exposing the rot and hanging the United officials out to dry for the scandalous way the club is being run. A shining example of great, incisive journalism for all you aspiring media whores out there.
11.00am - More Echo nonsense While the paper chooses to IGNORE the fact that one of the county's 'top' football managers faces sentencing for serious tax fraud, it decides to lead today with a massive front page story - Dope Pan Pizza - about an enterprising pizza delivery driver also awaiting sentencing after being caught offering her customers - gasp!! - cannabis. What's worse? Defrauding the public revenue of £325,000, or being caught with "two small pouches containing a bushy material" in your glovebox?
11.10am - Completely Unsubstantiated Yet Nevertheless Quite Interesting Internet Rumour Of The Day #1 - Two Boston United directors will resign today after the sentencing. impsTALK had no idea we still had directors, since the club is run from top to bottom by Steve Evans (and that's where the Brian Clough comparisons cease(ish)).
11.35am - The omens don't look great - One of our hounds sends us this image from near the court:
11.40am - DALTON WATCH - Mark e-mails to say: "Looks like Scott had a sleepless night unless he was getting up very early this morning! Went past his house at 3.30am and his lights were all on!"
Very swish. A park bench with lights, eh?
11.45am - Suddenly, a panic-stricken Ghost Of Bob Cumming scribbles in to deny any involvement in the fun and games today.
"How remiss of me," he writes. "Just reading back my previous e-mail on the updates page and I've realised I mentioned winning some money on the Grand National in (I think) 1999, but haven't explained the full tax implications of that win. Please let your readers know that this was back in the day when betting at a licensed turf accountants was subject to a tax being paid on any bet. This could either be added on to your initial stake, or deducted from any winnings.
This tax has since been removed and you can now bet freely without any potential scrutiny from HM Customs & Excise, I believe. To show I have nothing to hide (or I'm 'innocent' as I like to think of it) I paid the tax along with my stake on that day. I think the bookies in question may have been Coral, and it was situated on that market-place-thing (Market Place??) in Boston. Which is quite near to York St, but not actually connected to the football club in a anyway. Or so I was led to believe.
Just so we're clear
Ghost Of Bob Cumming
11.55am - Is this likely to be the only official press release made on the official BUFC site today? Almost certainly. And did it send you to sleep too? Seriously, guys, change the record. Can't we have Raynor delivering these mindmeltingly dull previews (injuries a taking their toll... dribble... we welcome old friends and a massive club... dribble... snooze...yawn) but dressed in a Liza Minnelli Caberet outfit, swinging from a trapeze?
12.20pm - More pictures arrive from the scene
'Dalton awaits with minders - or are they just paps?' says our man on the ground.
12.20pm - Here come the daggers! - "Dear Editorial, Dagenham and Redbridge fan here with some breaking news hot off the press, out of the fire and into the toilet pan. Steve Evans has just left his London hotel with his brief, Mr Y.Front. It is reported that on leaving the hotel, the Eddie Izzard lookalike spent 3 hours in his en-suite, pants down by his ankles, brown stuff everywhere whilst jumping up and down shouting “I’m innocent, I was forced into pleading guilty”. It is also believed that Evans worked himself into such a fuss that he even called close friend Garry Hill via mobile telephone to ask him to attend this afternoon and give a character reference. It is unclear at this point if Mr Hill accepted this kind invitation but time will tell!
12.25pm - BREAKING NEWS UPDATE - Sources on the ground in Southwark have informed impsTALK that Steve Evans is going to REFUSE to speak with Judge Goymer today - he's going to send out Paul Raynor instead. Boom boom!
12.30pm - Don't forget our Boston Bingo game. You've already missed chances to score some points today (see the o/s for instance).
12.35pm - MORE BREAKING NEWS - Evans has refused to confirm that he will be in court 14 today, as he's mulling over several offers from other courts there that are much more prestigous...
12.50pm - Craig, the sharp-eyed Evans spotter, reports: "Steve Evans has been spotted in Pret a Manger on London Bridge Street, SE1, screaming abuse at the girl behind the counter because the hand baked Sea Salt and Balsamic Vinegar flavoured crisps have quite possibly the smallest number of crisps one packet of crisps have had ever had in the history of crisps. Evans was heard to be screaming “Given the budget that I am working on, I was lucky to get these crisps as a number of other customers were after them as well. And then to cap it all I open the bag and there are only 14 available crisps for my fat fingers to pick from”.
12.55pm - Yet more images flood in
This day is not only momentous as The Biggest Day in the History of Boston United™, but also as The Day Duncan Browne Wore THAT Scarf.
1.00pm - STEVE EVANS ARRIVES AT THE COURT - Photos shortly, we hope....
1.05pm - Pat is there too, so is Gee and Paul Bastock.
1.05pm - First image of Evans arriving at court
1.10pm - It's not blue, it's aqua marine - Word reaches impsTALK Towers that an indignant Duncan Browne has defended his blue scarf, telling us it's 'aqua marine and cost him a massive £60'. Why Duncan, that's a almost half of Ken Charlery's declared wages. On a scarf!?
1.15pm - BREAKING NEWS UPDATE UPDATE BREAKING UPDATE
In a last ditch attempt to divert attention from today's sentencing, Crazee Jimmy says Boston United have declared war on North Korea. George Bush is trying to talk him out of it, but it seems the decision has already been made. By Steve Evans.
1.20pm - Another e-mail. Mick Taylor writes: "Hasbro, the makers of the family game Monopoly have just launched their Boston United Edition" - CLICK HERE
1.25pm - Pictures!
Evans arrives at court
...while not too far away....
1.30pm - Cod Almighty's Diary checks in - "Greetings! Cod Almighty's Diary here, following the action from Southwark with keen self-interest. If Evans stays out of jail, is there any chance you could at least get another points deduction? Otherwise we could both end up in the Conference next season, and nobody wants that, do they? Cod may be extinct in 50 years; Grimsby Town FC could manage it in five."
Will we get a more points deducted? Anyone like to answer the question? The good Doctor Fox seems to think it might happen.
1.40pm - The Dark Side of The Moon - impsTALK moles are now entering the courtroom, and will be forced to hand over their phones, cameras. How long the radio silence will last is anyone's guess. Think Apollo 13 without the heroism. Coffee break for impsTALK - back in ten....
1.50pm - Fingers crossed - impsTALK is receiving such a fearsome amount of visitors that there's the very real possibility that we could end up resembling a kind of internet version of Simon Rusk, leaving you with only BBC Radio Lincolnshire for your updates - a nightmare scenario for all concerned. Whilst we have no gripe with their sports coverage, we have a suspicion that officers at Scotland Yard might find their daytime output useful for torturing prisoners held on tenuous terrorism charges.
2.00pm - More pictures - As proceedings are due to begin, the crowds gather in Boston's Central Park to watch today's momentous events on specially erected big screens
2.05pm - Hopeful? I wonder if Duncan Browne would perhaps let impsTALK try on his scarf?
2.06pm - Quality Although at sixty quid, maybe he wouldn't. And he obviously only breaks it out for special occasions, so it's certainly one of his most prized assets in the wardrobe. Where did he buy it from? We want one.
2.10pm - Contempt of court I can imagine Judge Goymer attempting to look stern and very judge-like as he listens to the guilty parties offering their mitigation, but in the corner of his eye he keeps being distracted by a dashing young fellow sporting a stunning aqua-marine premium £60 winter scarf.
2.15pm - Escape Plan An exiled Imps fan thinks he's figured out Evans' 'ace'.
"There is a rumour here in Canada that Evans has already hatched a cunning escape plan should he be detained at Her Majesties pleasure," he writes.
"Apparently, Canoville is lined up to be his first visitor and will hoof him over the wall into the arms of the waiting Marriot. Speculation on news channels is not focused on whether the aforementioned full back has the ability to deliver a kick of the required force (evidence for that is abundant), but whether Marriot will have been loaned out before Evans lands."
2.20pm Contempt of court contd... His attention drifting from tedious legalities and onto the scarf, and pondering where he might pick up such a luxury item for himself, Judge Goymer fails to take sufficient notice of our anti-hero's mitigation, in which he plays his 'ace', and sends Swagbag to the cells for a few months. Perhaps Mr Browne knows full well what's he's doing.
2.30pm - Aqua marine Are you sure about that Duncan? Because
it looks suspiciously like Antiuan
Sea to me.
2.35pm - Global curiosity An anonymous reader from New Jersey, USA says "Duncan Browne's scarf? What's that all about?"
2.40pm - STOP THE TRIAL! "Afternoon," says Steve. "I know the day is busy so far with all these proceedings taking place, I think you might of hit onto something significant with the noticeably expensive aqua-marine scarf! I think there's more to this tax scandal than we think.
"I have just been informed by a reliable source in the clothing industry over in the U.S of A that Evans has been working on his own clothing designs. I didn't believe this either but then I thought of the scarf, maybe its a cheap little promotion stunt for Evans "dirty money funded" knitwear label. Just to prove how dumb the big guy is, it's said he named it after himself! This was beginning to make sense to me but I still wasn't convinced... Until I thought to do a quick Ebay search!
"All the evidence required I say! Someone print it and leg-it into the courtroom quickly... This could swing it from a crazy little fine, to serious time I feel."
2.41pm - 101 Uses for an Expensive Aqua Marine Scarf #1
And just to prove the timeless popularity of said accessory: The King!
2.45pm - Jesus - Just for the benefit of those poor souls wondering if perhaps their ears were playing cruel tricks on them, that really IS Ottawan's Hands Up primary school disco classic playing on BBC Radio Lincolnshire. They didn't wear blue aqua marine scarves, that's for sure.
2.50pm - Slow News Hour - With nothing to report from Southwark, global attention continues to focus on Duncan Browne's blue scarf. Visitors to impsTALK have gone up four-fold since we carried exclusive pictures of Dunc hovering outside the courtroom wearing his £60 classic. Very fashionable. Or is he?
3.00pm - We're an hour into the drama, and nothing to report So let's have another sketch, this time of Crazee Jimmy, who no doubt will be making a statement later taking decisive action against his boss - er, we mean employee.
3.05pm - Just a gentle reminder Boston Bingo!
3.05pm - UNRELATED SHOCK NEWS Binbags in Lincoln that were supposed to be collected on Wednesday will be picked up today, BBC Radio Lincolnshire assures concerned listeners. Just to further reassure locals, the Council say they are 'watching the situation very closely'. An historic moment, readers. BBC Radio Lincolnshire has just reported, as news, on a real bulletin, that someone is watching a bin bag.
3.20pm - HOT OFF THE PRESS Stone the crows yer flamin' galah - the big news story of the day has broken. We can all go home now. Yes, it's confirmed: Boston United have raided Ipswich Town for some kid we'll not even bother learning the name of.
3.25pm - "BBC Radio Lincs are talking about saving elephants. Do they want Evans to get off?" quips Auntie Merge. Evans can't get off, Auntie - he's guilty no matter what. Let's see what he has to say for himself.... assuming he gets to leave the courtroom.
3.30pm - No news And the tension is taking its toll. "This is weird," says Maddy. "I'm not even a Boston fan and I've been hooked on your bloody page since about 12-00. No work done, no tea ready or owt. Help me please - put me and Evans out of our respective miseries!"
Well Maddy, we'd like to say 'You'll hear it first here' but let's be honest -those Sky Sports journos can probably run faster than impsTALK.
3.35pm - Alternative uses Ah, we see know. The aqua marine premium £60 cashmere scarf was intended to double as a pillow to allow Dunc to get some shut-eye as Evans' crazee crew tried to get him off the hook. ZZZZzzzzzz......
3.40pm - What do you mean 'dodgy?' "Is there any truth in the rumour that Mal Sternhand* has contacted Steve Evans** and offered to pay any fine imposed with the proceeds from a safe that Mal* has got laying about 'somewhere in the garage'," asks Craig.
Er, we have no idea what 'safe' you're referring to there Craig. *Names changed to protect the [potentially] innocent. **Names not changed of the absolutely guilty.
4.00pm - UPDATE The judge has gone out of the courtroom to consider matters.
Both men are pleading for mercy, says our impsTALK mole.
4.01pm - UPDATE "Rodwell's watch went off on the stroke of three. He fidgeted a bit," says a witness at the court.
4.05pm - Meanwhile, up in Darlington....
4.10pm - Steve Evans is blaming Pat Malkinson! No surprise there then. Evans has claimed the conspiracy was already underway when he arrived and that he is terrified of spending 'even one minute in jail'. Why plead guilty to the conspiracy, then claim it wasn't your fault during fuggin' mitigation? Is that the legendary 'ace'? Jesus.
4.15pm - So many friends in football It appears, from what Scott said, that the only character witness Evans could get was Crazee Jimmy....... Steve and Jimmy sitting in a tree, K I S S I N G
4.15pm - Global reaction to the latest developments! LISTEN NOW! (WAV)
4.20pm - EXCLUSIVE PICTURES FROM SOUTHWARK
Duncan Browne's aqua-marine scarf in all its £60 glory, as pictured during the recess. "It puts all this legal malarky into perspective," says Mr Browne.
4.25pm - The judge returns to court.....
4.30pm - "Great text on Radio Lincs - that 'Best manager we've ever had" one. I thought Rodwell had to hand his cellphone in when he went into the court?" chuckles Andy.
4.35pm - Is there any truth in the rumour that Steve Evans is a big fan of "The Clash". I've been told he was heard to be singing, "I needed money coz I had none, I fought the law and the, law won". Could Impstalk please confirm this? Thanks, Kenny O'Ken from Kilkenny.
4.40pm - impsTALK is nervously drumming the desk and looking at its watch. It's been a long day and it's not over yet.
4.40pm - "Little Bobby Shattocks has just called me in floods of tears after hearing about that scarf! Where can he get one?" asks Mr Shattocks. That's an adult scarf, Mr S. It costs £60 for the love of God.
4.45pm - More e-mails trickle in. And it's another one from our dear friend Craig, who asks: "Any truth to the rumour that Steve Evans has offered the Judge a Brazilian cleaner for his ahem…”household chores” and that he has even offered to “fly her down from Scotland on a match day” in return for a suspended sentence?"
4.50pm: VERDICTS IN: suspended sentences... Malkinson two years (suspended two), Evans 12 months (suspended for two years).... more soon....
4.50pm - Now sack Steve Evans, Crazy Jim. Your supporters expect nothing less.
4.55pm - Onto the real business - Remember what we said at the start of the day, about the sentences being moreorless immaterial? That still stands. We wouldn't wish a custodial sentence on anyone. However, we wouldn't wish Steve Evans on our worst enemy. Jim Rodwell MUST now tell the media Steve Evans' contract has been terminated, surely. Will it happen? Well, he just showed up as Evans' character witness. Hmmmm....
5.00pm - Of course - it's now official. Boston Utd's chairman now officially thinks that it is appropriate for the club to be run by a convicted criminal who is living with a suspended prison sentence hanging over him.
5.05pm - The Codalmighty boys send us an early goodwill message.
5.10pm - Beer! impsTALK's moles have now slunk away to the pub to down a few pints of ale and mull over the days events. Mel Moxon, from BUFCST, is now speaking on the radio.
5.15pm - Old friends Igor Mugfret-Fishhead breaks his six month silence to crow: "Haha! Lord Evans escapes prison! All hail! All hail! Bob and Ralph: I'm still gonna get ya!!!Yours in love, and more predominantly hate, Igor Mugfret-Fishhead"
5.20pm - "From now on every mention of Steve Evans has to actually read "useless, fat, cheating criminal Steve Evans (who cried to the judge to beg to be spared prison)," writes Andy.
5.25pm - Hopefully there will be interviews with Evans soon. How soon is anyone's guess.
5.35pm - Whereas Pat Malkinson must find a squillion quid, or something around that region, to pay back the public revenue and court costs within twelve months, Evans has been ordered to pay costs of £1000 back within the same period. £1000! You could afford half an emergency loan signing with that.
5.40pm - Drama Aside from the drama of today's blue scarf scandal, and the verdicts, it was quite easy to miss one of the more startling facts that slipped out: that Evans quit a £60,000 a year job to become Pilgrims boss. Who the hell saw fit to pay him that? A large soft-drink company who send out hitmen to deal with 'problems' in Central America you say?
5.45pm - New manager? If Evans does step down, there's an early candidate for the job already, one that would prove a popular choice with the fans. There's little doubt that Duncan Browne's aqua-marine luxury £60 scarf has been the true star of today's proceedings and while it might not enjoy the kind of legal protection as the current boss, it certainly would have a better tactical awareness.
5.55pm - And that concludes your updates! After a marathon stint listening to bad music, impsTALK is now going to grab some dinner and digest today's events. Make sure you tune into BBC Radio Lincolnshire later this evening for Friday sport when Boston United will no doubt continue the comedy long into the night. Don't forget BUFC Bingo - a fun game you'll be able to play all weekend!
Thanks to Adam for the audio, Andy for the images, Ken for the photos and the trusty band of moles down in Southwark. Thanks for all your e-mails - sorry I didn't get to deal with them all (a rare problem round here). Lastly, a massive thank you to Duncan Browne for purchasing that scarf.
I think it's safe to assume this is a total one off, so see you at the next min-by-min report, whenever that might be. Pete