Manchester United. Globe-straddling behemoths. A team with unlimited resources, a squad full of internationals and the strength in depth to cope with any crisis, no matter how severe.
So how come they have been forced to call up chief executive David Gill's son for tonight's Champions League game against Wolfsburg?
A glut of injuries mean Oliver Gill is one of two defenders in the 19-man squad for the game in Germany, from which United need a point to secure top spot in their group.
With a possible last-16 encounter against Barcelona awaiting the losers, the champions of England are expected to line up tonight with a back four comprising Park Ji-sung, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher and Patrice Evra.
How extraordinary to see the mighty laid low by a series of unconnected ailments.
It reminds Early Doors of the classic Simpsons episode 'Homer at the Bat', in which evil tycoon Mr Burns hires a team full of professional ringers to win a softball match against a rival power plant.
Having filled his team with the likes of Ken Griffey Jr, Jose Canseco and Roger Clemens, Burns remarks that he cannot possibly lose.
"Unless, of course, my nine All-Stars fall victim to nine separate misfortunes and are unable to play tomorrow. But that will never happen.
"Three misfortunes, that's possible. Seven misfortunes, there's an outside chance. But nine misfortunes? I'd like to see that!"
Naturally, Burns's players promptly fall victim to an array of calamities. Clemens is hypnotised and ends up thinking he is a chicken, Griffey gets elephantiasis following an overdose of nerve tonic, Canseco is detained rescuing an old lady's possessions from a burning building, and so on until the only remaining player is Darryl Strawberry.
So Alex Ferguson has seen nine All-Star defenders suffer nine separate misfortunes. Rio Ferdinand (calf), Nemanja Vidic (flu), Wes Brown (hamstring), Jonny Evans (grotesquely swollen jaw - or possibly another calf injury), Fabio (groin), Rafael (shoulder), John O'Shea (thigh), Gary Neville (groin) and Ritchie De Laet (cup-tied) are all unavailable.
The part of Strawberry is played by Evra, who is United's only fit defender, and presumably under official instruction not to walk under any ladders or cross the path of black cats.
The Simpsons episode ends with Burns - the Rafa Benitez of softball management - substituting Strawberry late in the game, even though he has hit nine home runs. Homer Simpson comes in and inadvertently wins the game by getting hit in the head by a pitch.
If ED is looking for parallels, there can only be one contender in the United squad to play the part of Homer - somebody universally recognisable but ponderous, accident-prone and not as good as he was 10 years ago.
It all adds up to a stoppage-time goal for United that deflects in off the backside of one Michael Owen.
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This morning's Sun features a masterpiece of investigative journalism, claiming that Chelsea's new away shirt is cursed.
The football gods are clearly not fans of the strip, which rather curiously features navy and slightly darker navy stripes with luminous yellow trip.
All four times they have worn the kit, they have ended up on the losing side - drawing comparison with Manchester United's infamous grey kit that apparently caused players to disappear from plain sight.
Early Doors would suggest this trend has less to do with mysterious voodoo powers, and more to do with Chelsea being better at home than away.
It is hard to say when Chelsea will next wear the cursed kit, since it is the same colour as the home one, but possible outings include trips to West Ham and Birmingham over Christmas.
United once ditched the grey shirts at half-time during a defeat to Southampton, and the Double Blues also have options, in the form of an all-white third strip knocking about the place in case things get really bad.
But if Chelsea were really clever, they would wear the navy shirts for tonight's seemingly un-losable game against APOEL Nicosia. If they break the jinx, job done. If they lose, cast the shirts en masse into the nearest blast furnace.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY: Not so long ago, Adriano got Inter to release him from his contract after stating he wanted to quit football. Now he's saying this: "I know that teams want me in Italy and England. I will take my time over a decision so I don't make any mistakes. It's not just about the money, there are other things."
FOREIGN VIEW: Robbers took advantage of Brazil's passion for football to steal £3.5 million from a cash delivery firm as the nation was transfixed by the final day of the championship.
Police suspect the thieves tunneled into the firm's building in Sao Paulo and waited until Sunday afternoon, when the final games of the season were played, to break in and steal more than 10 million reais.
A security guard working at the firm on Sunday reported hearing loud noises but thought they were from fireworks lit by excited soccer fans, Sao Paulo police said.
The police added that the thieves rented a nearby house several months ago and painstakingly dug a 490-foot long tunnel to gain access to the building. While they were living in the area they reportedly disguised themselves as residents, even putting a Christmas tree in the window.
COMING UP: Full minute-by-minute coverage of all eight Champions League games tonight, including Wolfsburg v Manchester United, Chelsea v APOEL Nicosia. And if that were not enough, there's also a full slate of Championship action plus FA Cup second round replays.