Santa Claus says he’s devastated he can’t visit all the children of the world this Christmas after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee when paying a visit to the house of Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold.

Speaking to reporters from his bed at Royal North Pole Hospital, The Jolly Fat Man said in the thousands of years he has brought cheer and presents to billions around the world, he’s never once suffered an injury of this magnitude.

“I have no idea what happened. The moment I set foot in that house, I just felt something give way in my knee,” Santa said. “Next minute, I’m screaming in pain on the floor. To Graham’s credit, he came downstairs and provided immediate help, although I wish he’d had the presence of mind to close his dressing gown first.

“I feel terrible. I was only about halfway through my Australia route, so there’s a lot of people who won’t be getting presents this year. I’m especially devastated for Ante Covic. All he wished for was a reason why he was left out of the Asian Cup squad,” Santa said, holding up a card which said, ‘You’re nearly 40. You missed.’

At time of writing, thousands of angry children have descended on Sydney FC’s office at Allianz Stadium. Police have established a barricade around the building, and a spokesperson said they’re ready to bring in water cannons if the situation turns nasty.

The PR nightmare for the Sky Blues, who have three players out for the season with ACL injuries, has spread to social media, with cross-town rivals Western Sydney Wanderers unable to resist sinking the boot in.

WSW

Sydney FC CEO Tony Pignata released a brief statement saying the club and staff were upset by this latest setback, and would make it up to the world by signing an injury replacement Santa Claus in the January transfer window.

In other Christmas news, Central Coast Mariners’ coach Phil Moss told FMF he was visited by The Ghosts of Coaching Past and Present during the night, who showed him the impact of his past and current coaching. Moss said The Ghost of Coaching Future was absent, because “according to the two which came last night, I have no coaching future.”