Antoni Sarcevic suffered a shock today as his lawyers finally got round to reading his new contract, signed this weekend following negotiations with manager Neil Young.
The midfielder had thought that he was merely signing an extension through to the end of next season, but Sarcevic admits that he didn't actually read the fine print.
"Turns out that Youngy has slipped in some clauses on the sly," fumed the former Crewe man. "First I knew about it was this morning, when I get a call from the gaffer asking why I've not been over to mow his lawn yet. Apparently I signed up to do his grass every other Tuesday."
And the King of the Seals has shown no remorse.
"I'm always telling the lads, they need a good eye for detail," insisted Young. "Especially at this level, where the players need a second job - it's a really employable skill. I'm hoping that Sarce learns from this. Or if he hasn't already, that he does after a few weeks of coming round to put the rubbish out. Mrs Young's particularly delighted I've pulled that one off. She hates manoeuvring those wheelie bins."
Sarcevic's waste duties don't stop there. He is also charged with separating out the recycling.
"I've never got my head round that," confessed Young. "When does glass become plastic? I don't know... it's madness."
The sneaky ruse has, however, been branded short-sighted by those in the know, with insiders indicating that centre-back Dom Collins is now reluctant to sign a contract extension.
"Dom's been brilliant this year, but now his future looks in jeopardy," said an anonymous source, who looked suspiciously like Collins himself. "He was all set to sign the new contract that had been put in front of him, but then he heard about Sarce's fate and read through the document properly.
"He discovered that Neil had slipped in a condition that obliges Dom to scream 'Youngy is my hero!' every time he jumps for a header - and that's just not workable."
The practice is nothing new at the club. When Iain Howard first joined Chester, he was soon dismayed to discover that he had signed a pledge to fight for his position with a slew of left-wingers, many of whom would often be brought in whilst the plasterer was right at the top of his game. Young himself, meanwhile, fell victim to the same trap.
"I was so excited to be named Chester boss that I signed the contract without reading it through," recounted the Blue Chief. "Wound up having to wear that puffer coat for a year and a half before they'd let me have a proper anorak. I learnt my lesson, and I'm just trying to make sure the players do the same."