Rio Ferdinand has revealed all communication with old friend Frank Lampard has ceased in the build-up to Manchester United's Premier League showdown with Chelsea.
The former West Ham team-mates have remained in regular contact throughout their careers, having maintained the bond first forged at Upton Park during their respective international careers.
However, when medals start to be polished and trophies are being prepared to get handed out, contact stops.
It is a well-established tradition that is even less likely to be broken in the build-up to a match that is almost certain to determine the outcome of this season's Premier League title.
"At this time of the season, me and Frank don't really talk," said Ferdinand. "It's an unwritten agreement between us.
"During the season we will send each other the odd text here and there but when it comes to the business end, if we are both involved in the title race, there is not really any dialogue."