KENNA HQ has put out an urgent lost property alert across London after a black taxi disappeared with items essential to the league on Saturday night.
The Bramble Jersey, auction hammer and literally the keys to Kenna HQ among the effects lost following an unusual chain of events on Regent Street at around 11pm.
The chairman and two Kenna managers were making their way from the pre-season fantasy football auction at The Carpenter’s Arms in Marylebone to meet other league members for a debrief at the Empire Casino in Leicester Square.
Disembarking from a London black taxi to retrieve fare payment from a cash machine, the chairman’s party were stunned to find upon return that the cabbie had ‘done one’.
The joy of realising they had skipped a £15 fare was soon overtaken by anxiety when the chairman revealed all the Kenna auction equipment was still in the taxi.
“It was most singular,” the chairman told the Transport for London lost property office this morning. “There was a black bag containing an old HP laptop, a Wigan Athletic Titus Bramble shirt and the keys to Kenna HQ, as well as a wooden wine box holding an Alpine cow bell, a bicycle horn and two decks of pornographic playing cards.
“Aside from the playing cards, these items are of little value to anyone but absolutely essential to the smooth running of the Kenna League auction.”
The incident marred what had otherwise been a great day in celebration of the Kenna’s 10th anniversary auction.
A total of 17 managers took part in proceedings in the upstairs room of a most welcoming pub The Carpenter’s Arms, with one manager linked live via Skype from Switzerland.
Managers toasted the future success of the league with champagne donated by the FC Testiculadew manager using the winnings from his recent win of the Emerson World Cup, before the auction started just after 3pm.
For the first time in years, no manager fell foul of the Titus Bramble forfeit ruling, although the Greendale Rockets boss came close after being caught in a bid for a second Chelsea player.
All eyes now turn to the coming Saturday, where managers will find out just how ill-judged their auction purchases were.
Final teams will be published over the coming days.
The chairman issued a message to the hasty cabbie: “Thanks for the free ride but please hand in these items to the proper authorities immediately, if you haven’t already done so.
“Keep a few of the playing cards for your own delectation if desired, we don’t use these for the auction anymore.”
LONDON’S best pub-based fantasy football World Cup competition will be named after former Middlesbrough Brazilian flop Emerson, it was announced today.
Best remembered in England for his two-season stint on Teeside in the 1990s, Emerson’s unfulfilled potential, meandering CV, failure to appear for his national side and dodgy haircut were key factors in the Kenna HQ committee’s decision to make him the contest’s figurehead.
For the first time the traditional auction will be held on the opening day of the tournament, Thursday 12 June. The match between Brazil and Croatia will kick off halfway through an auction experts predict will last around five hours.
“The 2014 Emerson World Cup auction will be a continuous, high intensity affair that will test managers’ skills to the very limit,” enthused the chairman.
“Players will be auctioned thick and fast, and among distractions like the opening tournament game on a pub TV in the background and regular round-buying we can expect entrants to find themselves falling foul of the Titus Bramble forfeit ruling,” he said, with a nod to the Horn of Africa manager’s unprecedented resignation during the 2012 Emmanuel Olisadebe Euros auction.
As with the 2010 Dr Khumalo World Cup in South Africa before it, the Emerson will limit managers to buying no more than one player of any nationality.
Managers will also be required to set their teams out in a rigid 4-4-2 formation, a proven formula at international level.
The Emerson winner will receive an estimated £150 cash prize, with the two runners up also getting their mitts on some dosh.
In a move away from previous international tournaments, there will be no prize for the best individual player. Instead a radical new system will see the team with the worst disciplinary record winning the Emerson Unfair Play award. It is hoped the award will keep wider interest further into the competition.
In unrelated news, the official partner of the 2014 Emerson World Cup has been confirmed as Soul Glo – a Jheri Curl product: Let Your Soul Shine Through.
Manager: Jorge (Catalunya)
Twitter name: @BoatBarandCo
Last season: Did not enter
Trophy cabinet: empty (best finish – 12th in 2010/11)
Darts music: Boat drinks – Jimmy Buffett
Outlook (on 30 August): ‘Come back to the boat’. The words sound so innocent. After eight hours of Kenna auction in the pub, the Rapids manager invited the league back to his bar: a boat moored on the River Thames. What most managers weren’t expecting (some, including the chairman, already know the boat well, and some other places) was another six hours of shooters surrounded by young Spanish women. Football aside, this is the most dangerous manager in the Kenna.
On the pitch, Rapids have the the potential to beat the manager’s last Kenna outing of 12th place. Buying players new to England’s shores is always a risk, but Negredo and Aspas are already proving to be worthy signings. The rest of the side look capable of making appearances and providing spark, although how long will it be before John Terry is hauled before the authorities on a charge of inciting racial hatred?
|de Guzman, J||SWA||£4m|
First transfer window – 5 October 2013
Did not attend. League membership under review.
Second transfer window – 7 February 2014
|DEF||Garrido, J||NOR||Free||DEF||Alonso, M||SUN||£2.5m|
|STR||Aspas, I||LIV||Free||STR||Crouch, P||STO||£10m|
SHOCKWAVES from Saturday’s Kenna fantasy football auction are still being felt in London five days on.
The marathon event shook the upstairs bar of the Roebuck in Borough for a record eight hours, as 21 managers worked their way through 232 lots and many more units of Central European lager.
Robin van Persie fetched the highest price of £46m – almost half a Kenna manager’s ton budget – bought over Skype by a mysterious man in Valencia wearing a Panama hat.
At £39m each Wayne Rooney and Sergio Aguero were the next biggest signings bought by St Reatham FC, the former Woking manager’s new team, and KS West Green, the Chairman’s team, respectively. Both managers steered their teams to relegation last season.
But it wasn’t the ninth annual Kenna auction itself that caused the biggest stir.
Locked in competition for a full shift, the majority of Kenna managers decided to accept the FC Rapid de Cuillons manager’s invitation to a late drink on his Thames boat bar: Bar&Co.
As the complimentary shooters flowed, the pressure of entering the world’s most competitive fantasy football league began to show, with memories of the evening becoming hazier.
Anders Breivik lookalike the Judean Peoples’ Front manager was among a hardened group of post-auction revellers who reported getting home at breakfast time, but he was not the biggest casualty.
Shutting himself into the Kenna HQ situation room with nothing but a case of tinned sardines and the auction wildcards, it took until Wednesday for the Kenna chairman to come to terms with the beast he’d created.
Emerging from his solitary vigil the chairman said: “Up until Saturday many people associated with the Kenna often wished there was more than one auction a year. Not any more.
“Glad as we are to be involved with this great institution, no one’s sanity, home life or alimentary canal could possibly deal with more than one of those sessions in 12 months.”
The first transfer window in October will probably come close.
The league will issue full details of teams and remaining budgets ahead of the season curtain raiser on Saturday at 12.45pm.
FLURRIES of foreign footballers being signed by English clubs are a staple of the summer.
Unlike George Weah’s cousin, many new players arriving in the Premier League have proven success in other countries, but that doesn’t always translate to the rough and tumble of the English game.
Take Eric Djemba-Djemba. An impressive debut season in Ligue Une earned the tough-tackling midfielder a dream move to Manchester United in the summer of 2003.
Viewed as a potential long-term successor to Roy Keane, it soon became clear that Eric’s biggest impact in a Red Devils shirt came in his debut game – a clattering challenge on Arsenal’s Sol Campbell branded ‘obscene’ by Arsene Wenger.
Fading from the first team over the next 18 months, the Cameroonian was sold to Aston Villa for £1.5m – a £5m loss for United. Competition from Gavin McCann and Steve Davies meant Djemba-Djemba played only once for the Villains before being farmed out on loan to Championship club Burnley.
Only the most devoted followers of Qatar SC, Odense BK and Hapoel Tel Aviv could add nuance to Eric’s 162 appearances and six goals following his release by Villa in summer 2007.
Djemba-Djemba never featured for a Kenna side, mainly because the bulk of his meagre Premier League appearances happened before the Kenna’s creation in 2005. Official Kenna records from the period are as patchy as the Bible, but it’s believed he did spend some time as a Titus Bramble player in 2006/07.
Be that as it may, his combative ‘Claude Makalele’ role in front of defence meant he was more likely to pick up bookings than assists and goals, a highly undesirable trait considering the Kenna’s scoring system.
A glut of new midfielders have flooded into England since Sporting Lesbian lifted the Kenna title in May. It remains to be seen which of those new recruits have the X factor and which have the Djemba-Djemba factor, but that won’t stand in the way of bold predictions based on national stereotyping and sweeping generalisations. When it comes to the auction on Saturday, on whom will managers gamble?
The list of Brazilians to flake in the Premier League is long and distinguished, but Paulinho’s formative years in Eastern Europe give the impression he can deal with a lot chillier and more hostile climes than a wet Tuesday night in Stoke. A likely first-team starter for Spurs and no stranger to the score sheet, although if his season goes too well a protracted transfer saga to Real Madrid next summer looms. Djemba-Djemba factor: 1/5
Fernandinho (Man City)
Another box-to-box Brazilian with experience of Eastern Europe’s icy depths. Manchester should be a stroll compared to any winter’s night in Donetsk. Maybe not guaranteed the starting place of his compatriot above, but lightening pace and a powerful shot. Djemba-Djemba factor: 2/5
José Cañas (Swansea)
In the last four years and 66 appearances, Cañas never scored for his former side Real Betis. Djemba-Djemba factor: 4/5
Aleksander Tonev (Villa)
The wiry Bulgarian international collected an Ekstraklasa runners up medal last season with Lech Poznań and offers width and pace. A former young Bulgarian footballer of the year, Tonev clocked up his first goals for the national side in March – scoring the first hat-trick of his career in a 6-0 thumping against Malta. How much will he feature? Djemba-Djemba factor: 3/5
Leroy Fer (Norwich)
Nicknamed ‘The Bouncer’ for his physical approach to the game, the Dutch international played in a range of positions throughout his early career but is now seen as a defensive midfielder in the mould of Patrick Viera. Not many goals or assists expected. Djemba-Djemba factor: 4/5
André Schürrle (Chelsea)
Certain to go for big money at auction, the German scores a goal every three games at club and country level. Unlikely to be the next Marko Marin. Djemba-Djemba factor: 1/5
The Sunderland midfield
Phil Bardsley may have been rebuked for that casino snap, but it’s his club paymasters who are spinning the wheel for the highest stakes. Paulo Di Canio’s wholesale replacement of players means the team that finished last season could be unrecognisable from the one lining up next week. El-Hadji Ba, Cabral, Diakite and Giaccherini all have no experience of the English game. Will the Italian’s gamble pay off? No one knows, but even his critics would say Di Canio always tends to be right. Djemba-Djemba factor: 4/5
Victor Wanyama (Southampton)
An African defensive midfielder who for the last two years has honed his skills in a league even more unfashionable than France’s. Are you Eric in disguise? Djemba-Djemba factor: 5/5
PLANS to introduce a new open market system to Kenna transfer windows were unveiled today.
In what league blazers have smugly branded ‘Jeff’s transfer bazaar’, managers selling players in the season’s two windows will only receive what another club is prepared to pay for them. Previously, managers received the price they’d paid for a player.
The Chalkstripes in Kenna HQ’s speculations department predict the move will introduce a new dimension to the league, with less money sloshing around windows than last season and individual performance deciding a player’s value.
The announcement comes comes 11 days before the annual Kenna auction, where managers will gather in the pub to buy their teams ahead of the English football season.
In a press conference this afternoon in the saloon bar of the King’s Arms in Waterloo, the chairman said: “Managers will have to be a lot more wary of who they outlay the big money on at the auction. You don’t want to be stuck with a £30m out-of-sorts Andy Carroll on your hands, or even worse a Titus Bramble forfeit player.”
The changes to transfer windows wasn’t the only change in the new season’s Kenna rules and regulations published today.
A top secret brochure of players to be sold in set order will be distributed to managers immediately before the auction starts – a move away from the traditional method of managers taking turns to pick players at random.
The chairman has hit back at critics of the plan, who think it will lead to less spontaneity: “To improve the auction experience, every manager will have one wildcard pick each, so that they can introduce a player of their own choosing at any stage of the auction.
“Five selected lots will be sold in a first-price sealed bid auction – where potential buyers will secretly write down their maximum bid, with the highest winning.”
No indication was made of who exactly the forfeit players would be for the auction, but Kenna HQ did confirm a 23-strong squad.
Made up of 11 young or loaned out Premier League footballers (The Bramble Youth) and 11 high-profile individuals who have earned notoriety off the pitch (Titus Bramble’s Pub XI), the Titus Bramble squad will be used as bogey players for managers breaking the rules.
WINNING Kenna teams score 33 points a week and losing ones 22 points, according to league records published today.
Archives show that in the eight football seasons since the Kenna League was founded each player in the winning team picked up three points a week on average – 111 points a season.
Stats also show FC Testiculadew’s ‘Kenna in the bag‘ championship in 2011/12 was the league’s most dominant.
FCT romped home a record 129 points ahead of the pack, were the highest scoring team ever and clocked up the best ever Manager of the Month performance: 251 points in January 2012.
Vasco De Beauvoir hold the golden boot record with 80 goals scored during their double-winning campaign of 2009/10.
Enjoying considerably less renown are the Fat Ladies, who two seasons after winning their 2007/08 Kenna crown pulled out the worst league performance in history, finishing 205 points adrift.
In the same year, Dynamo Temple ended the defence of their Kenna championship by picking up just four dismal points in May’s Manager of the Month contest.
Kenna managers will hope to be breaking these records when they assemble in a London pub to attend the annual auction next month ahead of the English football season.
The Kenna chairman, who last week was confirmed as the most decorated manager in the league’s history, said: “Perhaps the greatest honour should be reserved for the Judean Peoples’ Front manager. He produced what is officially the most mediocre campaign ever, finishing within a point of the average score.”
The name’s Bonda…
A quick thought for former Kenna player Pascal Chimbonda, who today joined Evo-stik League outfit Market Drayton.
The chairman and other sundry Kenna managers spent many an underage Saturday enjoying the pubs and ‘club’ of the Shropshire town.
Chimbonda first appeared in the Kenna in 2006/07 season, picking up 66 points for the Fat Ladies as they reached fourth place.
In the next campaign the French defender was signed by the Barking Hackney manager, but released in October after only scoring nine points.
Chimbonda was last seen in the Kenna scoring 42 points for the Pep Guardiola XI as they finished lower mid-table in 2009/10.