The old habits of secrecy haven’t left Kim Kuk-song.
It has taken weeks of discussions to get an interview with him, and he’s still worried about who might be listening. He wears dark glasses for the camera, and only two of our team know what we think is his real name.
Mr Kim spent 30 years working his way to the top ranks of Kenna League manager experiences department. The agency is the “eyes, ears, and brains of the Kenna chairman”, he says.
Clotted Cream First have topped the Kenna League for the first six weeks of the season despite carrying an out-of-sorts Harry Kane.
The England captain is the lowest points scorer in the Cream starting eleven with seven points, having returned just three starts and a substitute appearance.
The Cream boss will be happy to have paid just £7m for the striker after bidding to take part in a high stakes game of ‘The Harry Kane Challenge’, where two managers go head to head naming the starting 22 players of a certain match.
While Kane flounders, Cream have found form all over the team.
Edouard Mendy (£0.5m) is top scoring with 32 points, following by Bruno Fernandes (£22m) with 30, Raphinha (£28m) with 28, Youri Tielemens (£9m) with 27, and Tyrone Mings (£0.5m) with 25.
‘Even Ben Mee bring me more points than ‘Arry,’ said the Devonian manager of Clotted Cream First.
The Kenna League vice chairman has returned to the UK from nine months of political exile.
The second-in-command of the world’s leading London pub-based fantasy football league was banished to Africa for fomenting dissent at Kenna HQ to undermine the chairman.
Upon seeing the vice chairman back on English soil at the weekend, followers of his social media feeds were surprised to see him not in a pool, on a mountain or beach, or within high-calibre rifle range of one of the Big Five.
‘His ratty manbun was a bit of shock too, but probably not as much as a shock as the vice chairman got when he saw the autofill had put Benjamin Mendy in his Young Boys team,’ quipped a source at Kenna HQ.
While the vice chairman’s return to England underwhelmed, Cristiano Ronaldo announced himself with typical aplomb.
As the world’s leading London pub-based fantasy football league, it was with considerable interest the powers that be at the Kenna HQ discovered a podcast about the perfect pub.
The Moon Under Water is hosted by two pub enthusiasts who invite a guest each episode to describe what drinks and atmosphere their fantasy boozer would boast.
Founded in 2005 in The Old Bank of England, and since then popping up in pubs all over central London, for the Kenna pondering the perfect pub proved too much to resist.
Here are the features of the Kenna HQ local in the podcast’s template. It’s just over the road from Jeff House and ideal for swift lunchtime tipple or drinks after work.
Layout and decor The interior of the wood-panelled pub is split into two parts. The main bar, known as the Titus Bramble Lounge, is the pub’s beating heart. There’s plenty of light from large windows at front and side, but no one can see in through the smoked glass. There are a couple of stools at the bar that be used at quieter times. There’s enough room to host at least 20 for the Kenna auction if it’s too cold to hold it in the beer garden.
Out back is the public bar. The chalk stripes from the Kenna HQ speculations department can regularly be found in here bantering around the pool table on a weekday afternoon.
As the evening wears on, every hour the lights are imperceptibly dimmed a little so by midnight there’s a conspiratorial atmosphere.
Two drinks on draft There needs to be an option between four and five per cent for session and one between five and six per cent for heavier drinking. Pilsner Urquell exactly as it’s sold in Lokal in Prague is the session beer, served in a handled glass and slipping down like milk
Cheltenham brewery Deya has the stronger option covered with their blockbuster pale ale Steady Rolling Man.
Two bottles Henri De Blainville is a small wine cooperative in the Charentes-Maritime region. Their merlot vin de pays is delicious and can be consumed in large quantities with no impact on the experience. All at a very reasonable price point of around four euros a bottle.
Jimmy White once rented a penthouse hotel suite and had a case of Dom Perignon delivered every day for 17 days. The Kenna chairman once tried Dom while interloping at the National Chef of the Year semi finals. It’s incredible.
Two spirits Rum is crucial. Something golden from the Caribe. Mount Gay.
Fernet Branca isn’t popular in the UK and it’s a crying shame. It is a fantastic drink which can be served in any situation and immediately makes one feel better.
Wildcard pick Bloody Mary. None of this jamming it full of vegetables and seasoning. Just a dash of Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce added to Polish Soplica vodka and tomato juice. Superb after breakfast time or a heavy night.
Album playing Kool & The Gang’s Greatest Hits. Floor-filling songs galore. Patrons aren’t afraid to break into dance late in the evening.
What’s barred? For the Kenna there’s only one cardinal sin, Tactical Brambling. For the uninitiated, this is the pernicious act of triggering the Titus Bramble player forfeit process on purpose late in the auction to free up funds and give yourself an advantage.
Name The Goal-Shy Badger. The sign features a badger kneeling in front of goal, his black and white face in his hands in despair as the ball slices over the bar. Jorge Campos is leaning against the post with his arms folded.
Once upon a time in a land before going to the supermarket was a necessity rather than the only way to jazz up a Saturday night, turning up to the Kenna auction in person was the only surefire way to challenge for the title.
Managers would walk over broken pint glass (deep into the working week the streets of London were paved with it ) to get the pub and give themselves the chance of assembling a strong team.
Submit silent bids and leave your side to the autofill? You’d be waiting longer for Kenna glory than you would your G&T order in Kabul Airport departure lounge.
Those reckless days of sitting next to other people in public places and sharing bags of crisps in lieu of dinner may almost be back, but after one week of the Kenna season the competitive advantage of showing up may be a thing of the past
Just six managers tipped up in Marylebone for the auction earlier this month.
They couldn’t believe their luck when unchallenged they picked up the kind of players they would have to wait six hours and a Pirate Bramble to sign.
But the Sword of Damocles hung over them in the shape of the autofill.
Granted a small data set, but when the table is translated into a manager’s mode of auction below, some of those who made the trip to the boozer will struggle.