REINFORCEMENTS for the FC Testiculadew trophy shelf are on order at B&Q as the manager looks to be the most successful ever in the Kenna League.
The chairman (Stix) remains top of Jeff’s Hall of Fame, but in a career less than half the length the FCT manager – known as the Tactical Brambler for his ingenuity at finding loopholes in league rules – has surged to second in the silverware table.
Two league and cup doubles, and a podium finish in four campaigns see the Kenna League’s answer to Lord Vader (James N) standing on the brink of unprecedented glory if he can win another title next season.
On recent form, only this year’s championship-winning manager at Sporting Lesbian (Ben M) can hope to fire a proton torpedo into the FCT Death Star. In just three seasons, the Sporting boss has won two titles.
The chairman aside, of the managers to compete in all 10 seasons of the league the Piedmonte manager (Phil) pips the Newington Reds manger (Dudley) with three podium finishes to two.
The former PSV Mornington manager (El Pons) is bottom of the trophy stats. The Catalan is the most hopeless Kenna manager of all time having been relegated twice and collecting seven Turkey of the Month awards (TOTMs).
The table below orders managers in the number of leagues, cups, podium finishes and Manager of the Month awards (MOTMs) they have won. Managers (campaigns entered in brackets) must have completed at least three seasons to be in Jeff’s Hall of Fame.
It is the second time the Somali has steered a club into the abyss of a non-existent Kenna second tier.
The performance was even more limp than PSV Mornington the season before, the previous record for gammon. The managers of Pirates, fellow relegatees Fat Ladies and the ill-fated PSV are the only ones to finish two campaigns in the drop zone.
“Yarrrr! I fight ye again another day!” said the defiant Somali who just refuses to go down with his ship.
The Kenna all time stats published today for the first time in two years (below), also show Young Boys of Vauxhall to have had to the driest season on record in 2013-14.
The last two transfer windows saw Young Boys go through a barren Mario Balotelli spell before rectifying matters with the signings of Charlie Austin and Daniel Sturridge. They ended up joint-second most prolific side this term.
Nevertheless, it’s clear the manager places little to no emphasis on proven strikers at the summer auction.
Regeneration. Future prosperity. Football benefitting a community.
Now those promises lie as empty as The Prince Albert, a derelict pub on Colombo Street in south London.
For this particular site was a chosen venue of Kenna League between 2007 and 2009.
Four transfer windows, an awards night, a domestic auction and the 2008 John Jensen Euros auction were all held at the Prince Albert, but predictions of increased bar takings and a contagious atmosphere bringing future trade never materialised.
Instead, the pub went into years of decline and has now closed down. An innocent hope. A tragic ending.
A former Prince Albert regular said: “I remember the landlord said he had the Kenna League coming. We were all impressed.
“The organisers told the landlord they’d drink enough to send his kids to university so he offered them a free buffet. He was really disappointed when only a handful of Herberts turned up, gobbled the grub laid on in seconds and sniggered their way through four hours of weak jokes about Titus Bramble. It was disgusting.
“There was this tall, blonde bloke who started coming with them. He was so loud you could have heard his voice the other side of the North Sea, which was the funny thing because a couple of years later I saw him on TV stand trial for killing all these kids in Norway. I knew he was a wrong ‘un.”
The Prince Albert is not the first pub to be so cruelly raped and discarded by the Kenna League.
The 200-year-old Black Horse in Fitzrovia played host to an auction and two transfer windows between 2007-2008 but soon after the Kenna moved on it closed down and later became a squat.
Since 2010 the Kenna League has enlarged and adopted a policy of moving from one venue to the next. Experts have warned UEFA against copying the format for the Euros tournament, but it would seem to no avail.
Quizzed over legacy issues this morning, an unrepentant Kenna chairman said: “The Prince Albert was an Enterprise Inn, for crying out loud! You know the sort of place, cheap beer that tastes like chemicals and a clientele who haven’t washed for a week.
“There was no place in the Kenna’s strategic direction for such a venue. Football’s a world game and we’re all about bringing fantasy football auctions to those places where it’s needed most, like pubs with craft beer on tap and Arab satellite dishes showing the 3pm games.”
Broken legacy – Kenna events at the Prince Albert and Black Horse
In the transfer market, the Sporting manager was also most efficient, on average getting another 54 points out of each signing when he released Paulinho and Pablo Hernandez in favour of Nathan Dyer and Ahmed Elmohamady.
The FC Testiculadew manager was next biggest transfer shark, coaxing an average of 42 points from each of the eight players acquired in October and February.
This remarkable feat transformed the fortunes of a manager who didn’t even turn up to the pre-season auction and started with an automatically-picked team including Torres and Podolski.
The chairman’s side KS West Green was the most hampered by the manager’s transfer activity, primarily due to the costly forfeit of Sergio Aguero in the February window.
While replacement Bramble player Fred ‘The Weatherman’ Talbot put the chairman’s integrity beyond probity, he failed to address more pressing problems both in front of goal. KS West Green lost nearly 20 points for every piece of transfer business the manager conducted.
Kenna HQ critics claim the research is slightly spurious, since it doesn’t take into account any points scored early season by players no longer listed, such as Alvaro Negredo of Judean Peoples’ Front, Andre Scheurrle of Team Panda Rules OK, Joel Campbell of Hoxton Pirates and Davide Santon of Pikey Scum to name but a clutch.
“This research is in no way slapdash,” said the chairman on the pavement outside the Holborn Whippet to a media briefing attended by a Kenna PR flunky, an elderly couple on holiday from Winnipeg looking for directions to the British Museum, and Metro Man.
“This is merely an indication of how good or bad managers have performed in the transfer market. There may be a few discrepancies with numbers, so I’m sure when someone takes the time to work it all out they’ll find KS West Green were by no means the worst windowed team this season.”
Meanwhile, gossip is rife over the futures of the three relegated managers.
The former Hoxton Pirates boss is said to be interested in a move to either the Wenlock Bucaneers or Shoreditch Sea Shanty.
The ex Fat Ladies manager is considering a role either with the Morbidly Obese Matrons or Corpulent Crones.
SPORTING Lesbian were crowned Kenna champions for the second time in their history on Saturday.
Despite a late charge from Cowley Casuals, Sporting jogged over the line after a fantastic goal from Alexis Sanchez.
The Sporting manager collected a tidy £175 prize pot, having also picked up manager of the month awards for October and December.
The other big winners were Cowley Casuals, lifting the Canesten Combi Cup and finishing second the manager banked £125.
The Walthamstow Reds manager finally picked up silverware after 10 years of trying, scooping Jeff’s Unfair Play Award.
Wondering whether the Reds manager had a hitherto undiscovered talent for signing undisciplined players all this time, chalkstripes in the Kenna HQ speculations department were almost tempted to go through the archives, but it was late in the afternoon and happy hour was about to start at Tiger Tiger.
For the first time ever, Alan Hansen has broken down his coloured performance chart into week-by-week league positions (see below).
Which prompts the question: with the body of the season lying on the coroner’s slab what will club boards be most keen to ask Kenna managers in the season review?
Here are the five most likely enquiries:
Still Don’t Know Yet: “After a rocky start the team started to play well and were then dire all season. Why didn’t you attend any transfer windows?”
Bala Rinas: “You’ve finished third again and you’re the only manager in the league to keep his side in the top four for the whole season. You’re quite lanky and you’re good with numbers. Are you Arsene Wenger in disguise?”
Young Boys: “Looking at your side’s performances in winter, would you describe yourself as a fair-weather manager?”
St Reatham FC: “The side were pushing for a top four finish for the whole season but dropping four places in May is clear evidence you now lack resolve to finish something off. Why can’t you bring your Chobham Common form to the dressing room?”
Hoxton Pirates: “Can you take your cutlass on the way out? And the Koran?…No, no, leave the khat and the RPG launcher.”
Alan Hansen’s coloured performance chart
Champions – £150
Runners up – £50
Third place – £25
Wenger Trophy – £12.50
Canesten Combi Cup winners – £75
Manager of the Month – £12.50
Jeff’s Unfair Play Award – £25
Committee costs – £37.50
SPORTING Lesbian all but secured their second Kenna League title in three years despite a late rally from Cowley Casuals.
A goal from Leonardo Ulloa and assist from James Milner were not enough from Casuals to overturn a 17-point deficit. It would take shockers of historical significance from Sporting’s Alexis Sanchez and Ashley Westwood at Wembley this Saturday to reverse their 11-point lead.
“It was very close at the end so we had to shave it,” said the Sporting Lesbian manager, expounding the kind of attitude that makes him a champion and Hairy Fadjeetas mid-table also rans.
Graziano Pelle (39 starts), Raheem Sterling (39) and Sanchez (38) have been the stand out performers behind Sporting’s success, but the rest of side all put in near-weekly appearances to contribute.
October transfer window recruits Nathan Dyer and Ahmed Elmohamady were consistent rather than amazing, although the manager will never let the chairman forget that derogatory assessment of Elmo.
Missing out on the league, the Casuals manager can take solace in his Canesten Combi Cup final victory over Dynamo Charlton.
Dynamo’s February transfer window signing Harry Kane levelled the score, so the tie was decided on the controversial points system. The Young Boys manager is unlikely to be impressed.
Looking at the gaps between teams in the rest of the top four, it’s unlikely Saturday’s match will change much unless Lokomotiv Leeds’ Kieron Gibbs can bother the referee more than Walthamstow Reds’ Theo Walcott.
For after 10 trophyless years the Reds manager is leading the inaugural Unfair Play league table.
Those heroics led the Spartak manager to his first ever Kenna silverware as his side smashed Just Put Carles 7-1 in the Canesten Combi Cup final.
Today those managers are a far cry from glory. Just Put Carles hover just above the relegation zone, probably safe from a toothless Still Don’t Know Yet who seem destined for the drop.
The Spartak manager is now in charge of Hoxton Pirates, but it won’t be long before a P45 is pinned to the captain’s table with a dagger. The Somali manager’s team is so far adrift not even Ross Kemp is trying to milk a new season of Sky’s In Search of Pirates out of it.
Fresh humiliation was poured on the weekend as Hoxton Pirates won the Go For Broke Cup having lost 1-0 to Judean Peoples’ Front, and therefore won the season’s mark of knockout infamy.
Looking ahead Cowley Casuals face Dynamo Charlton in the Canesten Combi Cup final this weekend.
Dynamo will face Cowley Casuals in the Canesten Combi Cup final on the last day of the season after semi final opponents Team Panda Rules OK failed to arouse themselves sufficiently to overcome a three-goal advantage from the first leg.
The James Milner goal for Casuals, as well as a Leonardo Ulloa assist, also edged them closer in the title race to league leaders Sporting Lesbian.
At 30 points adrift, a Casuals league and cup double looks a long shot, but Sporting hotshots Graziano Pelle and Alexis Sanchez failed to make an impact this week, leaving the door ajar.
Should Cowley Casuals miss out on both the league and cup, critics will point to poor morale at the club due to their use of zero hours contracts.
The manager maintains temporary contracts give his players more flexibility, but Casuals midfielder Yanick Bolasie has broken ranks.
“They say it allows us to choose our hours, but I haven’t felt this insecure about my job since my loan spell at Rushden & Diamonds,” said the Democratic Republic of Congo international.
“We all feel that whatever happens we’ll all be dumped at the end of the season and put back on the free market in the summer, like we’re all in some sort of fantasy football league or something.”
Meanwhile, after seven consecutive weeks in fifth place St Reatham FC dropped one place in the table.
ADVICE from the Crown Prosecution Service was clear.
When Adam Johnson was charged with three counts of sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl last month, the CPS said: ‘there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online that may prejudice proceedings in the case.’
Unfortunately for the Sunderland winger’s reputation, this hasn’t stopped fans of rival clubs drawing their own conclusions about his actions through football chants and posting it on YouTube.
Appearing in the Kenna League this season for Still Don’t Know Yet, Johnson finds his suspected transgressions at the centre of two equally inappropriate ditties.
Let’s take a look at them in more detail.
The Toon Army chant
Catchy, original and easy to sing over and over again, Newcastle United fans have come up with an enduring terrace mantra.
The use of Slade’s Come On Feel The Noise allows even the most limited vocalist to revel in the P-word, and it’s simplicity means the lyrics can be picked up quickly by a match goer of little intellect.
Not for the first time in a football song poor grammar – here employed turning the slang verb ‘nonce’ into a noun – can be overlooked. The word ‘fiddling’ could be substituted without threatening the meter.
What cannot be ignored is the legal thin ice on which the chanter stands. The video was uploaded to the internet on 5 April, in between Johnson’s initial arrest (2 March) and his charge (23 April). Publicly pre-empting his sentence and calling him a sex offender could end in litigation if he’s innocent.
Conversely, should Johnson be found guilty this versatile chant can by updated by changing the start of the second line to ‘You’ve been sent down…’
The Red Devils chant
At once more intricate and involved, this chant bears all the hallmarks of an away coach workshopping session.
Again Johnson is labelled a sex offender, but this time there is more detail about the nature and geography of his infringements. Again the same legal pitfalls present themselves.
The chant has two shortcomings. First, although there is comedy value in presuming these misdemeanours occur at Sunderland’s home ground, in reality it doesn’t work.
The Stadium of Light’s city centre location and proximity to the Wearside Audi dealership means it’s likely to be covered with surveillance cameras. If Johnson really wanted to perform these murky deeds on club premises he would be better off in a more secluded spot, like the club’s training ground in the countryside, The Academy of Light near Cleadon.
The second drawback with this chant is despite the obvious time and effort that went into its conception, it fails to capitalise on the full melody of Yanky Doodle Went To Town. There is room for another four lines. Here are some considerations.
1. Since there is already legal compromise, they could take the scenario a little further:
Sticks his digits up their arse
Makes them smell his finger It’s the only score he’ll get ‘Cos he’s a goal-shy winger
The first two lines are a dangerous supposition, but not even Fleet Street’s finest defamation lawyer could convince a judge that Johnson was prolific in front of goal.
2. The chanter could backtrack on their introductory slander with some qualification:
But we shouldn’t judge too soon He’s only been arrested We’ll refrain from saying more Till DNA’s been tested
That would be one hell of a Jeremy Kyle Show.
Perhaps one day a footballer will be standing outside the Royal Courts of Justice having just won a landmark defamation case against everyone seen singing an inflammatory song in an internet video. Until that day people in a situation like Adam Johnson’s will find the schadenfreude of fans ever ready to make light of matters, always in poor taste but sometimes in a catchy and amusing way.
One thing is clear. At 18th in the Kenna League and staring down the barrel of relegation, the Still Don’t Know Yet manager’s ongoing fantasy football auction strategy of buying ex-Boro players is not paying dividends.
Bright remembered everything. “Oh that. I was watching Match of the Day on Saturday and saw a funny tweet about Gary Lineker’s shirt so I decided to share the joke,” he said, forgetting himself a little.
“You mean you stole the joke, Mr Bright,” replied the voice. It filled every inch of the dank so well it’s owner had to be in another room.
“I wouldn’t say I…”
“Don’t even try, Mr Bright,” said the voice with a thin edge of impatience. Then after a couple of moments: “You have no idea who you’re dealing with, do you, Mr Bright?
“Have you ever heard of the Kenna League?”
“The what?” said Bright, confused.
“The Jeff Kenna League. It’s London’s leading pub-based fantasy football league,” said the voice, as if the catchphrase was a national phenomenon.
Bright offered: “Is it anything to do with Jeff Kenna? The Republic of Ireland full back?”
“Not at all,” replied the voice. “Well, the league was named after Jeff, but he has nothing to do with it. Although, irritatingly we do get stray emails intended for him from time to time.
“On the face of it the Kenna League or Kenna – as it’s more commonly known – is a group of managers who congregate in the pub a few times each year to buy and sell Premier League players in an auction format,” this did little to cheer Bright. Whoever was behind this stunt was clearly out of their mind. The voice droned on as Bright’s mind began to race, thinking of how he could escape.
“…and one manager is a real pirate. Hot headed sort. The only manager to quit during an auction…”
Bright tried the ropes on his wrists. They were bound tight behind him. He scanned the darkness for anything to help cut, catching the last sentence of the inane monologue: “But underneath, Mr Bright, the Kenna League isn’t all rounds of drinks and worn out jokes about Titus Bramble.”
Bramble! He was involved in this! Bright wondered what the former defender was really up to since being released by Sunderland in 2013. It definitely wasn’t Bramble talking now though.
The voice continued. It definitely belonged to an Englishman, as non descript as it was preposterous: “You have shown disrespect to the Kenna, Mr Bright. Even taking into account your prolific spells at Crystal Palace and Sheffield Wednesday, you must learn to understand the power of the Kenna committee.”
“B-B-But, I ‘at’ mentioned you in the tweet along with the Linkear. I acknowledged the joke was yours. I’ve got more than 87,000 followers, you probably got some more followers out of it,” Bright was pleading.
“Mr Bright, your little caper only earned the Kenna three extra followers: a Birmingham City fan service, a self-publishing ‘comedy’ author and an American woman who retweets credit card advice.
“Therefore, Mr Bright, we have no alternative but to keep you here.”
“What? I’ve got a home, a job, a family. People will wonder where I am. Please, please, please let me go!” said Bright, writhing in his bonds.
“I’m afraid that won’t be possible, Mr Bright, but we have got a little surprise for you.”
The voice went quiet. After a few moments the opening bars of a slow, start-stop, R&B pop beat filled the room. Bright immediately felt pinpricks of cold sweat all over his body. How did they know? It was impossible!
A woman began to sing:
Folks say I’m tripping and I’m losing my mind
It was ‘Sweetness’, the 1994 hit by his ex-wife Michelle Gayle. Good God, no!
Much as he had loved Michelle, and indeed he was still on good terms with her, Bright couldn’t bear that song. He had never admitted it to anyone out of respect, so how did they find out? And why were they doing this to him?
He managed to negotiate the track’s three minutes and 37 seconds without swallowing his tongue, and when the music faded he began to breathe more slowly.
The room was silent for a few seconds and then he heard it:
Shoop shoo doop Shay day shoop shoo doop
It was on repeat!
Mark Bright’s own voice awoke him with a start. He was in his own bed. He felt his wrists and wasn’t tied up. Oh, thank the heavens, he thought, it was just a horrible nightmare.
He checked the time on the bedside clock. 3.37am. He was about to drift off to sleep again when his blood ran cold. Opening his eyes wide he looked at the bedside table again.
The curtains weren’t completely drawn. A small gap let in enough sodium street lighting to reflect from a small shiny square propped against the lamp.