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.
He was in the habit of receiving emails from managers on all sorts of matters. The boss of Young Boys complaining about the new cup format. The treasurer complaining about the level of expenses coming out of the league reptile fund. The Still Don’t Know Yet manager complaining about the car containing two heavy set men parked outside his Singapore address for the last week.
These were mere day-to-day bagatelle, bread and butter for a football administrator of 10 years’ standing. In comparison this latest development was a real conundrum, the type to make Richard Whitely bristle with excitement. Even now.
The chairman could only stare at the email from the FC Testiculadew manager. After 20 minutes, in need of inspiration, he clicked print and went to the Kenna HQ roofgarden to muse.
Outside a couple of chalkstripes from the speculations department were coming to the end of a three-martini lunch. They were in heated discussion about whether Gary Glitter would be more effective as a midfielder or a striker.
Upon seeing the chairman, both men abandoned their drinks, gave the accepted salute and retreated inside.
Alone to think, the chairman took a seat and puzzled over the Garamond 11 characters on the page. For all the sense they made they may as well have been in Dingbats.
I’m often mystified by the ways of Mourinho, i have to confess.
I’ve read with great worry the activities of the Welsh, maybe now is the time for all good Englishmen, Geordies and Somalis to act, (the Somalis are noted for there distaste of the Welsh)
I stand ready to assist in any way
The chairman was sure the FCT boss was up to something underhand. He had to be, by Jove! His form for exploiting every league rule and regulation out there made the communication smell worse than the Fat Ladies rear guard on a muggy afternoon.
But just what in the name of Bramble’s bejabbers was the fellow up to now?
Of course, the rules were not perfect. The many checks and balances put in since the tactical Brambling affair, an episode entirely contrived by the FCT manager, had done nothing but paper over the cracks. The forfeit procedure couldn’t stand up to closer scrutiny, and that’s why he couldn’t raise membership fees without causing a backlash.
The in absentia bidding rules were also flawed. How else could the FCT boss not turn up to the pre-season auction, be given leftover players and now find himself seventh in the league? Torres, Podolski, Fellaini. The utter dross with which he had started the season. And now he was only a couple of good weeks from a European place. It beggared belief.
He looked at the email again. Taken on face value it was straightforward. In the first line the FCT manager admits the Juan Cuadrado signature at the second transfer window was a gamble yet, and unlikely, to bear fruit. Next he makes reference to recent reports about gun-toting Welsh crackpots taking over the league (the chairman reminded himself to drop into the manager experiences department later for the latest surveillance report).
Continuing to study the words he was stumped. Geordies? There were no Geordies among league managers any more. What did they have to do with Kenna HQ? And why was the word Somalis used twice?
The chairman stared at the last line: ‘assist in any way’. He scribbled an anagram: Taiwan any sissy. What could it all mean?
Throwing down the confounded riddle, he snapped his fingers and ordered Madeira wine. Finishing his second glass he suddenly remembered a film he had watched on a recent flight.
A group of well-spoken crossword buffs won Britain the war because a girl had broken her landlady’s rigid curfew.
Wait! They had built a big machine to decipher the code.
He pulled out his phone and hit speed dial for his personal assistant.
“Mavis? Set up a meeting with Benedict Cumberbatch.” He rang off.
A wry smile on his lips, the chairman picked up his fifth glass of Madeira. He would soon get to the bottom of this.
A riveting week in the Go For Broke Cup…
Go For Broke Cup semi final first leg results
Judean Peoples’ Front 0 – 0 KS West Green
Hoxton Pirates 0 – 0 Fat Ladies
This week’s fixtures – Go For Broke Cup semi final second leg
THE top four of London’s leading pub-based fantasy football league is being overrun by right-wing reactionary Welshmen, according to organisers.
The chairman of the Kenna League said the top flight’s top flight had been invaded by ‘gun toting final solution crackpots’ from across the border.
“That Taff bloke who resembles the Scandy [sic]. Yeah, him. He’s a menace. What’s he doing in the top four again? He couldn’t manage his way out of a wetsuit,” said the chairman.
It is thought the comments were aimed at the Judean Peoples’ Front manager, who looks like steering his side to a second consecutive top four finish. He also looks like Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik.
Photographed a few days ago sporting a Tyrolean hat, shotgun and the notorious ‘summer camp stare’ (above), the JPF boss claimed to have been responsible for the death of more than six million ‘cosmopolitan’ pheasants.
In the league, his strike rate has not been as impressive. A front two of Diafra Sakho and Nikica Jelavic have seen the goals dry up in recent weeks, but consistent if unremarkable industry across his starting eleven has put the club in third place.
Managed by the Kenna treasurer – another Welshman – Bala Rinas sit just behind in fourth.
He had no idea for how long he’d been out. The buzzing pain in his head felt like it had been hit hard.
Slowly he opened his eyes. Darkness. The smell of dusty wood and oil. And was that icing sugar?
The back door of the van was thrown open and country air flooded in. He tried to sit up but realised with an ache his hands and ankles were bound tightly. There was a sack over his head.
He heard a step on the metal tailgate and then his hands were grabbed behind him. Emitting a yelp as he was yanked along the floor of the van and roughly pulled off onto wet grass.
A pair of large hands picked him up by the armpits and dragged him backwards a few yards. He tried to resist, but it was useless and his feet slid harmlessly through the sod. He was too tired and dehydrated to put up a fight against someone who was certainly so strong. In a few moments he was tied to a large tree. He felt the rough bark on his hands.
“What do you want?” he rasped. His throat was sandpaper.
Ignored, he was about to ask again when the sack was whipped off his head. He squinted into the light and eventually made out one door standing open on the back of a dirty white van. The only evidence a numberplate and the words ‘Turbo Daily’ on the closed door. There was no one to be seen in the isolated countryside.
Then he looked down. His heart skipped a beat.
Standing just in front of him was a metal frame holding a small chair and a mechanical arm. The end of the arm was extended to within five inches of his groin.
“Get comfortable, manager,” said a deep French accent in his ear. There was particular Gallic disdain on the last word. He froze.
The stranger moved into view. He was well built, bald and African. He was also familiar, but he couldn’t place him.
“You’ve been sent by the department, haven’t you?” he said, trying to get tough in spite of his disadvantage. He knew Kenna HQ was behind this little game. He wouldn’t be intimidated, even if his captor looked like he could pin a tiger inside three rounds.
“You don’t remember me do you, manager?” the disdain was there again. He could remember the face, but from where he was stumped.
The African continued: “In the 2009-2010 season, you paid £3m for a striker, but you let him go because you said he ‘couldn’t shoot’. You insisted he did not deserve to play even for Timbuktu, manager.”
His heart sank. He should have known straight away. The Staffordshire numberplate. The West African patois. The smell of pastry. It was his former player Mamady Sidibie.
“You scored two goals all season,” he couldn’t help retorting. He checked himself. Big Mama was not interested.
Sidibie fetched a wooden crate from the van and seated himself on the contraption. He reached forward and slowly pulled back the arm, the spring creaking. From the crate he took a pastry. It looked like it was once a delicious apple turnover, but was now clearly well past its sell-by date.
“The French pastry business is not so good, manager,” said the Malian. “It turns out people in Stoke would rather go to Greggs. Who would have guessed?”
Before he could offer any response, Sidibie pulled a small string on the device and it flinged the bichon au citron into his genitals at over 40mph.
In the split second between initial shock and crushing agony, he could only contemplate another trophyless season.
After a couple of minutes Sidibie stood up and came face to face. “You know why you’re here, manager, so you know I will keep firing stale pastries until you convince me I do otherwise.”
Big Mama picked up a mouldy pain au raisin and reloaded the trap.
Canesten Combi Cup – quarter final first leg results
Aided by a specialist team from the league’s manager experiences department, the inquiry raided the committee member’s office at the club’s Bikini Lane ground on Friday night and found a black box stuffed with detailed plans to topple the Kenna leadership by fomenting discontent among managers.
Frogmarched from the premises in Y-fronts and a Sheffield Wednesday Carlton Palmer shirt, and into the back of a league Bedford Rascal, the Yorkshireman said: “It’s a plant. You won’t lock me out the cockpit!” before being winded by a truncheon blow to the torso.
The chairman said: “When I promised an open and transparent investigation into the cup fixtures I had no idea such pernicious activity was going on right under my nose, and by God I should have noticed sooner because it turns out those Hairy Fadjeetas really smell.
“Needless to say, we will explore every last inch of these Fadges, and no matter how hard it gets we’ll keep pummelling away until we go as deep as we can.
“I can’t promise it’s not going to get messy. We’re going to be squeezing every last drop of sedition out of our members, so it could get sticky. Some people may end up with something on their faces. But afterwards we’ll have thoroughly washed our hands.”
The Hairy Fadjeetas manager shot to league favour ahead of the 2012 Emmanuel Olisadebe Euros, when his witty live social media reporting of the auction saw him join the committee as director of wry tweets.
An ‘open and transparent’ inquiry was announced this morning by the chairman, but many Kenna managers fear it will lead to another round of intimidation and oppression by Kenna HQ’s manager experiences department.
With a reputation for brutality, the manager experiences department is thought to be little more than a means for the chairman to impose his total will on dissident members of the league.
Rumours abound of the department’s unscrupulous cruelty. Nocturnal abductions and underground carpark beatings are commonplace.
More recently the department has taken to using former footballers to carry out orders. Managers to express negative sentiment about the league leadership have reported waking up trapped on a spa break with Robbie Savage or with the barrel of Michael Ballack’s Mauser thrust into their mouth.
Some even believe this latest inquiry could lead to a purge of the league committee.
“These are simply rumours spread by enemies of the league. The inquiry will be open and transparent and seek to understand what improvements can be made to the Canesten Combi Cup for next season,” said the chairman, before confirming any cup results to date will be not be overturned.
The Young Boys manager was unavailable for comment. No one at the club has seen him since he got into a black Mercedes outside the ground yesterday.
Full team and individual scores are available at The Rub.
KENNA HQ has battoned down the hatches in preparation for an onslaught of complaints from the Young Boys manager after his side were knocked out of the Canesten Combi Cup.
Young Boys could only register a 1-1 draw at home to Just Put Carles last weekend, JPC defender Joel Ward cancelling out George Boyd’s strike.
After a goalless first leg the Catalan manager went through at the expense of Young Boys on the away goals rule.
A long-term critic of the Canesten Combi Cup’s revamped system, where goals scored in a week are counted rather than points, the Young Boys manager is expected to turn the Kenna’s social media feeds blue.
A decision by Kenna HQ to move the last 16 first leg back a week is anticipated to upset the Young Boys manager further. His side would have sauntered through to the quarter finals had the fixture not been rearranged.
Returning from business in south east Asia last night, the chairman said to waiting press at Gatwick Airport: “It looks like it’ll be another case of sour grapes from the Young Boys manager, who is likely to go without a trophy for a fourth consecutive season.”
Probed further about what he was doing in Thailand on league expenses, the chairman could neither confirm nor deny whether it was linked to Young Boys.
Canesten Combi Cup last 16 – second leg results
Pikey Scum 1 (1) – St Reatham 0 (0)
Team Panda Rules OK 1 (2) – Still Don’t Know Yet 0 (1)
Walthamstow Reds 1 (4) – Bala Rinas 2 (2)
Headless Chickens 0 (0) – Cowley Casuals 1 (1)
Lokomotiv Leeds 0 (0) – Dynamo Charlton 0 (0) Dynamo win 29 – 20 on points scored in second week
Young Boys 1 (1) – Just Put Carles 1 (1) JPC win on away goals
FC Testiculadew 2 (4) – Sporting Lesbian 0 (0)
Hairy Fadjeetas 1 (2) – Piedmonte 0 (1)
Canesten Combi Cup quarter final first leg fixtures – Tuesday 7 April