THE date is set, squads are being announced and managers are scratching their heads to think of amusing team names.
But with two weeks to go until the hammer goes down on the first player at the 2014 Emerson World Cup auction, the venue is still not ready.
The Union Tavern on Lloyd Baker Street, Clerkenwell, was selected to host the Emerson auction for its roomy upstairs bar, impressive range of premium lagers and gastropub food offer.
The Victorian architecture was viewed as an excellent setting for managers to spend the four-hour auction buying their 11 players for the tournament, and enjoy the opening match between Brazil and Croatia.
Instead arrangements have been thrown into disarray when it emerged during a spot inspection from Emerson officials this week that the pub food menu has not yet been decided.
The landlord said dishes will not be confirmed until at least 10 days before the auction.
The revelations will be yet more egg on the face of organisers, although they were unable to say how that egg would be cooked and with what it would be served, if at all.
For managers trying to Skype into the second transfer window in February, this fresh display of ineptitude from league authorities will come as no surprise. The broken promise of wifi in The Enterprise in Holborn as they tried to buy players from the Alps is still a painful memory.
“The chairman blatantly doesn’t know what he’s doing,” chuntered the Young Boys of Vauxhall manager, ever ready to put down the incumbent league leadership.
“There will be at least 15 people turning up in the evening who won’t have eaten since lunchtime, and as we stand they don’t know whether they can order pappardelle pasta with New Forest mushrooms, rocket, parmesan & truffle oil or lamb rump, sweet potato purée, caramelised shallots, minted peas & jus.
“Kenna HQ? More like Clusterf*ck HQ. It’s an utter disaster.”
In the face of criticism, the chairman remained confident the situation would be resolved and urged people ‘don’t pay attention to the prawn sandwich brigade’.
“Whatever’s on the menu, we know from previous events that any self-respecting manager will opt for a Cornish pasty on the way to the pub followed by several pints and a traditional ‘crisp buffet’ if someone decides to buy three bags of Phileas Fogg to open up on the table,” he shrugged.
A source at Kenna HQ said it was no longer policy to arrange a formal buffet for league events ever since a sharp learning curve in the cellar bar of The Golden Fleece two years ago.
“One thing managers won’t need to bring is cigarettes,” smiled the chairman.
“We know from previous auctions they can just crash from the Young Boys manager.”
The 2014 Emerson World Cup is sponsored by Soul Glo: Let Your Soul Shine Through