FRESH controversy over suspicious auction tactics has overshadowed the opening 10 days of an otherwise thrilling Emerson World Cup.
Flouting a widely-advertised ban on bidding in absentia, the Testiculadew Land manager – who finds his side in third place going into the final group games today – claimed to have been delayed on his way to the auction a week last Thursday.
In their munificence, Emerson World Cup organisers allowed Testiculadew Land to begin buying a side using cross-platform mobile messaging smartphone app Whatsapp on the assumption the manager would eventually turn up to complete his business.
The manager did not show up. The other 17 managers endured the pressure-cooker auction night atmosphere to buy 11 players, desperately scrabbling through the haze of Continental lager and gastro pub burgers to fill their teams at closing time.
All the while, the Testiculadew Land spent most of his budget on five players, and outside of the bedlam coolly selected the remaining players, emailing them to organisers afterwards.
The T-Land manager, who discovered the pernicious practice of tactical Brambling at the Olisadebe Euros auction two years ago, maintains his inability to attend the evening was for an innocent reason and that it gave him a disadvantage.
Emerson organisers aren’t so sure, and have hinted at wholesale changes to the practice of ‘filling up’ up teams once the auction has closed.
“If it was anyone else, I wouldn’t bat an eyelid, but this particular manager has more form than a Michaelangelo exhibition,” quipped the chairman this morning at a press conference in the saloon bar of the King’s Arms in Waterloo.
“There is a clear advantage to spending the lion’s share of the budget on five or six top quality players, knowing that – particularly in a World Cup with so many teams – there are plenty of players still out there.
“We’ve been in locked in the Kenna HQ situation room with the chaps from charts and graphs. In future any gaps in teams will be filled at random by some clever piece of spreadsheet jiggerypokery.”
In the Emerson itself, Fat Ladies top the table going into the final round of group games.
A hat-trick from Thomas Muller and a goal from Nani put Fat Ladies – whose manager made his first appearance at an auction since August 2009 – top, above a strong showing from Los Rojos.
Unlike his national side, the Spanish manager’s outfit started strongly, with three goals from Arjen Robben, one from Claudio Marchisio and one from Daniel Sturridge, although one of those sources will dry up very soon.
Down in the ‘England Basement’, Rio De Je Don’t Know bring up the rear. The manager will be hoping Hulk and Jelavic can conjure his team’s first goals on the tournament later this evening, but he’s probably not holding his breath.
Leading the scoring charts with six goals are the chairman’s side Copa Lallana. The chairman now regrets abolishing the golden boot cash prize in favour of the Emerson Unfair Play award.