Without a legacy to stand on

Prince Albert, Southwark

THEY came with promises.

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

Prince Albert

  • June 2007 awards night
  • February 2008 transfer window
  • June 2008 John Jensen Euros auction
  • November 2008 transfer window
  • February 2009 transfer window
  • August 2009 auction
  • February 2009 transfer window

Black Horse

  • November 2007 transfer window
  • August 2008 auction
  • October 2008 transfer window
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Author: The chairman

Ascended to the chairmanship of the Jeff Kenna League Fantasy Football League in 2007 after co-founded the league in London in August 2005.