LITTLE did they know it at the time, but Kenna managers attending the third auction on Wednesday 8 August 2007 were marking the end of a era.
The following day (Thursday 9 August 2007) was some years later pinpointed as the official start of the global economic decline.
For the Kenna, the night before in the Black Horse, Fitzrovia, marked the introduction of another phenomenon which similarly came to dominate headlines for years to come – the Titus Bramble ruling.
An awry auction decision by the Titans manager (now in charge of Young Boys) led to defender Daniel Agger being removed by league regulations and replaced with Bramble.
The chairman suffered a double Bramble blow. Discovering the inclusion of two illegal players after the auction led to much wrangling between managers over email in the following days. Eventually managers decided Robbie Savage and Lee ‘The Lazy Genius’ Dong-Gook should find their way into the Vasco De Beauvoir starting line up.
With just a few hours left to slosh around before the crunch, most money at the auction found its way to Wayne Rooney.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Dider Drogba, the driving force behind FC Gun Show’s title the previous season, also attracted high fees.
Most expensive summer signings
|1||W Rooney||£37.5m||Onward Christian Soldiers|
|2||C Ronaldo||£34m||Fat Ladies|
|3=||D Berbatov||£33m||FC Gun Show|
|3=||S Gerrard||£33m||Dynamo Temple|
|5||D Drogba||£30||Fat Ladies|
Story of the season
Despite being shackled by the Titus Bramble ruling, Titans made the early running. Joint top after the first week, by the second week Bramble accounted for a fifth of the team’s score. They collected the August Manager of the Month award.
Spearheaded by Dimitar Berbatov, FC Gun Show initially defended their title well.
The first transfer window in November, also held in the Black Horse, was to prove pivotal to Fat Ladies.
Second to last and struggling for the first few weeks of the season, the Fat Ladies manager rung the changes. Yakubu and Emmanuel Eboue were among the new recruits, and in less than a month their handsome form saw Fat Ladies top of the table.
By the New Year, Berbatov had helped FC Gun Show top. By February Barking Hackney’s summer signing of Elano and November signing of free agent Emmanuel Adebayor saw him collect January’s Manager of the Month award. Barking posted a record score of 237, which would stand for another four seasons.
With David Bentley leading the charge at Recreativo Brockley, the chairman was moved to write in the wake of the February transfer window:
“Like a game of Hungry Hippos, the dispute for the title looks likely to be set from four corners, each manager furiously bashing away, balls flying everywhere.”
The spring saw the four sides battling it out, taking it in turns at the top. Occasionally the Kenna’s first female manager, in her second season this time in charge of Volzmanian Devils, dipped into the fray.
In mid table, the biggest splash was being made by Onward Christian Soldiers (the manager is now in charge of Pikey Scum).
The God Squad, as they came to be known for the religious overtones of signing Linvoy Primus in defence, picked up February’s Manager of the Month award. Outstanding performances from most-expensive signing Rooney, Benni McCarthy and Cesc Fabregas earned them a place in the Canesten Combi Cup final.
A stellar performance from Stewart Downing crowned the God Squad cup winners in May, the manager’s first and only piece of domestic silverware to date.
Making his Kenna debut, the manager of The Trinny Men would later become league treasurer. Nevertheless, it was not a performance to treasure for the future bean Kenna HQ bean counter, who went into hibernation for three seasons after finishing last.
In the title race, despite posting a worst-ever weekly score of minus six on 20 February, Fat Ladies bounced back to reclaim the top spot by the end of March with seven goals in one week (a hat-trick apiece from Ronaldo and Drogba, and one from The Yak).
FC Gun Show made a decent show of defending their title to the hilt, but with a May Manager of the Month performance Fat Ladies prevailed.
When it came to the crunch, for the second title race in a row Ronaldo and Drogba had proved decisive.
Final league table and form guide
The Rub 2007-08
|1||C Ronaldo||284||£34m||Fat Ladies|
|2||F Torres||204||£22m||Thieving Magpies|
|3||D Berbatov||200||£33m||FC Gun Show|
|4||S Gerrard||197||£33m||Dynamo Temple|
|5||C Tevez||175||£27.5m||The Trinny Men|
|6||R Keane||172||£10m||Titus’ Titans|
|7||A Young||161||£8m||Titus’ Titans|
|8||D James||158||£9m||Recreativo Brockley|
|9||C Fabregas||157||£16.5m||Onward Christian Soldiers|
|10||S Downing||151||£9m||Onward Christian Soldiers|