YOU could almost pity the fantasy football managers absent from the Kenna auction who left their teams to be picked by autofill.
There are many reasons those regular attendees were unable to take part in the live event, which was delayed a month by sentient 5G masts.
Among the excuses there was the Lokomotiv Leeds manager’s house move, whatever the vice chairman was doing travelling slowly east through Turkey, and a child’s birthday for which the JPF manager has been summoned to Kenna HQ for a ‘priorities’ meeting.
So you could almost feel sorry for the four managers who couldn’t even dial in for a few minutes to stop all their whole starting XI get hatecrimed by the autofill. Almost. But there are two reasons why there is no pity.
First, given the infamous bureaucracy of the world’s leading London pub-based fantasy football league the autofill didn’t happen for a week or so after the auction proper.
Which meant post-auction imports Thiago and Gareth Bale were part of the pick, so two of the four absent managers have world-class talent in their ranks alongside the usual mix of squad players, tweaked groins and Ahmed El Mohamady.
After some jostling on the Kenna Whatsapp group, the powers that be declared Thiago and Bale ‘on loan’, which means they’ll be released at the February transfer with only £0.5m going to their respective managers. Like unfortunate inhabitants of Epstein Island, those in charge want the talent to be part of the action, but also want them to make themselves available to Prince Andrew when the time comes.
Overall, though, those two managers who couldn’t be bothered to attend have done well. When the loan solution was first proposed, the chairman had to put down a minor insurrection from a poor man’s Tony Greig threatening to form a breakaway league. Oddly enough, now poor man’s Tony Greig is 38 points clear at the top of the table not another peep has been heard from him at Kenna HQ.
The remaining two sides have no stand out players to make loanees. Alex Iwobi? Bobby De Cordova-Reid? Dwight Gayle? Kepa? Punishment enough, one might assume.
But the league has devised an even more tortuous, slow-burn forfeit to choose their loan players. Just ahead of the much-feted February transfer window the remaining two managers will be subjected to the Wheel of Misfortune.
All eleven players from each team will be entered into an online wheel spin to determine the loan player. By that point a Dennis Praet or a Jorginho could be a valuable asset, and auction attendees can bathe in the schadenfreude of seeing them made available at the window.
You could almost feel sorry for those two managers. But then you remember the second reason why not. The fuss they tried make.
If you don’t turn up to the auction and then try to influence decisions about your autofilled team… well, it’s like standing up a third date and then wondering why the following Sunday with a severe case of Kežman’s Nostril they won’t respond to your 4am booty call.
Kenna League week 3
Full scores available from The Rub.