“We don’t want to send a message managers have more chance of winning World Cups if they don’t show up to the auction,” read a statement from the chairman last night.
Given the leaked Wada report about several managers testing positive for banned substances at the event last month, many believe the auction is fast becoming the last place to find a successful fantasy football manager.
Special Kharine mention goes to Putin More Russians Puns, who after a nervy group stage raced up the table in the knockout round to take surprise third place, mainly thanks to Eden Hazard and Kylian Mbappe.
Sadly, for the PMRP manager cash prizes are only being awarded to first and second place.
Better luck next time goes to Test Team (Please Ignore). Having come last in the Kharine, their manager can look forward to a few nights in the gulag where a hand job from Pussy Riot will be the least of his problems.
One remarkable similarity between the last four nations left in Russia is their disciplinary record. Not one country has seen red and aside from Croatia (12) yellow cards have been sparse for England (5), Belgium (7) and France (8).
In a recent football history where the French throw their toys out the pram and sulk on the team coach, an England player cracks under pressure at a crucial moment or Marouane Fellaini, can those remaining hold their nerve?
Conversely, while the England football team has committed the fewest fouls of the remaining nations, their supporters continue to prove their fellow countryman Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection with a series of celebration-related incidents.
@AskPaddyPower What are the odds of numbers of Englishmen to die in celebration-related injuries over the next seven days?
I stepped into the stuffy entrance hall and closed the front door behind me. The smell intensified as I stood there listening for any movement. It was as quiet as a Berlin fan park at the end of the group stage, and just as threatening.
Carefully I began to walk through the flat. The remains of a takeaway and a six Jamaican lager beers for five pounds deal was on the coffee table in the lounge along with some curious-looking DVDs, but other than the flat looked as untouched as the Spain quarter final hotel booking.
As I approached what I guessed was the bedroom the pungent smell grew stronger. I turned the knob and as the door creaked open I had to cover my face with my arm.
There were flies everywhere. Big, blue and green blow flies that buzzed like a Balkan midfield during a useful spell of possession. At the centre of the black mass of insects lying on the bed was the shape of what used to be a living being, naked except for the flies, a pair of pants around its ankles and a brown leather belt around its neck.
Even in the midst of the city’s heatwave, where the clothes on broads became as minimal as their patience for men watching three games a day, there was no way this level of decomposition could happen this early in the tournament. It must have been here since just after he first round of group stage matches.
These days there were stiffs turning up all over the city. It was normally the work of the manager experiences department. Those Chekist bullies had people squibbed off for nothing more than bad table manners.
But this didn’t look like the work of a manager experiences button man. The place was too tidy, the drawers weren’t overturned and the corpse was still in one piece.
My hand over my mouth I moved in for a closer inspection. The flies continued to foam around the dark opening of the mouth. The eyes were sunk back into the skull, deeper than Belgian wingbacks in the opposition half, and just as shifty looking.
The expression on the face when he’d faced the big one was still there. It looked like a blunted Argentine attack, not sure whether it was just about coming into form or never finding it again.
I returned to the entrance hall and dialled Kenna HQ.
“Put me through to the vice chairman’s office. Tell him it’s urgent,” I barked at the secretary, the smell had stripped me of my politer conversation. By now she recognised my voice.
The phone clicked and the vice chairman was there.
“What have you got?” he said. He didn’t sound in a good mood, like a Colombian after losing a penalty shootout.
“I’ve found him,” I told the vice chairman.
“You’re sure?” he perked up.
“Yes, and he’s been dead for sometime.”
“Was it manager experiences? I knew the chairman would be behind this,” he began to jabber, but I interrupted him before he could lay out his whole, whacky conspiracy theory.
“He wasn’t blipped off by anyone else. It looks like he choked himself off while he choked himself off, if you get my meaning. There’s some pretty wild smut in the lounge. And he’s been dead for some time.”
The vice chairman breathed heavily at the end of the phone before saying: “Alright, collect your pay next time you’re here.”
I hung up. Before I left the flat I took one last look at the poor sucker in the bedroom I’d been hunting down for the last two weeks.
Discounting the folly of the Lokomotiv Leeds manager who saw fit to splash out £26m on a South Korean and Saudi strike partnership, France was the third most expensive country when it came to player sales: £11.21m per player on average.
Of the 16 managers to compete in the Kharine, 14 signed French players, alongside Argentina and England the most players purchased of any nationality.
I KNEW Sterling Would F*ck It Up! eased to the top of the Kharine table after the second round of matches knocking bitter rivals FC Testiculadew into second place.
Lukaku (12 points), Allison (7), Giminez (7), Strinic (7), Shaqiri (6), Tadic (5) and Bernado Silva (5) ensured IKSWFIU! could do without a single point from Angel Di Maria, Marcus Rashford and Ousmane Dembele.
FCT saw their early 21-point lead over Pikov Scuminov cut to just nine points, as every player for Scuminov continues to contribute to their total.
Ironically, Scuminov’s Raheem Sterling looks like he’s f*cking it up but still managed to be his team’s highest scorer this round with eight points.
Lubyanka B launched from mid-table obscurity into fourth with a brace from Musa and goals from Lingard and Kroos and clean sheets from Soares, Marcelo and Muslera.
Test Team (Please Ignore) sunk to last place in the table with Goretzka and Tim Cahill yet to make a Kharine appearance and £38m Lionel Messi appearing to suffer a mental breakdown during Thursday evening’s game.
SEVERAL managers tested positive for banned substances at the Dmitri Kharine World Cup auction last Tuesday to put the outcome of the competition into doubt.
FC Testiculadewland took the lead after the first round of matches courtesy of Cristiano Ronaldo (17 points), Aleksander Kolorov (12) and Diego Costa (12), but the World Anti-Doping Agency is investigating reports most Kharine managers failed a urine test.
The Kenna League vice-chairman had organised the auction for the first time and in unprecedented scenes produced a collection of test tubes filled with a yellow liquid.
Over the course of the evening it emerged several managers were competing under the influence of performance ‘enhancing’ drugs, countless pints of lager and shots of Beluga vodka.
Until the Wada investigation is complete, the Kharine is forging ahead with the group stages.
FC Testiculadewland’s bitter rivals I Knew Sterling Would F*ck It Up lie six points off the lead in second thanks to Romelu Lukaku (12), Jose Giminez (12) and Simon Kjaer (7).
Remote bidder the Pikov Scuminov manager is some way adrift in third after solid performances from Dries Mertens (7), Antoine Greizmann (7), Diego Godin (7) and Kasper Schmeichel (7).