GERMAN pharmaceutical giant Bayer has withdrawn Canesten Combi sponsorship of the Kenna cup competition over a disagreement about new rules.
Kenna HQ announced the Canesten Combi Cup regulations will be changed this season so total team points rather than goals will be the deciding factor in head to heads. The decision follows an extensive consultation period with managers.
Bayer claim the rule change is inconsistent with its brand values. A company suit said: “When we first partnered with the Kenna in 2006 the contest was based on points, and that was congruent. Back then we were focused of reducing irritation both for our customers and for managers who found themselves in the lower half of the table halfway through the season without a chance of silverware.
“In 2012, the cup format was changed to goals, which was absolutely in line with our own goals as world leader in the fight against vaginal thrush. However, we feel Kenna HQ has made a right gorilla salad of the competition with this latest rule change. We like our cups to be neat and tidy.”
Under pressure to find a new sponsor, and with less than two weeks until the start of the new season, Kenna representatives yesterday met executives from Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche. A deal appears to be have struck.
A bleary-eyed chairman said this morning: “Talks were going well yesterday but when negotiations began to stall the guys from Roche insisted Swiss custom dictates we take a half-hour break to join them for a drink.
“Things get a little hazy after that. The next thing I knew I’d woken up in a strange hotel room feeling like a Bill Cosby co-star. In my hand was a signed five-year sponsorship deal. It had even been named.”
FANS of fantasy football around the globe are being asked to vote in one of the format’s most controversial issues.
As the world prepares for the opening round of the English Premier League two weeks tomorrow, we’re asking them: should fantasy football head to heads be judged on points or goals?
The Jeff Kenna League has been running a head-to-head cup competition since 2006, the original aim of which is to give managers whose sides are not faring so well in the league an opportunity to pick up silverware in a knockout tournament.
The Canesten Combi Cup, as it was named after a lucrative sponsorship deal with German pharmaceutical giant Bayer, ran for some years pitching managers’ points tallies head to head in a particular gameweek.
In 2012, Kenna League organisers changed the format to goals. The idea was managers could more easily follow their fortunes over the weekend, rather than wait for the scores and tables roundups published every Tuesday, known to managers as The Rub.
Over the last couple of seasons, Kenna HQ has come under criticism for changing the cup from points scored to goals. The debate has become so fierce the Kenna chairman has been moved to seek wider opinion on the matter.
“We want the fantasy football community to help guide our future plans,” he said in a press conference at opening time in the saloon bar of the King’s Arms, Waterloo.
“The Kenna’s democratic and open governance means we’re not just going to tell you what to do and expect you to adapt, like some other fantasy football competitions which I won’t name here. We promise to read, digest and act upon every single comment left on this article,” the chairman said, without adding the most comments a Kenna post has ever attracted is three.
“The comments below will inform Kenna HQ in which format will be used this season.”
Should head-to-heads be based on goals scored in a week or points? Tell Kenna HQ below.
SPORTING Lesbian all but secured their second Kenna League title in three years despite a late rally from Cowley Casuals.
A goal from Leonardo Ulloa and assist from James Milner were not enough from Casuals to overturn a 17-point deficit. It would take shockers of historical significance from Sporting’s Alexis Sanchez and Ashley Westwood at Wembley this Saturday to reverse their 11-point lead.
“It was very close at the end so we had to shave it,” said the Sporting Lesbian manager, expounding the kind of attitude that makes him a champion and Hairy Fadjeetas mid-table also rans.
Graziano Pelle (39 starts), Raheem Sterling (39) and Sanchez (38) have been the stand out performers behind Sporting’s success, but the rest of side all put in near-weekly appearances to contribute.
October transfer window recruits Nathan Dyer and Ahmed Elmohamady were consistent rather than amazing, although the manager will never let the chairman forget that derogatory assessment of Elmo.
Missing out on the league, the Casuals manager can take solace in his Canesten Combi Cup final victory over Dynamo Charlton.
Dynamo’s February transfer window signing Harry Kane levelled the score, so the tie was decided on the controversial points system. The Young Boys manager is unlikely to be impressed.
Looking at the gaps between teams in the rest of the top four, it’s unlikely Saturday’s match will change much unless Lokomotiv Leeds’ Kieron Gibbs can bother the referee more than Walthamstow Reds’ Theo Walcott.
For after 10 trophyless years the Reds manager is leading the inaugural Unfair Play league table.
Those heroics led the Spartak manager to his first ever Kenna silverware as his side smashed Just Put Carles 7-1 in the Canesten Combi Cup final.
Today those managers are a far cry from glory. Just Put Carles hover just above the relegation zone, probably safe from a toothless Still Don’t Know Yet who seem destined for the drop.
The Spartak manager is now in charge of Hoxton Pirates, but it won’t be long before a P45 is pinned to the captain’s table with a dagger. The Somali manager’s team is so far adrift not even Ross Kemp is trying to milk a new season of Sky’s In Search of Pirates out of it.
Fresh humiliation was poured on the weekend as Hoxton Pirates won the Go For Broke Cup having lost 1-0 to Judean Peoples’ Front, and therefore won the season’s mark of knockout infamy.
Looking ahead Cowley Casuals face Dynamo Charlton in the Canesten Combi Cup final this weekend.
Dynamo will face Cowley Casuals in the Canesten Combi Cup final on the last day of the season after semi final opponents Team Panda Rules OK failed to arouse themselves sufficiently to overcome a three-goal advantage from the first leg.
The James Milner goal for Casuals, as well as a Leonardo Ulloa assist, also edged them closer in the title race to league leaders Sporting Lesbian.
At 30 points adrift, a Casuals league and cup double looks a long shot, but Sporting hotshots Graziano Pelle and Alexis Sanchez failed to make an impact this week, leaving the door ajar.
Should Cowley Casuals miss out on both the league and cup, critics will point to poor morale at the club due to their use of zero hours contracts.
The manager maintains temporary contracts give his players more flexibility, but Casuals midfielder Yanick Bolasie has broken ranks.
“They say it allows us to choose our hours, but I haven’t felt this insecure about my job since my loan spell at Rushden & Diamonds,” said the Democratic Republic of Congo international.
“We all feel that whatever happens we’ll all be dumped at the end of the season and put back on the free market in the summer, like we’re all in some sort of fantasy football league or something.”
Meanwhile, after seven consecutive weeks in fifth place St Reatham FC dropped one place in the table.
ADVICE from the Crown Prosecution Service was clear.
When Adam Johnson was charged with three counts of sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl last month, the CPS said: ‘there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online that may prejudice proceedings in the case.’
Unfortunately for the Sunderland winger’s reputation, this hasn’t stopped fans of rival clubs drawing their own conclusions about his actions through football chants and posting it on YouTube.
Appearing in the Kenna League this season for Still Don’t Know Yet, Johnson finds his suspected transgressions at the centre of two equally inappropriate ditties.
Let’s take a look at them in more detail.
The Toon Army chant
Catchy, original and easy to sing over and over again, Newcastle United fans have come up with an enduring terrace mantra.
The use of Slade’s Come On Feel The Noise allows even the most limited vocalist to revel in the P-word, and its simplicity means the lyrics can be picked up quickly by a match goer of little intellect.
Not for the first time in a football song poor grammar – here employed turning the slang verb ‘nonce’ into a noun – can be overlooked. The word ‘fiddling’ could be substituted without threatening the meter.
What cannot be ignored is the legal thin ice on which the chanter stands. The video was uploaded to the internet on 5 April, in between Johnson’s initial arrest (2 March) and his charge (23 April). Publicly pre-empting his sentence and calling him a sex offender could end in litigation if he’s innocent.
Conversely, should Johnson be found guilty this versatile chant can by updated by changing the start of the second line to ‘You’ve been sent down…’
The Red Devils chant
At once more intricate and involved, this chant bears all the hallmarks of an away coach workshopping session.
Again Johnson is labelled a sex offender, but this time there is more detail about the nature and geography of his infringements. Again the same legal pitfalls present themselves.
The chant has two shortcomings. First, although there is comedy value in presuming these misdemeanours occur at Sunderland’s home ground, in reality it doesn’t work.
The Stadium of Light’s city centre location and proximity to the Wearside Audi dealership means it’s likely to be covered with surveillance cameras. If Johnson really wanted to perform these murky deeds on club premises he would be better off in a more secluded spot, like the club’s training ground in the countryside, The Academy of Light near Cleadon.
The second drawback with this chant is despite the obvious time and effort that went into its conception, it fails to capitalise on the full melody of Yanky Doodle Went To Town. There is room for another four lines. Here are some considerations.
1. Since there is already legal compromise, they could take the scenario a little further:
Sticks his digits up their arse
Makes them smell his finger It’s the only time he’ll score ‘Cos he’s a goal-shy winger
The first two lines are a dangerous supposition, but not even Fleet Street’s finest defamation lawyer could convince a judge that Johnson was prolific in front of goal.
2. The chanter could backtrack on their introductory slander with some qualification:
But we shouldn’t judge too soon He’s only been arrested We’ll refrain from saying more Till DNA’s been tested
That would be one hell of a Jeremy Kyle Show.
Perhaps one day a footballer will be standing outside the Royal Courts of Justice having just won a landmark defamation case against everyone seen singing an inflammatory song in an internet video. Until that day people in a situation like Adam Johnson’s will find the schadenfreude of fans ever ready to make light of matters, always in poor taste but sometimes in a catchy and amusing way.
One thing is clear. At 18th in the Kenna League and staring down the barrel of relegation, the Still Don’t Know Yet manager’s ongoing fantasy football auction strategy of buying ex-Boro players is not paying dividends.
Bright remembered everything. “Oh that. I was watching Match of the Day on Saturday and saw a funny tweet about Gary Lineker’s shirt so I decided to share the joke,” he said, forgetting himself a little.
“You mean you stole the joke, Mr Bright,” replied the voice. It filled every inch of the dank so well it’s owner had to be in another room.
“I wouldn’t say I…”
“Don’t even try, Mr Bright,” said the voice with a thin edge of impatience. Then after a couple of moments: “You have no idea who you’re dealing with, do you, Mr Bright?
“Have you ever heard of the Kenna League?”
“The what?” said Bright, confused.
“The Jeff Kenna League. It’s London’s leading pub-based fantasy football league,” said the voice, as if the catchphrase was a national phenomenon.
Bright offered: “Is it anything to do with Jeff Kenna? The Republic of Ireland full back?”
“Not at all,” replied the voice. “Well, the league was named after Jeff, but he has nothing to do with it. Although, irritatingly we do get stray emails intended for him from time to time.
“On the face of it the Kenna League or Kenna – as it’s more commonly known – is a group of managers who congregate in the pub a few times each year to buy and sell Premier League players in an auction format,” this did little to cheer Bright. Whoever was behind this stunt was clearly out of their mind. The voice droned on as Bright’s mind began to race, thinking of how he could escape.
“…and one manager is a real pirate. Hot headed sort. The only manager to quit during an auction…”
Bright tried the ropes on his wrists. They were bound tight behind him. He scanned the darkness for anything to help cut, catching the last sentence of the inane monologue: “But underneath, Mr Bright, the Kenna League isn’t all rounds of drinks and worn out jokes about Titus Bramble.”
Bramble! He was involved in this! Bright wondered what the former defender was really up to since being released by Sunderland in 2013. It definitely wasn’t Bramble talking now though.
The voice continued. It definitely belonged to an Englishman, as non descript as it was preposterous: “You have shown disrespect to the Kenna, Mr Bright. Even taking into account your prolific spells at Crystal Palace and Sheffield Wednesday, you must learn to understand the power of the Kenna committee.”
“B-B-But, I ‘at’ mentioned you in the tweet along with the Linkear. I acknowledged the joke was yours. I’ve got more than 87,000 followers, you probably got some more followers out of it,” Bright was pleading.
“Mr Bright, your little caper only earned the Kenna three extra followers: a Birmingham City fan service, a self-publishing ‘comedy’ author and an American woman who retweets credit card advice.
“Therefore, Mr Bright, we have no alternative but to keep you here.”
“What? I’ve got a home, a job, a family. People will wonder where I am. Please, please, please let me go!” said Bright, writhing in his bonds.
“I’m afraid that won’t be possible, Mr Bright, but we have got a little surprise for you.”
The voice went quiet. After a few moments the opening bars of a slow, start-stop, R&B pop beat filled the room. Bright immediately felt pinpricks of cold sweat all over his body. How did they know? It was impossible!
A woman began to sing:
Folks say I’m tripping and I’m losing my mind
It was ‘Sweetness’, the 1994 hit by his ex-wife Michelle Gayle. Good God, no!
Much as he had loved Michelle, and indeed he was still on good terms with her, Bright couldn’t bear that song. He had never admitted it to anyone out of respect, so how did they find out? And why were they doing this to him?
He managed to negotiate the track’s three minutes and 37 seconds without swallowing his tongue, and when the music faded he began to breathe more slowly.
The room was silent for a few seconds and then he heard it:
Shoop shoo doop Shay day shoop shoo doop
It was on repeat!
Mark Bright’s own voice awoke him with a start. He was in his own bed. He felt his wrists and wasn’t tied up. Oh, thank the heavens, he thought, it was just a horrible nightmare.
He checked the time on the bedside clock. 3.37am. He was about to drift off to sleep again when his blood ran cold. Opening his eyes wide he looked at the bedside table again.
The curtains weren’t completely drawn. A small gap let in enough sodium street lighting to reflect from a small shiny square propped against the lamp.
THE top four of London’s leading pub-based fantasy football league is being overrun by right-wing reactionary Welshmen, according to organisers.
The chairman of the Kenna League said the top flight’s top flight had been invaded by ‘gun toting final solution crackpots’ from across the border.
“That Taff bloke who resembles the Scandy [sic]. Yeah, him. He’s a menace. What’s he doing in the top four again? He couldn’t manage his way out of a wetsuit,” said the chairman.
It is thought the comments were aimed at the Judean Peoples’ Front manager, who looks like steering his side to a second consecutive top four finish. He also looks like Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik.
Photographed a few days ago sporting a Tyrolean hat, shotgun and the notorious ‘summer camp stare’ (above), the JPF boss claimed to have been responsible for the death of more than six million ‘cosmopolitan’ pheasants.
In the league, his strike rate has not been as impressive. A front two of Diafra Sakho and Nikica Jelavic have seen the goals dry up in recent weeks, but consistent if unremarkable industry across his starting eleven has put the club in third place.
Managed by the Kenna treasurer – another Welshman – Bala Rinas sit just behind in fourth.
KENNA HQ has battoned down the hatches in preparation for an onslaught of complaints from the Young Boys manager after his side were knocked out of the Canesten Combi Cup.
Young Boys could only register a 1-1 draw at home to Just Put Carles last weekend, JPC defender Joel Ward cancelling out George Boyd’s strike.
After a goalless first leg the Catalan manager went through at the expense of Young Boys on the away goals rule.
A long-term critic of the Canesten Combi Cup’s revamped system, where goals scored in a week are counted rather than points, the Young Boys manager is expected to turn the Kenna’s social media feeds blue.
A decision by Kenna HQ to move the last 16 first leg back a week is anticipated to upset the Young Boys manager further. His side would have sauntered through to the quarter finals had the fixture not been rearranged.
Returning from business in south east Asia last night, the chairman said to waiting press at Gatwick Airport: “It looks like it’ll be another case of sour grapes from the Young Boys manager, who is likely to go without a trophy for a fourth consecutive season.”
Probed further about what he was doing in Thailand on league expenses, the chairman could neither confirm nor deny whether it was linked to Young Boys.
Canesten Combi Cup last 16 – second leg results
Pikey Scum 1 (1) – St Reatham 0 (0)
Team Panda Rules OK 1 (2) – Still Don’t Know Yet 0 (1)
Walthamstow Reds 1 (4) – Bala Rinas 2 (2)
Headless Chickens 0 (0) – Cowley Casuals 1 (1)
Lokomotiv Leeds 0 (0) – Dynamo Charlton 0 (0) Dynamo win 29 – 20 on points scored in second week
Young Boys 1 (1) – Just Put Carles 1 (1) JPC win on away goals
FC Testiculadew 2 (4) – Sporting Lesbian 0 (0)
Hairy Fadjeetas 1 (2) – Piedmonte 0 (1)
Canesten Combi Cup quarter final first leg fixtures – Tuesday 7 April
On the eastern edge of the Andaman Sea, a tropical island sustains one of earth’s most fascinating species.
The local population is supplemented each winter by visitors from the northern hemisphere. A small group of these migrants are male and female couples, sometimes accompanied by infant offspring, but they are far outnumbered by their fellow Europeans: the Bridget Jones.
Occasionally roaming the island in pairs or groups of four, the Bridget Jones is more commonly found in threes.
Whether in public feeding areas or basking in the afternoon sun on a sandy coastline, these trios are instantly recognisable by their sensible tanning practices and somber social interaction.
It is thought their downturned demeanour stems from having reached the twilight of their prime with a catalogue of failed attempts at mating both in their domestic habitat and their travels.
Available male migrants on the island are deemed unsuitable by the Bridget Jones. Older, overweight and observed to be operating alone, the male appears wholly interested by members of the local populous considered far too young to be socially acceptable in their home environment.
Even deep into happy hour, spirits among the groups of Bridget Jones appear unnaturally low despite the warm climate and their lean physique.