Questions are being asked whether the Young Boys manager can handle the pressure of defending his Kenna League title after a dramatic auction meltdown yesterday (13 August).
Towards the end of proceedings the Young Boys boss took exception to a forfeit by the league treasurer, who lost midfielder Eden Hazard and half of the £33m paid for him.
“Let me say this. I will take this punishment right now, but for the future, for the good of the Kenna and it’s integrity this needs to change!” exclaimed the Young Boys manager as part of 10-minute rant.
The treasurer had been penalised for going over budget. Under the Titus Bramble ruling his most expensive player – Hazard – was removed and replaced with alcoholic Welsh paedophile Mark Bridger.
The Young Boys manager’s argument ran the treasurer would benefit from Brambling so late in the auction, by taking an additional £16.5m into October’s transfer window.
Until 2012 managers losing a player ‘on a Bramble’ received their full value back.
“Should we all just be tactical Bramblers? What happened? This used to be such a dignified event,” he spluttered amongst much finger waving as the rest of the league quietly waited for it to pass so they could get on with the auction (1 minute in, below).
Approaching one manager – who was still mentally disorientated after mistakenly thinking Marcus Rashford and Karl Lafferty might make a tournament winning strike partnership – he suggested a Tactical Cabshare.
“We live close together, let’s share a cab home,” ventured the Brambler.
“Don’t you live in Croydon?” the unwitting manager replied, suddenly realising the Brambler’s decision to buy auction stragglers a final round of shots was merely a gambit to confuse them and save on travel money.
“I live in Southfields.”
“That’s close to Croydon.”
“Neither geographically or spiritually is Southfields close to Croydon,” the manager replied.
The Brambler pushed the point a further five times before the manager escaped onto a night bus.
League members are warned to watch out for scams such as these lest they end up abandoned outside the Whitgift Shopping Centre in the early hours of the morning while the Tactical Brambler pockets the change from a greatly reduced cab fare home.
Under the new system Ivanovic would have scored an additional 17 points, making him fourth highest scorer behind Sergio Aguero, Alexis Sanchez and Eden Hazard.
Kenna HQ has also extended the key contribution of +3 points to players winning a penalty. Joining Fat Ladies for £5m before being released in October to spend the remainder of the season unsigned, Ashley Young is likely to enjoy more Kenna kudos this campaign.
In a lunchtime press conference at the upcoming auction venue, the Hoop and Grapes on Farringdon Road, the chairman explained why the scoring had changed.
Counting the number of clean sheets last term, the following defenders would have benefitted most from the new scoring system:
Terry and Ivanovic +17
Mignolet, Fonte and Lescott +16
Cahill and Azpilicueta +15
Joe Hart, Mertesacker, John O’Shea and Gareth McAuley +14
Koscielny, Neil Taylor, Fabianski, Ashley Williams and Craig Dawson +13
In detail – points changes
Clean sheets – goalkeepers and defenders
In order to earn +5 clean sheet bonus points, your player must complete at least 60 minutes of the match and his team must keep a clean sheet for the entire match (excluding penalty shoot-outs).
If a player is on the pitch for less than 60 minutes and his team keeps a clean sheet for the full match, he’ll score +2 clean sheet points.
While the player is on the pitch, he will not be penalised for the first goal conceded but will lose one point for every goal conceded after that – same as last season.
All players still earn +2 points for being in the starting XI of a match and +1 for coming on as a substitute.
So, for example, if your player starts the match, plays an hour or more and his team finishes the match with a clean sheet – then your goalkeeper / defender will score +7 points.
There will be some small alterations to the Key Contribution rules. A goalkeeper judged to be punching the ball away will now cancel out a key contribution as opposed to a keeper making a save or parry which may still result in a KC.
A player being fouled for a penalty will now be awarded a KC – we are dropping the requirement that he is in control of the ball when that foul occurs.
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
Aided by a specialist team from the league’s manager experiences department, the inquiry raided the committee member’s office at the club’s Bikini Lane ground on Friday night and found a black box stuffed with detailed plans to topple the Kenna leadership by fomenting discontent among managers.
Frogmarched from the premises in Y-fronts and a Sheffield Wednesday Carlton Palmer shirt, and into the back of a league Bedford Rascal, the Yorkshireman said: “It’s a plant. You won’t lock me out the cockpit!” before being winded by a truncheon blow to the torso.
The chairman said: “When I promised an open and transparent investigation into the cup fixtures I had no idea such pernicious activity was going on right under my nose, and by God I should have noticed sooner because it turns out those Hairy Fadjeetas really smell.
“Needless to say, we will explore every last inch of these Fadges, and no matter how hard it gets we’ll keep pummelling away until we go as deep as we can.
“I can’t promise it’s not going to get messy. We’re going to be squeezing every last drop of sedition out of our members, so it could get sticky. Some people may end up with something on their faces. But afterwards we’ll have thoroughly washed our hands.”
The Hairy Fadjeetas manager shot to league favour ahead of the 2012 Emmanuel Olisadebe Euros, when his witty live social media reporting of the auction saw him join the committee as director of wry tweets.
THE Hairy Fadjeetas manager has launched an expletive-ridden tirade in response to criticism of his approach to tomorrow’s Kenna League transfer window.
Labelling several Kenna figures as a rude word associated with a lady’s part, criticising league rivals and getting several of his players’ names wrong, the Hairy Fadjeetas manager held a press conference the likes of which football has never seen before*.
Despite an underperforming strikeforce of Roberto Soldado and Javier Hernandez, the manager has come under fire from fans and the club for choosing not to release any players ahead of tomorrow’s last chance to make changes before the end of the season in May.
Speaking while on holiday in the Austrian Alps as to how he planned to push for his maiden Kenna title without freshening up his team, the Fadges manager spat out this furious tirade earlier today:
“Don’t you f*ck!ng start. Which one’s the Chairman? You’re a c*nt. And which one’s from Mogadoodoo? You’re out of order. I don’t have to stand for it. Trying to f*cking undermine my position are you? It’s going to my lawyers.
“Transfers? Why do I need to make transfers? Are you trying to say my squad isn’t f*cking good enough or that I can’t get anyone in? We’ve got a great side with that Aaron Ramsden and Gethin Bazzard holding things together. I spend my whole life picking up the phone, talking to Alex Ferguson, week in, week out, what would you do, what would you do? I can pick the phone up at any time of day and speak to Arsene Wenger.
“And you can tell that Tactical Brambler… I’ve kept really quiet, but I’ll tell you something, he went down in my estimation when he did that – we have not resorted to that. But I’ll tell ya – you can tell him now if you’re watching it – we’re still fighting for this title, and he’s got to go to keep Dzeko scoring, and… and I tell you honestly, I will love it if we beat them, love it!”
Managers attending the window will be surprised to see some big names released this week. In particular, the Piedmonte manger, another pushing for his first Kenna title, jettisoned Samir Nasri – who returns from injury in a couple of weeks.
Rooney, who has bagged 81 points for the mid-table outfit, missed key training sessions due to the unscheduled rocket ride but was said to have returned ‘in perfect health’.
It’s rumoured that Rooney and St Reatham were approached by the Persians after their first choice cosmonaut overdosed on bananas. It’s thought he was allowed to take his own life after he embarrassed state officials by sending an unconvincing stand-in to a scheduled photo call with the world’s media.
The St Reatham boss was unavailable for comment this afternoon with the club’s press office informing journalists that ‘he has not fled to Switzerland to avoid difficult questions about an incident on Chobham Common – that’s just speculation’.
England manager Roy Hodgson was also unavailable for comment.
The Trafalgar sits like a fortress on the banks of the river. Fortunately, it was penetrable and offered wooden floors, views of the river and what an estate agent would call a ‘well-appointed’ interior.
Lots of photos of an historic British naval theme inside. Admiral Nelson features heavily. A French provincial would enjoy this place as much as Nick Griffin would enjoy taking Napolean in his mouth.
The epicentre of Greenwich? The throng of people in here probably more due to its location between the market and the rebuilt Cutty Sark rather than its strengths as a pub.
Walk through the front bar and it opens out into semi-conservatory style area.
It’s a pity to think this kind of boozer is the image of a traditional London pub many tourists take home.
Crawlers’ pub comments
Fat Peter Sutcliffe said: “Pretentious (i.e. small) macaroni cheese.”
Vicki the bus spotter said: “Binksy had to go on to the bloody Mary the cure the hangover.”
The boat queue, Greenwich
Thames Clippers run regularly, but as the mantra goes ‘no one every plans to fail, they only fail to plan’. It turned out rather than bowling on board, London Oyster cards had to be used to buy tickets from a booth.
To cut a long story short, a 20-minute wait in the drizzle was overcome with the boat drinks.
The boat, River Thames
The boat trip from Greenwich to Greenland Pier takes around 10 minutes. Ample time to have a drink and hack off all the other passengers…
If a sign outside a pub says ‘No work wear’ then it’s safe to assume there are building sites nearby. So what conclusions can be drawn of the surrounding community’s socio-economic make up if the sign says ‘Tops must be kept on inside the bar’?
The growing inclemency of the weather meant all tops were on, but did little to dampen the spirits in this welcoming boozer on board a boat moored in Surrey Quays.
The ceiling around the bar was covered in foreign currency, Binksy’s cue to show off his exotic trillion dollar bill. The barmaid smiled for the camera and afterwards asked him to pay in sterling.
Crawlers’ pub comments
Fat Peter Sutcliffe said: “Nice Cockney boozer. Probably best to avoid on Millwall match days.
Vicki the bus spotter said: “Nice maps on the ceiling! Rough as hell but very amusing. We all kept our tops on.”
When a pub plays Heart radio from a late 90s television, one can expect all the other trappings of a proper London locals’ boozer, such as a man in a flat cap playing the fruit machine and the dip in conversation when a bunch of half-cut strangers enter.
Plenty of regulars were in early doors and a convivial atmosphere quickly resumed.
The Spartak Mogadishu manager finally arrived with an excuse that will go down in the annals of history: “I forgot where south London was.” Quite how his fellow countrymen command such terror on the high seas is anyone’s guess.
Crawlers’ pub comments
Fat Peter Sutcliffe said: “Fags behind the bar for £8.50. Don’t look anyone in the eye.”
Vicki the bus spotter said: “Dodgy pub – nice maroon carpet. A bit like the Duke of Sussex in Waterloo. The Spartak Mogadishu manager finally managed to grace us with his presence.”
When it turned out the Angel had a fireplace and wand-like poker, one crawler’s scarf was pressed into action for Harry Potter impressions. Don’t judge, if it wasn’t for the photos no one would have remembered it.
Lord alone knows what the assembled locals thought, but when the Spartak Mogadishu manager spilled his drink everywhere the landlord made him clean it up, much to general amusement.
Crawlers’ pub comments
Fat Peter Sutcliffe said: “Sam Smith’s and landlord makes the Spartak Mogadishu manager clean up his own spillages.”
Vicki the bus spotter said: “Do like a Sammy Smith’s pub!
On the Sunday morning recce a few weeks beforehand the Old Justice had looked shut for years, but as crawlers stumbled along the river towards Tower Bridge it was open and it seemed churlish not to pop in for one.
Without a doubt the strangest pub all day. The staff consisted of a landlord and hoardes of Asian women, who served our drinks and then gave us plates and plates of battered seafood and a free shot of rice wine.
No one was entirely sure what was happening, but everyone was glad to move on.
Crawlers’ pub comments
Fat Peter Sutcliffe said: “Oriental money laundering front with hookers out back on request (POA). Free room temperature scampi, onion rings and salmonella washed down by nasty rice wine.”
Vicki the bus spotter said: “Cold battered fish and odd sake!”
Forever dedicated to exploring new pubs the crawlers went on to enjoy more cheer at Village East on Bermondsey Street.
Recollection is sparse. Afterwards it was marveled at how we got into this marginally upmarket bar.
Life tasted good. We were pioneers of the first ever recorded pub crawl from Greenwich to Tower Bridge, and it included a maritime adventure. We were proud descendants of our country’s finest naval heroes. We were Sir Francis Drake singeing the King of Spain’s beard at Cadiz. We were Admiral Nelson smashing through the French at Trafalgar. We were… desperately trying not to fall asleep on the night bus home.
ONE QUESTION was only the start of it. How could we ride the new model number 38 bus?
It was accepted that the ‘hop-on, hop-off’ routemaster-style bus only runs around once an hour on one bus route – the number 38.
Despite its meandering path through the boroughs of Hackney, Islington, Camden and Westminster – taking in some of the most iconic sights in London – there was one problem: none of us ever used it.
All of a sudden the answer was clear: a number 38 bus route pub crawl.
The curious mix of order and chaos that happened on Saturday 20 October 2012 is chronicled below. Where applicable comments about the route, the pubs and learning points have been noted. It is hoped these will instruct, inform and entertain both the crawl aficionado and the casual drinker.
We immediately determined to make the excursion as achievable, fun and damaging to the liver as possible. We had three considerations:
Number of pubs – Circle Line or Monopoly board pub crawls have two flaws, there are too many stops to take in surroundings, and everyone drink halves. We decided on visiting 10 pubs, so we could comfortably spend 38 minutes in each one.
Direction of travel – this was simple, start in north east London and travel south west to Victoria. No one wants to be without their wits in Clapton Pond on a Saturday night, an area on a stretch of road commonly referred to as ‘The Murder Mile’.
Pub locations – establishments should be chosen at even intervals along the route, and as much as possible on the same side of the road as convenient bus stops. This second point would prove invaluable in the later stages.
A Sunday morning bicycle ride two weeks beforehand identified a number of suitable boozers, rubber stamped by a kangaroo committee. The route would not be followed to its absolute end because, as any Londoner will tell you, there are no decent rub-a-dub-dubs in Victoria.
Here’s the list:
The Clapton Hart, Clapton Pond
The Cock Tavern, Hackney Central
The Duke of Wellington, Ball’s Pond Road
The George Orwell, Essex Road
The Old Queen’s Head, Islington
The Old Red Lion Theatre, Angel
The Exmouth Arms, Exmouth Market
The Old Crown, New Oxford Street
The Marquis of Granby, Cambridge Circus
Ye Grapes, Mayfair
Each pub name links to it’s location on Google maps. The nearest bus stop is also included.
At 1pm a handful of intrepid souls, including Vicki the Bus Spotter, fat Peter Sutcliffe and the athletic frame of the Vasco De Beauvoir manager, met near the Lea Bridge Roundabout. The weather was overcast, but not inclement.
The Clapton Hart has an airy, pleasant feel with respectable staff, and for a moment the social depravity of the surrounding neighbourhood was forgotten, until a regular ambled in with a dog on a string.
Lunch was adequate, but had that fairtrade, made-of-recycled-principles taste about it and the cauliflower was purple. In hindsight, three pints was excessive.
A couple of new 38s idled in the middle of the Lea Bridge Roundabout, but the clock was ticking. There’d be plenty of time for that.
A few minutes ride on a boring old Wirght Gemini 2 and we discovered that Jesus was wrong: the meek did not inherit the earth. The meek grew up and moved to east London to work in digital marketing and stay up since last Thursday banging meow meow. A trio of such specimens scratching around the Cock early doors hinted at the clientele, but by thunder did the place stock ale.
After a quick beer we emerged to see… Not already? No, it couldn’t be? It was the new 38!
In a moment not unlike an episode of long-running ITV police drama series The Bill, we crashed along the pavement towards the bus stop, except instead of chasing drug dealers through a notorious Sun Hill housing estate, we were trying to take pictures of an arriving bus. And what a bus it was.
Decadent maroon soft furnishing tastefully intertwined with the luxuriant caramel glow of the hand rails. The step entrance was pristine, yellow trim shining, with not a drop of chewing gum, blood or urine tarnishing its surface. The ‘new car smell’ was yet to be overpowered by half-eaten boxes of fried chicken and old people.
For a few intense, heady minutes at the front of the top deck we sailed along Graham Road and over Dalston Junction. Then it was time for another drink.
Charming island bar and abundance of natural light aside, the Duke always feels brittle, as though ordering a round of Jägerbombs for the whole pub would reduce it into a delicatessen. One notable feature is the former doorway turned into a cosy corner which still boasts the original floor mosaic bearing the pub’s name.
At this point latecomers – including Anders Breivik doppleganger the Judean Peoples’ Front manager – swelled our numbers and the throng dutifully moved onto pub number four. Vicki the Bus Spotter was beside herself: at the next bus stop we took another new 38.
Orwell famously treatised of the perfect London pub where the punters were friendly, barmaids affable and beer well served. When visiting his namesake establishment in Canonbury the dream the author weaves, like Boxer the horse in Animal Farm, takes an ugly one in the knackers. Not quite Room 101, but a bit more Down and out than Moon Under Water.
More joined the ranks, with even a one-year-old child putting in a shift.
Whether the Old Queen’s Head is an accurate representation of what’s going on inside the monarch’s noggin is uncertain, but if years of wet paint fumes have finally got to the old girl then why not retro furniture, a slim fit crowd and a baby seeing off a pint of bitter?
Middle-aged men in turtle neck sweaters using the shallow cover of literary drama to crack onto impressionable, young girls awkwardly asserting their creative independence having thrown off the shackles of a sheltered, suburban upbringing – is what you expect to find in a theatre pub. We found Norwich City Football Club fans. Loads of them.
A Canary army had descended on the Old Red Lion to watch their team play Arsenal in the dim red glow of the pub’s quasi ghost train decor. Some crawlers had something to eat. It could have been chips.
At the introduction of the 50p game in the Exmouth Arms events spiralled out of control. For the uninitiated, if a 50p piece is dropped into your glass while you’re holding it, you must immediately drink its contents. The coin is then yours with which to cause mischief.
Composure regained, we found the Marquis of Granby was shut – a common symptom of central London pubs on weekends. Panic spread through the camp, but it turned out there were lots of other pubs nearby and everyone realised they weren’t really that fussed anyway.
We went to the Cambridge. A horrendous place that only exists to convince thousands of tourists every year who know no better that they’ve been to a traditional English public house. The former Young Boys of Kilburn manager ordered a large glass of red wine thinking it would be exempt from the 50p game.
Ye Grapes is also the last pub on the official Monopoly pub crawl, which meant they were used to people wandering in on the sharp end of 14 pints. This was fortunate, as through a consequence of bizarre, delayed trauma to having their childhood television memories recently besmirched in the media, some crawlers were singing the theme song to Jim’ll Fix It.
A fair amount of leering at the barmaid took place, people bought poppies and the Lokomotiv Leeds manager took it upon himself to neck pints with astonishing speed.
A controversial procedure for resolving the matter will now ensue. On the back of last week’s James Collins fiasco, Kenna HQ’s ability to run a well-governed league has been called into question.
“What can I say? There’s been a balls up,” shrugged the Chairman, scrolling through his phone contacts for the Charts and Graphs department.
Under precedent, Fabio would remain at PSV as the club paid a higher fee (£5m, compared to Lokomotiv’s £0.5m).
Lokomotiv would be awarded the next available defender going down the player list. The next four of which are mostly of respectable quality: Chris Smalling, Per Mertesacker, Steven Caulker and Aleksander Kolorov.
The Chairman said: “However, Lokomotiv already has players from Manchester United, Arsenal, Spurs and City. Therefore, Lokomotiv’s new defender should be Wigan’s Gary Caldwell. Fabio’s score [-3] will be wiped and replaced with Caldwell’s .