Like no other pub ever

BACK in the days when only highwaymen wore masks and before Kenna HQ installed a Batphone to the local Majestic, Kenna League managers went to pubs.

Since the Kenna was founded in 2005 there have been many Kenna managers who have each visited many pubs.

Even if you just count the number of pubs visited by Kenna managers competing this season, that’s 22 managers and hundreds, probably thousands, of pubs between them.

They will have seen and experienced every type of pub.

City pubs, country pubs, gastro pubs, craft beer pubs, hipster pubs, old man pubs, dog on a string pubs, pubs masquerading as private clubs, (mainly faux) Victorian pubs, pubs that used to be theatres or train stations which have stopped selling Jagerbombs for political reasons, pubs with yesterday’s hand dryer in the gents, pubs with tomorrow’s hand dryer in the gents, pubs with no hand dryer in the gents, ‘bridge and tunnel’ pubs, rough pubs, theme pubs, wannabe gangster pubs, pubs on ring roads serving overcooked slices of beef, foreign pubs run by questionable Englishmen, pubs where pints are discounted during live football matches, LGBT pubs, mews pubs, pubs with mock chalkboard point-of-sale marketing, après ski happy hour pubs, council estate pubs, pubs where the quality of the beer in no way warrants the price yet still you put more pound coins into a handled pint glass circulated by women with exactly five items of clothing including each shoe, and last but not least London pubs.

But there’s one pub across whose threshold a Kenna manager has never passed.

It has all those pub features which either endear or annoy the tippler, depending on how many pints down.

On the outside there are misted windows, which would give the pub a conspiratorial air if it wasn’t for two men swaying by the door whose total collection of clothes is worth less than the pouch of contraband tobacco from which they’ve made rollies to smoke.

One of the windows is decorated with the logos of sports broadcasters who have long passed into receivership.

The door is so heavy anyone arriving with a friend inadvertently slams it in their face upon entering. There’s a small glass entrance box on the inside so all the regulars can watch you and your friend make a pig’s ear with the door.

There are no hooks under the bar to hang coats. There are stools by the bar, but the regulars perch on them even during Friday night and Saturday afternoon peak times – when there should really be one more member of bar staff on – so queuing for a drink is as much fun as digging your own grave at gunpoint.

Out back is a bigger room which doesn’t know if it’s catering to disciples of Super Sunday or families eating Sunday lunch so it’s an unsatisfying experience for all involved, particularly when two men start shooting pool at the table in front of the big screen during a match.

The ‘craft’ option was brewed in the same premises as the mass market beers also on offer. Gin and tonic is served in a Paris goblet with a slice of lemon stored in a viscous substance. No one drinks the wine.

Like most of the locals, the Warner Howard in the gents has developed emphysema. And it’s not the best place to wear flip flops.

But there is one feature of this pub no Kenna manager has ever experienced before.

It’s the only boozer ever in the ken of the world’s leading London pub-based fantasy football league where a genuine trio of league title chasers has emerged at the tail end of the season. This pub is called….

The Three Horses

Dynamo (1,205 points)Test Team (1,192)Chairman (1,188)
Pope – 9Pickford – 9Patricio – 9
D Sanchez – 8Alderweireld – 8Schar – 0
Coleman – 5Ogbonna – 2Cathcart – 0
Pereira – 0Zinchenko – 4Diop – 2
Gomez – 1J Ward – 2Mee – 0
Deulofeu – 0Grealish – 4WILLIAN – 7
Almiron – 4Pereyra – 2Bruno F – 15
KDB – 10Salah – 2Buendia – -1
Bowen – 5Ward-Prowse – 3Tielemens – 2
AUBAMEYANG – 15Jiminez – 12DCL – 3
Samatta – 4Rashford – 12King – 4
Week – 61Week – 60Week 43
Total – 1,205Total – 1,192Total – 1,188
Players in BOLD have two games remaining

Kenna League table – two weeks to go

Full scores available from The Rub.

Kenna League - 23 July 2020
Kenna League – 23 July 2020

Coronavirus Cup final this weekend

Bala Rinas v Clotted Cream First

Cup holders Clotted Cream First (275 points) have had the edge in form over Bala Rinas (234) in Project Restart, with loan players Raheem Sterling and Andrew Robertson proving useful additions in the February transfer window.

Bala Rinas look to Matt Doherty, Enda Stevens and Son Heung-Min to continue their streaks and compete for the league treasurer’s first piece of silverware.

No one’s every retained the cup, but the chalkstripes in the Kenna HQ speculations department are tipping the Clotted Cream manager to become the first.

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The Cardinal Richelieu role

THE FIFA ethics committee has been put on high alert after the Kenna chairman took a one point lead in the table and his cousin booked a place in a second consecutive cup final.

The Clotted Cream First manager is also godfather to the chairman’s son – the de facto ‘future chairman’ – sparking much intrigue in the corridors of Kenna HQ about his potential in the ‘Cardinal Richelieu role’.

The chairman scoffed at the rumours: ‘The cunning and intelligence of Cardinal Richelieu? On that side of the family?’

The vice chairman, as usual, was outraged: ‘There’s only one manager who’ll be grooming Young Boys in this league.’

Clotted Cream First beat Dynamo Charlton by a whopping 105 points to 48 in their semi final fixture this week, ending Dynamo’s tilt at a league and cup double.

Dynamo are still just one point behind the Chairman’s XI in the league, but will rue a week in which their star player Kevin De Bruyne was involved in just one of his side’s last 10 goals.

In third place, Test Team (please ignore) – who led the league for most of 2020 – are 12 points off Dynamo to form the first ever three horse race for a Kenna title.

Should the chairman prevail, he will become the first manager in Kenna history to win the league three times.

At the other end of table, defending champions Walthamstow Reds slipped one place nearer to the relegation zone.

Usually 36 points from the bottom four with two weeks to go would be a good cushion, but with so many matches before the end of the season, and Joelinton and Moise Kean up front, Reds could become the first defending champions to be relegated.

In the Coronavirus Cup final next weekend (not this), Clotted Cream First will face the league treasurer’s team Bala Rinas.

Even with an empty trophy cabinet, the treasurer is keeping a low profile at the prospect of silverware this season in case anyone looks too closely at why all the league finances are in his wife’s name.

Kenna League table – three weeks to go

Full scores available from The Rub.

Kenna League - 14 July 2020
Kenna League – 14 July 2020

Coronavirus Cup – semi final results

Bala Rinas 69 – 37 Lowry Travel Tavern

Dynamo Charlton 48 – 105 Clotted Cream First

Final – 28 July 2020

Bala Rinas v Clotted Cream First

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Always the bridesmaid

The cell was dark. Dawn was at least an hour away.

She pondered on the course of events that led her here.

The girls. The private islands. Jeffery Epstein. Was he still a Bramble player for So Good They Named Him Twice?

There was a moment in Florida when she was forcing a teenage girl to give Jeffery a foot massage that she wondered if her life was taking the right course. Of course, it was, she thought, I’m Ghislaine Maxwell. Everyone is wrong and I’m right. This prison cell is evidence of that. I should be on a luxury ranch in New Hampshire. It was the system that was wrong. God, back in the 90s if you had wealth and privilege you could slap around who you liked. What was wrong with the world now? Thank God daddy didn’t get a statue built of himself.

She was lying on a thin mattress supported by a tiled rectangle structure jutted out along one wall of the room. What passed for a window were some glass blocks built into the wall. It reminded her of the changing rooms at the Manor Ground in Headington back in the 80s.

The world was simpler place then. She was director of daddy’s football team and they got promoted twice in two seasons to reach the First Division. She went to parties in London in the week, the creme de la creme, and the football on Saturday. She could treat the Great Unwashed exactly how she liked. There were no finger pointing little slags back then.

These memories flooded back to her as she heard a pipe dripping somewhere and the other prisoners snores and groans.

She froze. Her eyes were closed but she could feel someone close by. There was an intense smell of leather and she guessed a gloved hand was covering her mouth. She opened her eyes.

Inches from her face was the head of a figure. At least that’s what she could see with one eye. Her other eye stared into the barrel of a suppressed 9mm pistol.

The intruder’s face looked Anglo-Saxon. He had dark, thick hair, a pale face and penetrating eyes.

He gestured he would remove his hand from her mouth and to be quiet. She moved her head slightly to show she would comply. As he took his hand away she whispered: ‘The palace?’

He shook his head. She took it as a sign to guess again.

‘It can’t be. It can’t,’ she whispered in exasperation. ‘Why?’

‘They have a bet,’ replied the stranger. His English was accented and she could tell he was German but had spent time in the south east of England.

‘A what?’ she replied incredulous someone would toy with her, her!, like this.

‘A bet. I’m here to make sure you stay alive for the next…’ the gun barrel flicked up slightly as he checked his watch ‘…13 minutes.’

‘What happens then?’ she couldn’t help asking.

‘Then you do it yourself.’

Looking at her one eye all the time and without lowering the gun he pressed something into her hand. It was cold. It could be a small piece of metal.

They were both still. Time passed. The light in the glass blocks got greyer.

Eventually the stranger gave her nod and stood back. She knew it was pointless to resist. The blade was sharp in her fingers. She took one last look at the man and then drew the blade across her wrist.

As her consciousness faded she thought back to those simpler times. The 80s. London parties. Jim Smith lifting the Third Division championship trophy.

The intruder took a phone from his pocket and tapped the screen before slipping from the cell.

Thousands of miles away in the Kenna HQ manager experiences department a man read out: ‘It’s done. Time of death 6.03am.’

The chairman sipped his Grasshopper and said: ‘Michael Ballack. Always the bridesmaid.’

Then he looked at the Kenna table and all thoughts of the Maxwell woman melted away.

Winning a bet with the vice chairman was one thing. Becoming the first manager to win the Kenna League three times was quite something else.

He didn’t want to end up like Ballack or Maxwell.

Kenna League – two weeks to go

Full scores available from The Rub.

Kenna League - 7 July 2020
Kenna League – 7 July 2020

Coronavirus Cup – quarter final results

Cowley Casuals 33 – 34 Bala Rinas

Dynamo Charlton 73 – 19 Young Boys

Clotted Cream First 50 – 40 Magpies

Daggers 30 – 39 Lowry Travel Tavern

Semi final fixtures

Bala Rinas v Lowry Travel Tavern

Dynamo Charlton v Clotted Cream First

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Violent shitness

The Kenna League chairman has called Professor Thomas Chamberlain from the Lyle Centre to help find 12 months of missing posts from the Kenna blog. Chamberlain sends Dr Nikki Alexander and Jack Hodgson to Kenna HQ. They are with the chairman in his executive office.

NIKKI: I can see this body’s been here for quite some time. Let me get my big camera with the circle light on the end.

CHAIRMAN: That’s not why I asked you here. The last 12 months of Kenna blog content has gone missing.

NIKKI: But there’s a dead body in the corner of your office. It looks to have been decomposing for nearly a decade. There are blow flies here so long they’ve chalked out some football pitches and are on the second four-year cycle of their own World Cup. Who is it?

CHAIRMAN: That’s just the spirit of the Kenna. It died at the 2012 Euros auction when the Dark Lord unmasked himself as the tactical Brambler.

JACK: Let’s take a closer look at your desk.

CHAIRMAN: What’s that you’re holding?

JACK: It shines UV light to find evidence. It’s a called a jizzlamp.

CHAIRMAN: I’d rather you didn’t….

Jack switches on the device

NIKKI: Good God!

JACK: The jizzlamp doesn’t lie.

CHAIRMAN: Ignore those stains. They’re nothing to do with the missing Kenna posts. They’re to do with a website that’s unrelated.

JACK: Unrelated how? Like a stepmom?


CHAIRMAN: That website material is nothing to do with this.

JACK: I need to get Clarissa on the blower.

CHAIRMAN: Well, it certainly wasn’t that sort of content.

JACK: Hi, I’m going to send you some data from the Kenna HQ porn laptop.

CLARISSA (on speakerphone): Interesting.

CHAIRMAN: Why are you calling it the porn laptop?

JACK: Because the jizzlamp doesn’t lie.

CLARISSA: I’ve run the data you sent. There are about 50 posts. Most of them appear to have been about someone called the Dark Lord.

NIKKI: The tactical Brambler.

JACK: Nikki, this really isn’t the episode to develop a love interest.

NIKKI: Don’t worry about me. I’m still seeing that Yank.

CHAIRMAN: Alexi Lalas?

ALEXA: Playing The La’s, There She Goes

JACK: Heroine. Here, in your desk drawer.

CHAIRMAN: It’s morphine. It belonged to my father. Mixed with beer, wine, gin and tonic, cognac, tobacco, diazepam and a changing family dynamic it’s actually quite useful for the early stages of bereavement.

CLARISSA: I found something here about football chants.

CHAIRMAN: Oh yes, I published some chants based on Newcastle United and the potential takeover by….of course!

JACK: What?

CHAIRMAN: The Saudis. Don’t you see?

NIKKI: See what? A dead body in the corner of your office and a desk that looks like a painter’s radio?

CHAIRMAN: It was the bloody Saudis! Those thin-skinned tyrants. They must have deleted all that content because they were offended by the football chants.

CLARISSA: Before you get carried away, may I ask if you ever backed up the Kenna website?

CHAIRMAN: What’s that?

CLARISSA: From what I can see here you didn’t back up your site before changing your hosting arrangements.

CHAIRMAN: No, it must have been the Saudis. I bet they’re working with vice chairman. That rat.

NIKKI: Didn’t the vice chairman come up in a toxicology report a couple of summers ago?

JACK: The whole league did, after the Dmitri Kharine Russia World Cup auction.

CLARISSA: Mr chairman, you didn’t back up your site. That’s why the posts have gone. It’s nothing to do with the Saudis.

CHAIRMAN: Then why did I receive this invitation to the Saudi consulate in the post today?

JACK: That’s a receipt from your local butcher.

CHAIRMAN: The swine.

Kenna League – three weeks to go

Full scores available from The Rub

Kenna League – Tuesday 30 June 2020

Coronavirus Cup – last 16 results

Test Team 57 – 45 Cowley Casuals

Dynamo Charlton 66 – 46 Hairy Fadjeetas

Clotted Cream First 46 – 40 TNS

Barry Town 43 – 75 Daggers

JPF 30 – 43 Lowry Travel Tavern

Fat Ladies 43 – 43 Magpies (Magpies progress as they less players who scored no points)

So Good 46 – 68 Young Boys

Bala Rinas 51 – 44 Pikey Scum

Quarter final fixtures

Cowley Casuals v Bala Rinas

Dynamo Charlton v Young Boys

Clotted Cream First v Magpies

Daggers v Lowry Travel Tavern

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Operation Fluff

Project Restart was not going well at Kenna HQ.

Having proclaimed himself champion in March because his side were top of the table, the chairman of the world’s leading London pub-based fantasy football league was hoping the season would be called off.

In addition a technical error meant all the content from the Kenna site from May 2019 had been deleted.

Kenna news, tables, teams, cup competition details and even the football chants about the Saudi takeover of Newcastle. All gone.

‘Damn it!’ said the chairman, slapping his desk in frustration, ‘There’d normally be hyperlinks to at least three other pages by this point of the post.

‘The last thing I have about a Devonian winning last year’s cup on 17 May 2019 containing Westcountry slang so ludicrous some pasty muncher will be toppling my statue.’

To add to his problems, and there were many, the restart had seen the Chairman’s XI toppled two places to third place despite the continued imperiousness of Bruno Fernandes.

Trophy-less challengers Test Team (please ignore) not only resumed their place in first, but saw their striker knighted for services to free lunches, Sir Marcus Rashford.

While the Kenna purist hopes such sanctity in a team’s ranks cannot win the title, the Kenna realist sees the parsimonious Dynamo Charlton manager just two points off the lead chasing his first championship and the Dark Lord lurking in fourth chasing his third.

And what of the cup competition? There’s no record of how the last 16 matches went and there’s as much trust among managers in the Kenna as there is among officials in the Lubyanka.

The chairman said: ‘With another five weeks remaining, the last 16, quarters, semis and final could be played in the last four.

‘We’ll call it the Lockdown Cup.’

And that appeared to be that.

Kenna table publication dates

Tuesday 30 June
Tuesday 7 July
Tuesday 14 July
Monday 20 July
Monday 27 July

Kenna League – six weeks to go

Kenna League - 23 June 2020
Kenna League – 23 June 2020
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Rising to the top

NEWINGTON Reds all but won the Kenna League on the weekend, but failed register a double.

The debutant manager at Clotted Cream First defeated Reds in a tense Krakow Cup final.

The Wile. E. Coyote of set pieces Trent Alexander-Arnold was the difference, a clean sheet and two assists earning him 13 points.

“Trent be a helluva bhuy, gert lush ee iz,” drawled the Devonian manager of The Cream.

“Fan zee zat, a Janner scoopinnt Krakoff dreckly ee be int Kenna? Although I was savage to see me bhuy Ake gettin minus two. Madazza barbed wire badger, ee iz.”

While Clotted Cream First shaved Reds in the cup, in the league second-placed Hairy Fadjeetas are in no danger shaving anything.

Third placed Fat Ladies also appear unlikely to shave anything from Hairy Fadjeetas’ 13-point advantage this Saturday. Fadges take Raheem Sterling into the game, while Ladies rely on Americ Laporte.

There’s an outside chance Bala Rinas could spring 18 points into third place if Gerard Deulofeu and Ederson combine.

Krakow Cup final – individual scores

Newington Reds 30 – Fab 2, J Evans 7, Robertson 7, Coady 1, C Taylor 0, Mili 1, Hojbjerg 2, Camarasa 0, Babel 1, Murray 7, Higuain 2

Clotted Cream First 33 – Lloris 1, TAA 13, Ake -2, Lascelles 7, Nordtveit 0, McArthur 4, Xhaka 0, H Costa 0, Barkley 2, Kun 7, Austin 1

Kenna week 36

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No coming back

IN a week of dramatic football comebacks the Kenna failed to deliver in spectacular fashion as Newington Reds marched undisturbed towards a maiden league title.

Glenn Murray and Gonzalo Higuain (as I said, unspectacular) were both on target to put yet more distance between Newington Reds and the rest of the league.

However, the weekend will be far from a Sunday stroll for the trophyless Reds boss, who will be keen to claim the double by outperforming Kenna debutants Clotted Cream First in the Krakow Cup final.

It will be no easy task. The Devonian manager at ‘The Dairy’ lists final-day specialist Sergio Aguero and set-piece maverick Trent Alexander-Arnold among his ranks.

Battle for second place in the league sees more pressure heaped on the Hairy Fadjeetas manager, who topped the table for most of the season before being usurped by Reds.

Going into the weekend 2008 Kenna champions Fat Ladies ‘snap at the Fadge’, and Ladies’ trio Eden Hazard, Jamie Vardy and Virgil van Dyke are favourites to overturn a 10-point gap.

Not only are the Fadges missing Roberto Firmino to injury, but the boss has been under intense scrutiny from United Arab Emirates authorities for some time.

Rumours abound in the Persian Gulf the Fadges boss fled the region stowed away in an Emirates cabin drinks trolley having formed a relationship with an airline employee.

The Yorkshireman’s exact whereabouts are unknown outside reports from the Swiss Alps he was seen in an Irish bar buying two pints for himself at the same time and telling anyone who would listen he ‘couldn’t give a fucking bollocks’.

At the other end of the table, where the bottom five face relegation, the Kenna’s only Somali manager dropped into the danger zone. Danny Baker has since deleted a tweet.

Kenna table week 35

Full scores available from The Rub.

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Let’s get these out the way, shall we?

Sesame Street rubber duck collector Ernie

Doorstop dalliance devotee and dairy delivering daredevil Ernie

Author and daiquiri connoisseur Ernest Hemingway

Leadership legend Ernest Shackleton

Most prolific goalscorer ever in the Polish first division Ernest Pohl

Father of nuclear physics Ernest Rutherford

Gap-toothed American actor Ernest Borgnine

High street jeweller Ernest Jones

Mexican narco ‘Don Neto’ Ernest Fonseca Carillo

FC Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde

Poster boy of the Cuban revolution Ernesto Che Guevara

Double murderer who escaped justice for 50 years Ernest Broadnax

Megalomaniac cat lover Ernst Stavro Blofeld

Homosexual Nazi executed in 1934 party purge Ernst Rohm

Kingpin bowling nemesis Ernie ‘Big Ern’ McCracken

Kenna table week 34

Full scores available from The Rub

Kenna week 34 - 30 April 2019
Kenna week 34 – 30 April 2019

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Travelling without winning

NEWINGTON Reds put in another commanding performance this week to both pull away at the top of the Kenna League and secure a place in the Krakow Cup final.

Gonzalo Higuain, Andrew Robertson, Conor Coady and Luka Milivojevic combined to thwart a resurgent Pikey Scum in their semi final second leg.

Should Reds now defeat Kenna debutants Clotted Cream First in the final, the manager could become the first in the Kenna to defend the Krakow Cup.

“Having been in the Kenna this long, I almost think it would be more an achievement not to win the league,” said the Reds manager, a nod towards all other founding members having lifted the trophy at some point.

The comment provoked a discussion among journalists. Should the Reds manager claim his maiden League title, who will be the most experienced Kenna manager without a winner’s medal?

Having topped the table for most of this season, Hairy Fadjeetas now appear to be a spent force this campaign and destined for life in Arabic confinement.

Yet the Fadges boss will have only competed for eight seasons by the time his side likely miss out on the league next month.

The treasurer is in his ninth season and looks set to add a fourth, third-place finish to his nearly man cabinet, but it turns out the most experienced manager (10 seasons) without any silverware will be the Judean Peoples’ Front boss.

That trend looks set to continue, given the JPF manager’s recent form for showing up at Kenna events not-so-fresh from all nighters with lonely, middle-aged men who might sell their car.

Krakow Cup – semi final second leg results

Turnpike Pirates 16 (24) – (43) 29 Clotted Cream First

Newington Reds 40 (63) – (46) 38 Pikey Scum

Final, 14 May: Clotted Cream First v Newington Reds

Kenna week 33

Kenna week 33 - 23 April 2019
Kenna week 33 – 23 April 2019

Kenna week 32

Kenna week 32 - 16 April 2019
Kenna week 32 – 16 April 2019
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Reds manager rejects Black Country double talk

IT will be “almost impossible” for Newington Reds to win the double this season, their manager has said.

His Reds side beat Pikey Scum by 15 points on the weekend to put them within touching distance of the Krakow Cup final.

They are already five points clear at the top of the Kenna League, as they attempt to win their first league campaign in 14 years of trying.

“Surviving is a miracle. It’s nice to be there,” the Reds manager said.

“Nobody from Wolverhampton has done it [won the double], so why can we do it? It is almost impossible to achieve everything – that is the truth.”

The closest any Wulfrunian has come to winning both trophies in a season was when the Cowley Casuals manager won the cup in 2014/15, and finished second in the league 22 points behind Sporting Lesbian.

The last Black Country manager to win the league was the Thieving Magpies manager in 2016/17.

“Do you believe we can survive a six-hour Kenna auction drinking lager far stronger than Carling and give a fantastic performance every time? No-one from Wolverhampton can do that,” the Reds manager said.

Krakow Cup – semi-final first leg

Turnpike Pirates 8 – 14 Clotted Cream First

Newington Reds 23 – 8 Pikey Scum

Kenna table week 31

Kenna week 31 - 9 April 2019
Kenna week 31 – 9 April 2019

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