SUE Gray has completely exonerated the chairman of any wrongdoing in her report filed this week.
The inquiry found the vice chairman guilty of touching several children in his club’s academy, and Sue Gray has reported him to the police.
The vice chairman’s side was ditched out of the Covid Cup this week ahead of the knockout round, along with Judean Peoples’ Front, Thieving Magpies, and Test Team (please ignore).
“When I arrive at the transfer window on Saturday the chairman’s going to get both barrels,” fumed the vice chairman while loading his colonial cosplay elephant gun.
Even though the window promises to be a special event, with many league members not having seen each other in person for at least two years, the managers of Reds and Casuals maintain they’ll be drinking nothing stronger than coffee on the 10.34 from Oxford.
Transfer window schedule this Saturday
11.37am – Idris Elba tries to get into the Colton Arms but is turned away
12pm – managers gather in the Colton Arms
12.45pm – window opens
6pm – window closes
Free agents scoring at least three points a week this season
IT wasn’t quite one of David De Gea’s nonconsensual sex parties, but Jean-Alain Boumsong fantasy Euros auction organisers were pleased with Friday night’s event.
News of De Gea’s alleged indiscretions rocked managers early doors. The chief concerns were whether he would start for Spain, and whether managers who knew about the revelations could keep it from those who did not.
In the end, Wandsworth Window Lickers would have the last laugh. Unsure why he was picking up the goalkeeper for a paltry £3m, the WWL manager saw De Gea collect his first clean sheet of the Boumsong earlier this afternoon.
Thomas Muller was the evening’s most expensive player. The Sporting Lesbians manager snapped him up for £40m.
Ronaldo (£39m) was the second priciest player, bought by L’Horn d’Afrique.
Immediately after managers watched him score on the Hoop and Grapes balcony television set, Olivier Giroud became the evening’s third most expensive signing.
The Frenchman was signed by the Democratic Republic of Young Boys manager for £34m.
Harry Kane was the evening’s most valuable Englishman. Sadly, for the Cowley Caliphate manager there are no points for bad corners.
LONDON’S most prestigious Euros fantasy football competition will eradicate what it calls ‘clipboard management’, according to organisers.
More penalty drinks, variable formations and a mystery player draw are all being introduced to the 2016 Jean-Alain Boumsong European Cup auction to create an environment where ‘managers must fly by the seat of their pants’.
“Managers should be making impulse decisions, bidding on instinct and relying on their wits alone. I wouldn’t say they’ve become too wily – no one could make that accusation of any of this shower – but they have become too cautious,” said the chairman at a press conference this morning, in reference to a growing trend which prompted crisis talks in the upper echelons of Kenna HQ in February.
A marked decrease in managers triggering the league’s draconian forfeit procedure – the Titus Bramble ruling – has been observed over the last few domestic Kenna League events.
New rules announced for the Boumsong are being seen by many as a way of bringing more entertainment to the competition.
“The last two domestic auctions have seen slow bidding as managers hold up the auction checking stats on their cursed clipboards. Few managers are Brambling themselves and ‘Bramble Hour’ has disappeared completely,” continued the chairman in reference to the stage in an auction when alcohol begins to get the better of people’s judgement.
“Just compare that to the Olisabede.”
One manager Brambled himself so many times he resigned halfway through the evening, another began Brambling himself on purpose and everyone nearly came to blows. The chairman was, of course, referring to the 2012 Emmanuel Olisadebe Euros auction that took place four years ago yesterday.
Nevertheless, those present at the last Euros auction recall how the atmosphere changed after everyone downed a shot of tequila.
“We will introduce more official shot drinking to the Boumsong to impede decision making,” decreed the chairman, slamming both his fist on the table and a glass of Mezcal.
In addition to a round of shorts just before the start of the auction, organisers confirmed everyone present will neck another drink when England striker Jamie Vardy is introduced to bidding by the random player generator.
“He’s having a party,” explained the chairman, refilling his glass.
Further rule changes dictate anyone Brambling will have to buy a shot for themselves and for the manager who bought the preceding player. Both managers cannot take part in the auction again until they’ve seen off those draughts.
Another source of confusion will be the introduction of variable team formations.
Having traditionally prescribed a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 formation, organisers have finally bowed to the tactical flexibility that sees many international sides play with less strikers.
Managers will now have the choice of 4-3-3, 4-4-2, 4-5-1, 5-3-2, 5-4-1, 3-5-2 or 3-4-3. Formations do not have to be declared in advance, but participants should remember only one player of each nationality is permitted in each team.
There must be enough in the £100m managerial budget to spend at least £0.5m on each signing too.
Finally, there were hints at the press conference of a mystery player draw. Details are scant, mainly because the chairman was beginning to lose his grip on the day.
ENTRANTS to a fantasy football Euro 2016 auction should turn up in replica football shirts celebrating the competition, it was announced today.
At a press conference this morning, organisers of the Jean-Alain Boumsong Euros auction said managers should wear shirts ‘recognising players and teams who have enhanced our experience of the European Cup’.
“As for my shirt, for me, when I think of Germany winning the Euros in England 20 years ago, I think Kuntz,” the chairman told stunned journalists.
The comment was part explained when the chairman unveiled the shirt he would be wearing to the auction in early June: the number 11 Stefan Kuntz Germany shirt from Euro 96.
“Everyone has a Kuntz,” he went on oblivious. “A player, a team, a moment which has shaped their memories of the competition.
“And I say to you: Dutch Kuntz, Czech Kuntz, French Kuntz, English, Kuntz, Spanish Kuntz, Swedish Kuntz, Italian Kuntz, Portuguese Kuntz and Croatian Kuntz.”
When one reporter asked if managers at the auction – decked out in all these different football shirts – would end up looking like ‘a bunch of Kuntz’, the chairman looked slightly bemused.
“Well, that’s a pretty crude way of putting it, but yes, I suppose in that sense they will,” he replied, warming to the analogy. “But not a bunch of Kuntz, I’d say it’ll be more like a festival or carnival of Kuntz.”
Taking place on the evening of Friday 10 June at the Hoop and Grapes on Farringdon Road, the Boumsong auction will see up to 20 managers battling it out to sign their eleven players for the tournament.
Managers can only sign one player of each nationality. They will have the added challenge of the opening match of the tournament France v Romania being played on television at the same.
In the domestic league this week, Andros Townsend and Jermaine Defoe both found the net to help Walthamstow Reds cut Young Boys‘ lead by another eight points to 38.
Surely the reason not to take part in fantasy football management is if you have a job in real football management.
2. The other half is in charge of your diary
You’ve never liked her old school friend. Yet here you are in a rural village at her bloody wedding. Surrounded by people whose interest in football is comparable to the strength of your phone signal. It’s a cash bar three miles from the nearest hole in the wall. You curse your lack of initiative in domestic arrangements.
3. American dentists consider you good sport
How did Cecil the lion have his eggs?
4. You don’t actually like football, you just pretend to because everyone else does.
Chipping into water cooler chats with the occasional ‘Costa is really suited to the English game’ is an easy way to stay in with the crowd. Spending six hours in a pub surrounded by football ‘bantz’ is unfettered torture.
5. Preparation for a slumber party.
Only four days until guests arrive and so much to do: bake cupcakes, buy two extra microphones for SingStar, try on every cotton hot pant/vest combo in the wardrobe before deciding on what to wear. Quite why a potential Kenna manager would invite several teenage girls to a sleepover is anyone’s guess…
6. Death in the family. Close family, mind. A cousin’s pushing it.
Who’s not only selfish enough to die, but gets buried on a Saturday too?
7. You’re an enemy of the Kenna
Whether it’s a gripe over league rules or a throwaway comment about the competence of the committee, several hours of ‘football reeducation’ in a soundproof room beneath Kenna HQ is never far away. The eyes, ears and agents of the manager experiences department are everywhere.
8. You’re a loser.
Even taking part in a fantasy auction in public is too cool for you.
9. A life-changing windfall
Let’s face it: the league’s annual investment in Premium Bonds has less chance of paying out than a Euromillions ticket. If one manager was that lucky winner this Friday, those new-found riches could be just enough to turn the head.
TWENTY places are up for grabs at the Kenna League auction next month.
The 11th Kenna auction will take place on Saturday 8 August in The Hoop and Grapes on Farringdon Road.
Due to the second-earliest start to the season in Premier League history, Kenna HQ has taken the unprecedented decision to hold the auction on the opening day.
Bidding will begin at 12.45pm to coincide with kick off of the opening game – Manchester United v Spurs.
Managers will have to cope with the added dynamic of events on the pitch influencing events in the pub.
“The venue has a large balcony with a TV screen and a retractable awning. The good old days of sitting around a table covered with pints, player lists and brimming ashtrays are back. Hashtag pressure cooker,” said the chairman, who made the announcement at a launch event alongside the league treasurer (pictured above).
Potential managers are urged to reserve their place by contacting the treasurer to transfer the £25 entry fee.
Tuning in to Radio Luxembourg
Rules will adhere to the accepted Titus Bramble conditions, but there are a few tweaks.
Players to be introduced to auction will be picked at random using cutting-edge technology devised by the chaps in charts and graphs.
Managers not completing their team in the allotted auction time will have the gaps filled at random afterwards, and receive a remaining budget decided by the committee. Most likely this will be the average remaining budget of everyone else.
For those who can’t attend there are two choices:
You can make arrangements with a second to bid remotely.
Applications are open to submit silent bids (see below). Whether your application is accepted will depend on auction attendance numbers (no more than 20) and your commitment to the league.
Silent bidding must be seen as a last resort by managers who cannot attend next month. Anyone submitting silent bids must attend at least one transfer window this season to qualify for next summer’s auction, which they must attend in person.
Successful applicants will pick 11 desired players, attributing a bid to each one. The total bids must not exceed £100m. Bids for individual players can range between £0.5m and £50m. The Titus Bramble ruling will be enforced.
The manager submits the bids confidentially to charts and graphs. When a player with a silent bid attached is introduced to auction, the reserve price and interested manager will be announced, and bidding will start from there.
A silent bidder is unlikely to fill a team. See the paragraph above about non completion.
Contact the chairman for application details.
Silent bidding is for the auction only. It will not be run for transfer windows.
If you cannot attend a transfer window and cannot bid remotely through a second, any gaps in your team will be filled at random.
The first window will be held on Friday 16 October, the eve of the Premier League restart after the international break.
As tradition dictates, the first Friday after the January window shuts will hold the second Kenna transfer window – Friday 5 February.
ANGRY fans have turned on the Hairy Fadjeetas boss before a ball has even been kicked in this season’s Kenna campaign.
Within hours of an auction ‘shambles’ that saw the Fadjeetas commit just £68 million of a £100 million transfer kitty, serious questions are being asked at Bikini Lane.
Particular venom has been reserved for the outfit’s new strike partnership of Glenn Murray and David Nugent.
Murray is unproven at the highest level in English football, while Nugent proved awful during his last stint in Kenna in 2007.
Cunny Lingus, general secretary of the Fans of Fadge supporter’s group, said: “There’s a real sense of frustration with the club after a rather insipid auction performance – particularly as we don’t have a strike force. Talk about cows’ arses and banjos, it’s a shambles.”
@jeffkennaleague Goals and creativity in midfield: The Ox, Rodwell, Barkley, Hazard. Murray and Nugent better than Soldado and Hernandez.
But hitting back on social media the Fadjeetas chief was quick to defend his tactics. “Goals and creativity in midfield,” he tweeted. “Hazard, The Ox, Rodwell and Barkley.” And in a not-so-veiled reference to last season’s lack of cutting edge: “Murray and Nugent better than Soldado and Hernandez.”
The City’s money men have also leapt to defend the tightening of purse strings with a source declaring: “He’s got Hazard for £23 million, that’s the cheapest he’s ever signed for and a real bargain. And there’s surely more goals up front than last year at a fraction of the cost.”
KENNA HQ has put out an urgent lost property alert across London after a black taxi disappeared with items essential to the league on Saturday night.
The Bramble Jersey, auction hammer and literally the keys to Kenna HQ among the effects lost following an unusual chain of events on Regent Street at around 11pm.
The chairman and two Kenna managers were making their way from the pre-season fantasy football auction at The Carpenter’s Arms in Marylebone to meet other league members for a debrief at the Empire Casino in Leicester Square.
Disembarking from a London black taxi to retrieve fare payment from a cash machine, the chairman’s party were stunned to find upon return that the cabbie had ‘done one’.
The joy of realising they had skipped a £15 fare was soon overtaken by anxiety when the chairman revealed all the Kenna auction equipment was still in the taxi.
“It was most singular,” the chairman told the Transport for London lost property office this morning. “There was a black bag containing an old HP laptop, a Wigan Athletic Titus Bramble shirt and the keys to Kenna HQ, as well as a wooden wine box holding an Alpine cow bell, a bicycle horn and two decks of pornographic playing cards.
“Aside from the playing cards, these items are of little value to anyone but absolutely essential to the smooth running of the Kenna League auction.”
The incident marred what had otherwise been a great day in celebration of the Kenna’s 10th anniversary auction.
A total of 17 managers battled through a Free Palestine rally to take part in proceedings in the upstairs room of a most welcoming pub The Carpenter’s Arms, with one manager linked live via Skype from Switzerland.
AUGUST is here, which for sports fans both sides of the Atlantic Ocean means it’s time to start preparing for the fantasy football season.
Whether it’s English Premier League, National Football League, association football, American football, soccer, footy or gridiron, the auction – or auction draft as our cousins across the Pond call it – is by far the best way for your league to pick teams – or rosters.
This Saturday (9 August) the Kenna League will hold it’s 10th anniversary auction. Since 2005 the Kenna has held nine Premier League, three World Cup and two Euros auctions, along the way looking to improve the overall experience of what can be a gruelling test for managers, but an even bigger one for organisers.
As more and more fantasy football disciples discover this ultimate format of selecting a team, it seems an ideal time to share our top 10 tips for running a fantasy football auction which will hopefully prove useful whether you’re a dilettante commissioner or veteran chairman.
1. Choose a good venue
Atmosphere is everything. An environment where managers can focus on the auction for a few hours without distraction is the key. Avoid online auctions at all costs, you want to see the pain on the opposition’s face when they lose out on a target.
Only cricket’s Indian Premier League can shell out to hire an exclusive hotel’s conference room for an auction (and they look dull anyway). YouTube evidence suggests our American cousins find a cheaper option to be someone’s house or garage, but the Kenna League is based in London, a city where flats are small and only Russian oligarchs or Arabian oil sheikhs can afford covered parking.
For the Kenna League there is only one place for an auction, and that’s where the league was born: the pub. Central London has thousands of boozers with function rooms that do just the job, providing a convenient travelling distance for managers across the capital and, crucially, easy access to a licensed bar.
Alcohol is a must. All the better if manager’s can order drinks at the bar while participating in a bid. Shots bring an added dimension and can lead to controversy, but if there’s one thing football supporters love it’s controversy.
2. Set an appropriate budget
Compared to our American counterparts, who appear to set limits up to $200 (£118) for each team, the Kenna is the poor relation. League entry cost just £25 ($42). For some reason in English slang this monetary value is known as ‘a pony’.
Uncle Sam may dismiss this value as trifling, but the advantage of a lower cost is that managers are more likely to enjoy the auction, rather than see it as some sort of medium-term investment opportunity. If you want a meeting with your bank manager about risk averse investment, he’ll tell you to stay away from football. Do yourself a favour and stay away from fantasy football auctions too.
For the Kenna entry fee of a pony, managers receive as assumed £100m budget to buy 11 players, which is more in keeping with the prices footballers fetch in real life.
Those still dismissing the paltry entrance fee must also consider that during the Emerson World Cup auction in June, 16 managers racked up a bar bill of £500 ($845).
3. Set one formation and a player quota
Every manager should be aware from the outset of what formation of players they need to complete their team. In the US, it can be the 2RB-3WR system with it’s quota of quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends etc.
For the Kenna it’s the classic 4-4-2: one goalkeeper, four defenders, four midfielders and two strikers. Ideally, the ratio should tally with the number of players in that position on the player list.
The Kenna has found an entertaining recipe for an auction to be the one-player-per-club quota, so managers may only have one player from Chelsea, one from Manchester United etc. It means competitors must think hard about who they want from each Premier League club, which can make life extremely difficult (see ‘7. Forfeits’ below).
4. Assign roles and rotate them
The Kenna is lucky enough to have a professional auctioneer in its ranks, but even he could not keep the pace needed to host an engaging commentary for five hours. He also looks like Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, which some people find unsettling when forced to see him for prolonged periods.
Pick anything from three semi-competent managers to take it in turns with the hammer. Likewise, select three or more managers to take it in turns recording sales on a central list or spreadsheet. Rotation means managers will be more engaged in proceedings.
5. Robust admin
Our American counterparts appear to prefer projectors or large flip charts to share sales with the room. While efficient in someone’s house or garage, it can be difficult managing these items in the pub.
The Kenna is fortunate enough to have the chaps in charts and graphs. They’ve created an Excel spreadsheet to record signings, flag up if a manager has exceeded their budget or player quota and automatically generate a list of completed sales.
Make sure you’re auction has a steadfast method of chronicling events. It’ll come in handy for those ‘I only paid this much for him’ arguments late in the evening.
6. Auction pace
Attention levels must be maintained by running the auction at a brisk speed. Meandering bids and long gaps between lots are dull for everyone. Aim for around 45 players per hour. If you can get through one lot a minute you can reward the league with a cigarette break.
The pace can be sped up by introducing a random player draw instead of the tedious process of managers taking it in turns to pick a player. This Saturday the Kenna auction will see around 270 players go under the hammer. The 200 most desirable Premier League players will be drawn from a hat, meaning all managers will find the next player to be drawn of interest.
The Kenna League is too old and wily to believe that any manager bought an ineligible player by accident, particularly after one manager’s unchivalrous behaviour two years ago. Whether it’s too many players in one position or too many from one club, introduce a forfeit system to punish those either cheating or not paying full attention.
The Kenna introduced the Titus Bramble ruling as a forfeit system. Any manager caught transgressing the rules will immediately have the ineligible player removed and replaced with a bogey player from the Titus Bramble squad – a pre-selected list of footballers of questionable quality.
It would be interesting to hear from our American counterparts who they consider to be the Titus Bramble of their league.
8. Auction paraphernalia
A printed player list and a pen are all each manager needs to take part. If everyone’s sitting around with their own laptop for six hours casually browsing the internet then all atmosphere is lost and you may as well be at a miserable great uncle’s wake.
Other items the Kenna has found contribute to surroundings include:
The Bramble Bell – an Alpine cow bell stolen from a bar in a French ski resort which is rung whenever administrators spot a Titus Bramble forfeit
The Horn of Africa – a bicycle horn squeezed when a sale is considered to be of poor value or a manager behaves inappropriately, named after The Horn of Africa manager’s decision to resign mid-auction when things didn’t quite go his way
The Bramble Jersey – a Wigan Athletic shirt allegedly worn by Titus himself which must be put on by the manager in last place in the rankings table at any league gathering.
9. Time limit
If you organise an auction after work on a weeknight there’s always a risk the pub will shut before everyone’s had a chance to fill their teams.
If you organise an auction on a Saturday afternoon there’s always a risk some manager’s wife will book theatre tickets for the evening because many ladies, erroneously, consider Lion King On Ice more important than a fantasy football league.
Either way, you can be left in the ball ache of a position of having to retrospectively fill teams by email.
This Saturday the Kenna is looking to combat this administrator’s nightmare by introducing a time limit. The chaps in charts and graphs have come up with an ingenious spreadsheet that will automatically allocate remaining players based on desirability and managers’ remaining budgets.
If you don’t want to find yourself sending out lists of available players while nursing an auction night hangover, it’s suggested you find a similar solution.
10. Transfer windows
The Kenna meets twice during the Premier League season (early October and early February) for transfer windows. At these events managers sell their unwanted players at auction, and buy available players at auction.
Spice things up a bit by getting managers to submit their players two days beforehand in unusual ways by offering them bonuses for doing so. In the Kenna, the traditional method of sending in transfers by fax or mail attract the largest bonus. Avoid professional couriers, as some managers can just get these on their work accounts.
These are just a few pointers picked up in pursuit of hosting a great auction. We hope you found these tips useful, or at least enjoyed reading them.
Remember the most essential item in putting on the perfect auction is atmosphere. Picture the scene: it’s two hours in, everyone’s had a couple of drinks, teams are filling up, the mockery is flying, bids are flying, managers are starting to forfeit themselves, bells are ringing and one poor sod is sweating into a polyester football shirt.
In the Kenna that golden time is known as ‘The Bramble Hour’. Find it and managers will come flocking back to your league again and again.
LONDON’S best pub-based fantasy football World Cup competition will be named after former Middlesbrough Brazilian flop Emerson, it was announced today.
Best remembered in England for his two-season stint on Teeside in the 1990s, Emerson’s unfulfilled potential, meandering CV, failure to appear for his national side and dodgy haircut were key factors in the Kenna HQ committee’s decision to make him the contest’s figurehead.
For the first time the traditional auction will be held on the opening day of the tournament, Thursday 12 June. The match between Brazil and Croatia will kick off halfway through an auction experts predict will last around five hours.
“The 2014 Emerson World Cup auction will be a continuous, high intensity affair that will test managers’ skills to the very limit,” enthused the chairman.
As with the 2010 Dr Khumalo World Cup in South Africa before it, the Emerson will limit managers to buying no more than one player of any nationality.
Managers will also be required to set their teams out in a rigid 4-4-2 formation, a proven formula at international level.
The Emerson winner will receive an estimated £150 cash prize, with the two runners up also getting their mitts on some dosh.
In a move away from previous international tournaments, there will be no prize for the best individual player. Instead a radical new system will see the team with the worst disciplinary record winning the Emerson Unfair Play award. It is hoped the award will keep wider interest further into the competition.
In unrelated news, the official partner of the 2014 Emerson World Cup has been confirmed as Soul Glo – a Jheri Curl product: Let Your Soul Shine Through.