SHOCKWAVES from Saturday’s Kenna fantasy football auction are still being felt in London five days on.
The marathon event shook the upstairs bar of the Roebuck in Borough for a record eight hours, as 21 managers worked their way through 232 lots and many more units of Central European lager.
Robin van Persie fetched the highest price of £46m – almost half a Kenna manager’s ton budget – bought over Skype by a mysterious man in Valencia wearing a Panama hat.
At £39m each Wayne Rooney and Sergio Aguero were the next biggest signings bought by St Reatham FC, the former Woking manager’s new team, and KS West Green, the Chairman’s team, respectively. Both managers steered their teams to relegation last season.
But it wasn’t the ninth annual Kenna auction itself that caused the biggest stir.
Locked in competition for a full shift, the majority of Kenna managers decided to accept the FC Rapid de Cuillons manager’s invitation to a late drink on his Thames boat bar: Bar&Co.
As the complimentary shooters flowed, the pressure of entering the world’s most competitive fantasy football league began to show, with memories of the evening becoming hazier.
Anders Breivik lookalike the Judean Peoples’ Front manager was among a hardened group of post-auction revellers who reported getting home at breakfast time, but he was not the biggest casualty.
Shutting himself into the Kenna HQ situation room with nothing but a case of tinned sardines and the auction wildcards, it took until Wednesday for the Kenna chairman to come to terms with the beast he’d created.
Emerging from his solitary vigil the chairman said: “Up until Saturday many people associated with the Kenna often wished there was more than one auction a year. Not any more.
“Glad as we are to be involved with this great institution, no one’s sanity, home life or alimentary canal could possibly deal with more than one of those sessions in 12 months.”
The first transfer window in October will probably come close.
The league will issue full details of teams and remaining budgets ahead of the season curtain raiser on Saturday at 12.45pm.
Top footballers are anticipated to attract sky high bids – while even prices for those of middleweight quality are predicted to swell – compared to previous auctions.
At the unveiling of the new player list this afternoon, exactly one calendar month and a day before the auction, the Kenna chairman said: “It used to be that quality players came to England from around the world and managers could get lucky at the auction.
“If they want to be competitive this season managers had better do their homework. As membership of the Kenna has gone up over the years we’ve seen more money spent on the most desirable players, and we expect this trend to continue. This auction will be harder, better, faster, stronger and more drunken than anything that’s come before.
“Whereas Sergio Aguero fetched a record £40m last August, we expect him to go for a lot more than that this year as managers come face to face with the task of securing the best talent.
“The maths is simple: if 25 managers attend next month’s auction it will take 275 players to fill all the teams. That means an average of nearly 14 players from each Premier League squad will go under the hammer.
“It won’t just be English players fetching a premium. Continental Europeans, South Americans, Africans and even Asians will cost a fair coin, and there’s always something about US players that makes them popular.”
The ninth annual Kenna auction will take place in a London pub on 10 August, one week before the start of the Premier League season.
Each manager will start with £100m to buy their eleven players in a 4-4-2 formation.
Two opportunities to keep teams fresh will be offered during the campaign, at transfer windows in October and February.
At this morning’s press conference, the chairman refused to be drawn on rumours of a new open market transfer window system for the 2013/14 season. Confirmation is expected in the next few weeks.
The chairman did put down reports the auction was to be broadcast on Radio 5 Live.
“We thought with the turmoil and BBC evolution (or, whatever, revolution) 909 medium wave might be interested in buying the rights, but it turns out it clashes with a cricket contest we’ll all be glued to anyway. We probably should have pitched it to niche broadcasters – you know how these people in digital love something different.
“Oh yes, and did I mention the entry fee rise? No? I thought I did. Oh well, one more time: we’re putting up the entry fee to £25 per manager,” said the chairman, as he climbed into the back of the league’s executive prestige car just before it sped off.
The Vasco manager’s disastrous campaign is being pinpointed to the moment he lost a £40m Sergio Aguero under the Titus Bramble ruling at the August auction. The strike force of Leroy Lita and Fabio Borini offered little recompense.
Aguero went on to the snapped up for £12m and became an integral component of Sporting Lesbian’s team.
Speaking to Sky Sports News this morning outside Vasco’s Shoreditch Park ground, which was as far he got when it turned out club wallahs had already ordered the locks to be changed, the outgoing manager said: “Is it opening time yet?”
In south London, the Kenna diversity police are hot on the trail of another manager with a P45 fresh in his in tray.
No one expected Wandsworth Window Lickers to put up much of a fight this season considering their registered status as intellectually disabled.
But the team bus with rainbows on the side and disproportionately high number of grab handles at their home ground was just a ruse, the whole team turned out to be physically fit athletes who possessed all their mental faculties – with the exception of Peter Odemwingie, who was mostly a knob.
The Wandsworth manager was last seen boarding a plane to South America on a ‘scouting mission’. Club bean counters are said to be keen to speak to the errant manager over missing disability allowance funds.
Surrey Police were believed to have made a breakthrough in the manhunt when an early-hours 999 call from a club admin girl claimed the manager’s car was parked outside her Worplesdon flat.
A response was dispatched, but officers arrived to find the property empty and ransacked. Two days later the girl was fished out of the Basingstoke Canal with a broken neck.
The search continues.
Managers will flock to a central London pub on Friday for the Kenna end-of-season awards night.
The Chairman said: “It’s been a long season and for all that hard work managers deserve nothing less than to buy me a beer. There’ll also be a short quiz to see how much people remember from the campaign’s shenanigans.”
“For some reason I’ve earned a bad reputation, but I hope that everyone can leave that unfortunate, summer misunderstanding in 2012 and see that behind the sinister facial hair I’m just a stand-up guy who can get the best from his team in all competitions,” said cad and bounder the FCT manager, while counting out 11 bullets into envelopes addressed to the Sporting Lesbian first team.
At the bottom, Bala Rinas climb out of the drop zone thanks to Gareth Bale and Daniel Agger. Wandsworth Window Lickers sink down most likely because their top scorer this week was Gabriel Obertan.
Looking into 2013, managers’ immediate focus will be on the cup ahead of this week’s fixtures, with every team in with a chance of progressing to the knockout stages.
THE 50P GAME has protested its innocence in one of the biggest Kenna transfer window cock ups of all time.
Towards the end of Friday’s event in the upstairs bar of The Roebuck, the Pikey Scum boss signed flash-in-the-pan-form striker Steven Fletcher for £30m, taking the total cost of his team over the allotted budget.
Under the Titus Bramble ruling the club were made to forfeit their most expensive player and prized asset Gareth Bale, who also cost £30m, to be replaced by Belgian no hoper Steve De Ridder.
The Scum manager was quick to find a scapegoat in the 50p game.
“If I hadn’t been made to drink a whole a pint of cider because some Herbert dropped a coin in it, I can categorically state that Gareth Bale would still be Scum,” said the Pikey boss afterwards from a park bench.
But the 50p game has struck back, claiming that the Pikey gaffer necked the cider five minutes after the Bale debacle.
“If he had half a pound of sense he’d see that it’s all his fault. He’s a spent force in the Kenna,” said the 50p game, a shadowy figure who’s never been seen in daylight but only turns up once the Judean Peoples’ Front manager is half cut.
The whole affair is widely being held as the biggest Bramble blunder since the Vasco De Beauvoir manager lost £40m Sergio Aguero at the pre-season auction in August and was left with the services of nightclub dust up’s Leroy Lita.
Gareth Bale went on to be bought by Bala Rinas for £26m. A video of the sale is the second highest result on a YouTube search of ‘Julian Assange Anders Breivik’.
A goal from new signing Shola Ameobi was not enough to take away the bad taste left in the Spartak Mogadishu manager’s mouth after the transfer window.
“Yarrrr! Which yellow-bellied landlubber filled me bag with salt and pepper shakers? When I got back to me cabin me iPatch t’was covered with condiments! If I gets me hook on the scoundrel he’ll be keelhauled and that be certain!” threatened the briny Somali, who controversially did not wear a ‘Kick It Out’ T-shirt to the window.
Look out this Friday for the group stages draw of the Cannestan Combi Cup on Twitter @jeffkennaleague
Kenna HQ declared Collins ineligible to play at Undecided Road as the manager had signed second West Ham player Gary O’Neil at the auction.
JPC have confirmed that Collins will be immediately available, despite club doctors diagnosing him with a severe case of truncheon rash.
This week’s highlights
Unsigned Martin Petric was the top individual points scorer.
£12m Sporting Lesbian striker Sergio Aguero is out for a month after picking up an injury in the first few minutes of the season.
£9m Wandsworth Window Licker Josh McEachran will not be picking up any points after going on loan to Boro. The Still Don’t Know Yet manager is said to be preparing his transfer window war chest for the midfielder.
£6m Headless Chicken Michael Dawson will score approximately 50 fewer points this season after a move to Loftus Road.
£2.5m Woking defender Alex Santos was arrested by police going faster than the auction night buffet on the way to training.
Outlook: Picked up the auction’s bargain Sergio Aguero for £12m, although devastating capabilities of the front two may be curtailed by casual racism. Very creative in midfield, but yet to be seen if Charles N’Somnia wakes up this term. No Brambles.
FOR THE very first time the annual Kenna League auction is to be tweeted live.
Household names such as Wayne Rooney, Sergio Aguero and Ricardo Vaz Te will go under the hammer next Wednesday in a City of London pub.
Kenna HQ initially tweeted the Emmanuel Olisadebe auction live ahead of Euro 2012, but this is the first time the domestic season, now in its eighth year, will be broadcast to the world.
“We saw the overwhelming wave of reaction to the Olisadebe tweets and we’re pleased to bring the experience of the Kenna to globe absolutely free of charge,” said the Chairman, referring to his bar bill and the three extra followers gained during the Euro 2012 auction night.
In preparation for the auction, the committee have appointed the Hairy Fadjeetas manager Director of Wry Tweets.
“The overriding reason I’ve accepted this position is because it brings access to the league’s executive Daewoo,” said the new addition to the committee, before shrugging that he probably won’t be able stay to the end of the evening.
The Fadges boss was chosen after his tweeting at the Olisadebe. Some of his wryest offerings from that fateful evening can be found below.
Global economic woes summed up in a bid for French school gates botherer Franck Ribery:
The prospect of two ageing strikers taking on Europe’s elite:
Glib account of the Kenna’s first mid-auction resignation after a Bramble led to the loss of Dutch gnome Arjen Robben (from the bottom up):
Phonetic German side by side with an intimate moment:
IF YOU’RE in a London pub and a gloomy-looking person next to you buys an Apple Sourz because, they claim, ‘I damn near Brambled myself’, then unlike most tipplers of that unusual spirit, this person hasn’t taken complete leave of their senses.
Very close by a meeting of the Kenna League will be in full swing, and this unfortunate at the bar will have bodged their part in proceedings.
Since the Kenna was founded in 2005, a host of phrases and sayings particular only to the purist pursuit of football management have been born.
A number of expressions used by managers are defined below. Most of them common, some from seasons past.
The phrases have been grouped into three categories: those used at the auction, those used in relation to the league’s forfeit procedure and other expressions.
Where applicable, conversational examples of words and phrases in use available.
Auction –Event held before just before English Premier League seasons, World Cups and Euro Cups where managers buy their eleven players for the competition. To the untrained eye can look like a bunch of people in the pub not worried about work the next morning.
Manager A: “Are you going to the auction tonight?”
Manager B: “Yeah, it’ll probably be the usual shambles.”
Mr Chairman – the appropriate way for a manager to address the Chairman during the auction.
Manager A: “Mr Chairman, pint?”
Chairman: “You’re most kind, a Peroni or Heineken would be delightful.”
Manager B (under breath): “Apple polisher.”
Player list – document detailing all the players in the competition and their positions. Any players managers wish to pick not on the player list will have their position decided by the league.
Manager A: “I want to buy Wesley Sneijder, but he’s not on the player list.”
Manager B: “Two things. One: Man U will never buy Sneijder so that’s a complete waste of your budget, and two: he’ll be a midfielder like he was in the Euros.”
Pick – to introduce a player to auction. Managers introducing a player themselves are deemed to have made a minimum bid of point five unless otherwise stated.
Manager A: “I’ll go for Steve Warnock, defender, Aston Villa.”
Manager B: “There must be no one decent left to pick.”
Chairman’s pick – player introduced to the auction by the Chairman when a manager cannot immediately decide who to pick. Managers may also opt for the Chairman to pick. New rule for 2012 to speed up proceedings.
Manager A (looking at the player list and scratching head): “Um…um….um…”
Chairman: “Too slow. Chairman’s pick: Ashley Cole, Chelsea, defender.”
4-4-2 – outdated tactical formation used by the England football team and the official formation of Kenna teams (one goalkeeper, four defenders, four midfielders and two strikers).
Manager A: “Jelavic looks a tasty option up front.”
Manager B: “Yeah, but it’s 4-4-2 and I’ve already got Agbonlahor and Ruiz.”
Budget – the amount of money a manager has for buying players at auction. Each manager starts with £100m.
Manager A: “What budget do you have left?”
Manager B: “I’ve bought Eric Lichaj for £5m and Ryan Nelson for point five, so £94.5m.”
Point five – £0.5m, the lowest sum for which a player can be bought. Also used by managers to nudge up the price of a player during bidding – can be used as ‘and a half’ in this situation.
No point fives after 10 – When bidding for a player goes over £10m, only bids divisible by £1m are accepted. Rule introduced in 2011 to speed up the auction.
Manager A: “Despite his diversity training needs, I’ll bid £21m for Luis Suarez.”
Manager B: “Point five!”
Chairman: “No point fives after 10. You must bid at least £22m.”
The Titus Bramble Ruling
Titus Bramble ruling – mechanism removing an illegal player from a team and replacing him with a forfeit player. Triggered by one of three ways: buying two players from the same Premier League club / country, buying a player that means the overall team budget exceeds £100m or buying too many players in one position. The illegal player will be returned to the pot and is available to be introduced to auction. Named after Sunderland defender Titus Bramble.
Manager A: “Why have you got Marouane Chamakh? He’s awful.”
Manager B: “I went over budget and got snared by the Titus Bramble ruling.”
Titus Bramble player – a forfeit player used in the Titus Bramble ruling, and costing half the amount of player lost. Generally accepted to be of questionable quality. Dubious moral character desirable. Comedy name/characteristic a bonus.
Manager A: “Stewart Downing would make a great Titus Bramble player. He didn’t get any goals or assists last season.
Manager B: “Yeah, and he looks like a little boy who’s lost his mum in a shopping centre.”
The pot – players available to be introduced to auction. Used most often when referring to where a lost player returns in the Titus Bramble ruling.
Manager A: “Is Sergio Aguero back in the pot?”
Manager B: “Yes, he was removed from my team when I was caught Brambling.”
Over time, use of the Titus Bramble ruling has given rise to several derivative expressions based on his name.
Brambling – the act of triggering the Titus Bramble ruling through absent mindedness, either through buying or bidding for an illegal player.
Manager A: “Once I’ve had a few beers there’s a lot more chance I’ll be Brambling.”
Manager B: “Knowing your previous, it wouldn’t even take a cup of mint tea.”
Accidental / incidental Brambling – to bid for a player that would be illegal if bought, but to recognise this before any other manager is affected. This will not trigger the Titus Bramble ruling, but the offending manager must down a shot of Apple Sourz before taking any further part in the auction
Manager A: “I’ll bid £2m on Yohan Cabeye. No wait! I already have a Newcastle player.”
Chairman: “That’s accidental Brambling. Bar.”
Manager B: “Muppet.”
Tactical Brambling – the heinous, foul, debased act of deliberately buying, or attempting to buy, an illegal player to trigger the Titus Bramble ruling and free up funds to gain a financial advantage later on in the auction. In an effort to eradicate this pernicious cancer, regulations were changed in July 2012 whereby all Brambling would result in half the transfer fee being docked. The offender must also down a glass of Pink Gin before taking any further part in the auction
Manager A: “Yes, I know by buying Balotelli for £19m I would lose fellow Man City player David Silva, who cost £33m. However, I would still have a top player and get £14m back into my transfer kitty.”
Manager B: “Tactical Brambling. You disgust me. And under rules you lose £16.5m – half the cost of Silva – and have to neck a Pink Gin. It’s just not worth it.”
Brambled – the past participle is often used reflexively.
Manager A: “Congratulations on buying Robert Huth, but haven’t you already bought Peter Crouch from Stoke City?”
Manager B: “****! I’ve gone and Brambled myself.”
The window – refers to a transfer night where managers release players and then make new signings from the pot. A similar process to the auction.
Manager A: “I can’t wait for the window. I’m bottom of the league.”
Manager B: “Looking at your team, you’ll need more than a transfer night, you’ll need a bloody miracle.”
The Repka Effect – phenomenon occurring when an unfashionable player left in the pot performs better than big-money signings, but still fails to attract interest in the window. Named after former West Ham defender Tomas Repka when the league’s first season in 2005.
Manager A: “The Yak scored loads of points last season and no one picked him in the window.”
Manager B: “That’ll be the Repka Effect.”
The Ramadan Breaker – alternative name for the auction when it’s held in the 30 days after the first sighting of the new moon. The daylight start time can put a strain on fasting activities.
Manager A: “I thought you were fasting, yet you’re on your third pint.”
Manager B: “Yeah, I’ve just eaten a bag of pork scratchings too. The Kenna can be a real Ramadan Breaker.”
Charts and Graphs – the league’s operations department responsible for producing scores, tables and comparative data.
Manager A: “I’m sure Emerson Boyce scored a goal this week, but it hasn’t appeared on the table.”
Manager B: “You’ll want to run that past Charts and Graphs, although if you’re relying on Boyce for goals the window can’t come too soon for you.”
The Chalkstripes – staff in the league’s speculations department responsible for making predictions about anything from future performance of individual players or teams to whether the new admin girl likes being taken up the Oxo Tower.
Manager A: “The Chalkstripes say that Frank Lampard will be the big-money flop this season.”
Manager B: “They also reckon it would be really difficult to wash the blood out of those London 2012 Games Maker uniforms.”
The Oxo Tower – landmark on London’s Southbank with a cocktail bar at the top.