Six SFP clubs have launched new kits for the 2019/20 season.
New boy manager Earl has made his mark on the league by introducing a swish new vest top, complete with lightning bolt. Wheeler Dealers have opted for a fresh and striking lime outfit, while manager Jermy Junior has gone back to his roots by releasing a retro Cheese and Onion Biscuits United orange strip.
Olympic Marte have switched from the green of the last two seasons to a new purple and yellow combination while Perdoc Byzeusthians have also switched from their usual tartan attire to a new look red and yellow hoops. FC Lokomotiv Magicmen have stuck with their usual blue colours, but with a nod to the Blackburn side of 25 years ago with half and half shirts..
With the silly September window about to open, the Chairman realised there was never really a round up of the activity from August.
The top signing was the £35.1m paid for Pepe by Wheeler Dealers, as manager Walters broke his 15 year transfer record, eclipsing the £35m he’d paid out for Hasslebaink in 2004. Mose Kean was captured by Just The Tip for £26.0m while Joe Linton cost manager Earl £17.8m.
The next three highest deals were actually manager to manager deals, as Pogba (£17.3m), Jimenez (£15m) and Schmicel (£15m) all swapped teams. It was Pritchard Junior who seemed most pleased with his windows work as he released 3 new player videos:
All in all, managers spent £278m on 36 players, with manager McNamara bringing in 6 new faces, and managers Edwards and Earl 4 each.
The 25th SFP Auction started early. By 0930hrs 13 of this seasons 15 managers were slowly boarding their two river cruisers.
After the briefest run throughs of the dos and don’ts, our trusty managers were heading downstream of the Fine City towards auction venue number one, Coldham Hall.
For the 2019/20 season Manager Crockford has returned, although unavailable on the day he sent his instructions with the next best man - defending Champion manager Dale. After a 13 year absence manager 'Eli' Earl has also returned to the SFP, and brought with him club mascot Dennis.
Things started well in the glorious sunshine. Once contact with our Italian compatriot was made via intermittent rural Norfolk wifi, and the awards for last season were dished out, along came the Goalkeepers.
First up was Ederson of Man City and BOOM! The record set last season was smashed as Jermy Junior stumps up £9.0m for the Manchester City shot stopper. Seconds later and BOOM! again, as the record is broken again, when Perdoc Byzeusthians shell out £9.1m for Liverpool’s Alisson. After these two, the average paid for a keeper was up season on season from £3.8m in 2018 to £4.3m. The top three spenders were:
9.1 – Alisson, Q
9.0 – Ederson, Nick
6.0 – Kepa, Walters
Proceedings were moved indoors for defenders as the heavens opened, and after Van Dijk and Laporte both sold for £9.1m, the 15 year old SFP record of £10.2m, paid for John Terry in 2004, was matched for Robinson by Jermy Junior. And seconds later it was broken by Jermy Senior when he shelled out £10.5m for Alexander-Arnold. Overall, spending on defenders also went up on the previous year, with the average spend on defence up a whole £1m per manager, climbing to £13.8m. Top three were as mentioned:
10.5 - Alexander-Arnold, Matt
10.2 – Robertson, Nick
9.1 – Van Dijk, Pritch and Laporte, Scott
After defenders it was back on the boats and back into Norwich for the midfielders auction in the Rush Cutter's beer garden. This was where we saw a huge uplift on the previous season, with managers spending an increase of £2m on midfield as the average for that portion of the squad went up to £18.8m (39%) of managers budgets. Having said that, only 7 hit double figures with the big 3 signings being:
17.1 – Salah, Ed
15.6 – Sterling, Pete
14.1 - de Bruyne, Pritch
Finally, after a final downpour and move to the River Garden's meeting room, it was time for the showpiece forwards finale. Only this year spending was down a whooping £3.6m per manager which was also down on the previous 2 seasons. Only 6 forwards sold for over £10m, while managers Walters, Jermy and Pritch Senior spent under £10m between them. Top buys were:
17.1 – Aguero, Ed
15.1 – Kane, Michael
14.2 – Aubameyang, Scott
A baffling yet explosive auction at times, where it seemed many were reading from the same script, and with the most managers involved since 1998, Season 25 is set to be one of the best yet. For a look at how it all went, click here.