The 2003/04 auction took place in the beer garden of the Green Dragon, Bungay.
The previous ten managers were joined by three more, in the form of ex-managers Michael Lucchesi and Matthew Earl, along with SFP debutant Adam Walters, the 1998 FF World Cup winner.
Adam Walters put his stamp on the league right from the start, shelling out £28.2m for Thierry Henry, only for Richie Powell to trump him with a then auction record £30.0m for Michael Owen.
The league started with Martin reaching the dizzy heights of top spot for the opening 7 weeks, before Ross took over for the next month or two. By week 19, the number one spot had changed hands again as Matthew Jermy had a 4 week stint. Finally, by the half way point, Adam Walters topped the pile and remained so until the end to claim his first SFP title in his debut season.
In between all of this, the SFP transfer record was smashed by Ross Peggs, when he shelled out £55.2m for Nicolas Anelka. Ross raised part of the cash by selling Mutu to Michael for £37.0m, and then bought Anelka from Adam Walters for £50m cash plus Juninho, whom he’d paid £5.2m for earlier in the season.
In the SFP Cup, Ross Peggs made up for the previous years final disappointment by beating Scott Pritchard 1:0. And Walters finished off a double winning debut with a 5Aside Cup victory against Michael Lucchesi.
Walter’s was understandably chuffed:
What a debut season! Things really couldn't have gone much better for us and the players have performed superbly all season. Their consistency, effort and passion has shone throughout and now they have achieved the ultimate reward, the title. Im delighted for all of them! As for the cup, that was the icing on the cake!
As for the key to our success, its simple. We have modelled ourselves on the mighty Canaries, and I’m sure others will now do the same. There are no superstars, we all work as a team. This was part of the reason behind the sale of Henry, the man had outgrown the club and needed a new challenge, and had he stayed I feel he could have affected team spirit. As it was, we found him the ideal club in Munsen FC who really are going places, and are sure to be among the favourites next season.
We have been top of the league since christmas and nobody has got near us since! For me that says it all, we are the best, we've set the standards, and now we must continue to overachieve in order to stay ahead of the rest.
Before we sign off for a well earned break and a tour to Malaysia, Wheelers would like to pay tribute to a few teams who have helped aid their success. Jim Bowen's lot have been an absolute pleasure to deal with, as have Munsen FC. However the biggest thankyou has to go to Moira Stewart, who showed the SFP exactly how NOT to do business, Anelka for Juninho and £50m...ta very much!! Bring on next season!