Jack Warner Does the Math

I've been trying not to become the "All Jack Warner, All The Time" channel around here, but there are some repeated themes in many of the comment posts, and I wanted to tie up the loose ends before I go any further.

The key question is a variation of: How does Jack keep this job? Why doesn't the USSF do something? How can we get this guy out of there?

For the simple answer, take a look at the roster of the Caribbean Football Congress, which held it's annual meetings just last weekend:

1. Anguilla
2. Antigua-Barbuda
3. Aruba
4. Bahamas
5. Barbados
6. Bermuda
7. British Virgin Islands
8. Cayman Islands
9. Cuba
10. Dominica
11. Dominican Republic
12. French Guyana
13. Grenada
14. Guadeloupe
15. Guyana
16. Haiti
17. Jamaica
18. Martinique
19. Montserrat
20. Netherlands Antilles
21. Puerto Rico
22. St. Kitts-Nevis
23. St. Lucia
24. St. Maarten
25. St. Martin
26. St. Vincent & The Grenadines
27. Suriname
28. Trinidad & Tobago
29. Turks & Caicos
30. US Virgin Islands

Now all of these "nations" (to use a term of convenience - some of them are not really independent countries) are pretty small. Even tiny. Only two of them have anything like a professional league, and those are at a pretty low level.

For most of these "nations", soccer consists of a few amateur clubs. Dominica, the country Jack is trying to re-inflict the Nazi-Mafia conspirator on, has only about 500 registered players. Antigua, the country he's trying to strong arm into paying Chet Greene a couple hundred grand, has six or eight amateur teams in total.

The other thing they al have in common is that they're poor. Mostly very very poor. So when Jack arranges yearly $250,000 FIFA grants or arranges financing through FIFA's "Goal" program to build fields, that's money they never would have seen otherwise.

And it's not inconsequential that for the most part little if any of that money actually ends up being spent on soccer as opposed to salaries, travel and just plain theft. Then again, if there are only 500 soccer players on your island, $250,000 a year works out to $500 a player, a whole lot more than serves any useful purpose.

Except keeping Jack in power.

Jack is the golden goose, the Rainmaker. Jack's influence with FIFA keeps the money rolling in. If he is replaced, it's entirely possible that some honest guy might take his place and want to know why someone administering an amateur league the size of the average US over-30 Co-Ed league needs a salary of $100,000 a year plus lavish expenses for maybe two hours worth of work a week making out schedules.

As a result, the CFC would give him anything he asked for: elect him King of the Moon, declare him God, whatever he wants. Not a problem.

That part is easy to explain. The real question people have is what about CONCACAF?

Well, let's look at who that is.

Start with the 30 "nations" above. They're all full voting members of CONCACAF. Put another way, 30 votes in Jack's pocket for whatever he wants them for.

To that 30, add ten more:

United States
Costa Rica
El Salvador


With the possible exception of Belize, those are countries with professional leagues or at least professional players, countries (actual countries, all of them) who are relevant to World Cup qualifying, countries which, while many of hem are not exactly wealthy, they're proud independent countries that Jack Warner can't really buy.

Doesn't matter. We can all count. 30-10, game set and match to Jack Warner.

If, for some reason, Sunil Gulati woke up tomorrow with a burning desire to root out the corruption and bribery and theft that's rampant in CONCACAF, exactly what could he do? He might be able to enlist some other places, Mexico, Canada, a few more, to join him in this crusade.

It's a complete waste of time. As long as Jack Warner has at least 30 votes in his pocket, he's absolutely untouchable.

I should make one other thing clear here: here has never been even the slightest whiff of untoward doings around Gulati. He's a smart, even brilliant, economist and business man of the highest personal ethics. Oh, he's not above giving you a shiv in the ribs, but he'll do it in the open, it will be for political purposes and there's no financial gain involved.

But unless and until Warner is stealing from the US or otherwise screwing USSF over somehow, Gulati is content - has to be content - to let Jack and his pal Chuck Blazer run CONCACAF however they want.