Warner Watch

From an alert correspondent, whom I'll happily name if he says it's OK, comes this TIDBIT FROM THE GUARDIAN (scroll down to the second story).

You may recall that the T & T players have appealed to FIFA for arbitration over their share of World Cup monies from 2006. Their agreement was for a fixed percentage, which Jack Warner says amounts to a whopping $600 per player. The players attorney says that he believes the T&T Federation (ie. Jack Warner) pocketed about $20 million, a substantial discrepancy.

Even if that's not the real number - and of course no one is allowed to look at the books - it seems clear that $600 is, well, absurd.

So the case was scheduled to be heard later this month and then, unexpectedly, handsome checks arrived for each of the players.

Now keeping the players happy is of course important because England is supposedly coming in for a friendly this Spring and, well, without players it won't be much of a game. So this will settle the tussle and get everybody back out there.

A happy ending? A done deal? No, not exactly.

It seems that the checks are drawn not on the T&T Association but rather on CONCACAF. As the article asks:

Could it be that Warner used the finances of the confederation that has made him one of the most powerful men in world football to fulfil the obligations of a member country?

Gee, I can't imagine it.

"A close friend of Warner's" denies it. He says that since CONCACAF is the source of T&T's funds, these checks are sort of a "Payday Advance" kind of a thing against future funds T&T would be granted.

But, but, but......aren't T&T's federation grants intended to be used to run soccer programs in T&T? If they use that money to pay off the players, then how will local programs get funded? Or is T&T simply being given way more than they need and thus can afford to use it this way?

And where did the original money go? Well, OK, we don't need to ask that one.

Meanwhile, Noel White, Chairman of the FA "International Committee" is absolutely livid over the scheduling of England at T&T.

For some reason, he sees it as some kind of - get this - a "bribe" to get Warner to back England's 2018 bid.

Furthermore, White apparently feels that Warner has a "controversial football business record" and "runs Caribbean football as a personal dictatorship"

Now where in the world would he get an idea like that?

Just as a side question, if someone gets the chance, would you ask Sunil Gulati how he feels about the Presiedent of CONCACAF apparently backing the 2018 World Cup bid of a country from another Federation? It would seem to go without saying that Warner would support either Mexico or the US - or both, somehow - over England.

Finally Roy Keane had the audacity the other day to question why he needed to give up two key players for a T7T friendly with Jamaica.

JACK WARNER IS RESPONDING IN HIS USUAL UNDERSTATED, DIPLOMATIC WAY.

Somebody tell Keane to slip Warner an envelope full of cash. Works for everybody else.