Sepp Blatter and Winston Wolfe

Winston Wolfe was a "fixer" or, as he put it "I'm Winston Wolfe, and I solve problems"

Peter Hargitay is a fixer too.

The difference is that you don't call Peter Hargitay just because you blew someone's brains all over the back seat of a Plymouth.

That's much too minor for Peter to bother with, even if you're offering a really good cup of coffee.

Rather, you call Peter when the stakes are really high.

So, for example, if you're Union Carbide and you've just had a poorly designed and badly built chemical plant located near Bhopal India explode, thereby releasing 40 tons of methyl isocyanate, killing 15,000 people and permanently injuring 100,000 more, you call Peter Hargitay to handle your "problem"

And Hargitay, for a fee amounting to untold millions, manages to extract your corporate ass from the worst industrial disaster in the history of the world by setting up a relatively paltry "settlement fund" (from which most of the cash ends up in the hands of politicians). The UC executives, all of whom knew there were problems at the plant, skated away from criminal manslaughter charges in India and conspiracy charges in the US and the several class action suits filed in the aftermath never made it into a courtroom.

All in all, a helluva good job of soaking up the blood and bits of brain from the upholstery.

Or take the case of international dirtbag Marc Rich. A decade before Bill Clinton gave him a full pardon (against the vehement arguments of his own Justice Department) for his fleeing the country to avoid dealing with a $48 million tax evasion case, he got into a little pickle:

As a pal of the lovely bunch of thugs running Nigeria, he got caught secretly tansshipping oil - milions of barrels of oil - to South Africa in violation of International and US law and almost singlehandedly keeping the apartheid government of P.W. Botha in petroleum products.

Rich rang up Peter Hargitay to act as his "special advisor" (no word on whether they hard to get it all taken care of before Rich's wife got home) and, incredibly, while Rich's company paid a small fine, Rich himself was somehow never charged with violating any of the dozens of laws - ranging from criminal conspiracy to violation of US trade laws - that the US Justice Department and the US Southern District Court (New York) were itching to nail him with.

Peter is really good.

Now at this point, you maybe asking yourself: "What the hell does any of this have to do with soccer?"

Fair question.

But a better question might be: "Why does Peter Hargitay now carry business cards (literally) that say his title is "Special Advisor to FIFA President Sepp Blatter"?

Or maybe you could ask: "Why is Peter Hargitay, a shadowy Swiss "businessman" with no entertainment industry experience of any kind whatsoever, prominently billed as the EXECUTIVE PRODUCER" FOR THE GOAL! FILMS which FIFA has put into theatrical release over the last year and a half?

The answer, as it always is with FIFA, is really quite simple: you hire a fixer when you are in deep, deep trouble.

Which is where Sepp Blatter finds himself right now.

More tomorrow.