When last we visited with alleged human being Jack Warner, he was being smacked down by a Court of Arbitration in England to the tune of $20 million.
You'll recall that early in 2006, the T&T team was in training for World Cup Germany despite the fact that there was no contract with the players.
Warner had promised to disclose the T&TFF's balance sheet and financials, showing the various sources of income and how much they stood to make.
(Presumably this was exclusive of the 5400 tickets Jack and his son were busy bundling with wildy overpriced hotel rooms and airfare, an endeavor which reportedly netted them upwards of US$5 million. Negative publicity forced FIFA to hire an independent auditing firm to investigate, and Warner was found guilty of violating Federation rules, but the Executive committe voted to "forgive" him and allowed him to keep the money.
For his part, Jack's son Daryn was fined $100,000 by FIFA for violating his contract with them. To date, he has not paid them a dime. FIFA says it considers the matter "closed")
The team continued to train without a contract until, a few days before their first match, team captain Shaka Hislop went to Warner and demanded the financial information.
Warner told him he was "too busy" and that all that would have to wait until after the tournament.
Following T&T's 0-0 draw with the Swedes, the team was on the verge of open rebellion, having received neither money nor a contract. Warner panicked, and in a meeting with the players he promised that he would split whatever income the T&TFF realized from the World Cup "50-50" with the players.
So the players, most of whom earn very little playing in minor leagues around the world, agreed to the "deal" and gained the admiration of the entire soccer world by playing way over their heads against the international superstars from England and Portugal.
Then.....well, nothing. Sometime in the Fall of 2006, Warner produced a "spreadsheet" which purported to show that the T&TFF had earned virtually nothing on US$40 million in ticket sales, governement grants and sponsorships from the likes of adidas and KFC.
Warner then announced that, out of the goodness of his heart, each player would be paid the sum of US$1000. The checks were mailed out. When they arrived, the players noticed that they were drawn on CONCACAF funds.
(Later, when a court ordered the T&TFF to produce bank statements, it was discovered that they were, and are, broke. 40 million bucks: vanished.)
So after 18 months of wrangling, the two parties agreed to submit their claims to a Court of Arbitration in England. To make a long story short, the judge basically laughed Warner's "spreadsheet" out of court, called him a liar and - in mid-March 2008 - awarded the players US$20 million.
The players have yet to see a dime.
Which brings us to last week, when Warner announced that he has "rejected" the courts findings, and has filed an appeal of the ruling.
In a court in T&T. Where he is deputy majority leader in the Parliament, the leader of the second largest national political party and - just coincidentally - one of the richest men on the island.
The bottom line here is really quite simple:
Jack Warner is not going to pay anyone anything. Not now. Not ever, and nobody can make him.
When the players appealed to FIFA, they were told that it was a "private matter" and told them to direct their appeal to the President of CONCACAF.
Who is, of course, Jack Warner. There's no word on how hard the bureaucrats in Zurich were laughing when they wrote the ruling.
And just to prove that FIFA doesn't have a corner on the humor market, AN AWARDS COMMITTE CHARGED WITH recognizing the six people who have done the greatest service to athletics in the Caribbeanover the last 60 years just held their gala awards ceremony.
Anybody recall the incomparable Cuban middle distance runner, Alberto Juantorena? The superb Jamaican sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown? Superstar Cricketer Sir Garfiled Sobers?
Well, none of them could make it to pick up their trophies.
But Jack did. Made a lovely speech too. I urge you to avoid it.
Instead, I suggest you check out WARNER'S LATEST CONTROVERSY wherein he's blasting football officials in Great Britain for not giving him and his region the "respect" they deserve.
SOME PEOPLE ARE POINTING OUT that saying people in the Caribbean have "natural talent" for soccer is bordering on some disturbing thought patterns, but nobody is likely to point it out to him.
Finally, this is the time of year when family members might very well be asking you "What do you want for Christmas?"
Well, here's a suggestion:
He's the man we all owe for doing a lot of the legwork on Blatter, Warner and the rest of the international sports mafia. (His picture of longtime IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch wearing a facist uniform and giving a one-armed heil salute at a Francoite ceremony - in 1970 - is worth the entire price.)
Here is America, until recently, the world’s superpower, has more rockets and guns, army is bigger, you’ve got more of everything, you can be very tough guys when you feel the mood, but Jack Warner comes along, and you throw yourselves on your bellies and lick his boots.
Not all of us, Andrew. Not all of us.