Jack Warner: Give Me The Queen, Some Free Stuff and 10 Man Teams

It turns out that Don Garbers' big speech to the Leaders in Football conference at Stamford Bridge which Dan - well, EVISCERATED? SLAPPED AROUND? POOPED ON? - OK, wrote about yesterday was just the warmup act.

Like the un-legendary Tom Dreesen, who made a fortune being the warmup act for Frank Sinatra, our Beloved Commissioner worked the audience, allowing the waiters to clear the dishes and the patrons to make a quick run to the johns so that no one would miss a second of the featured act:

Jack Warner.

I'm indebted to legendary BigSoccer bon vivant Pablo Chicago for the heads up on Jack's performance yesterday which proved, if nothing else, that he isn't mellowing in his old age.

Jack took the podium and proceeded to beat on the England like a rented mule, a point that would seem altogether rude and obnoxious, given the fact that England was hosting the event and, coincidentally, the dinner he was speaking at.

You may recall that Warner has a somewhat checkered past with England and the FA. A little over a year ago he told reporters that England had "never done anything" in world football and said that he would use all of his influence to make certain that Old Blighty never got a World Cup.

Afterwards, of course, England was forced to suck up to Jack for objecting to being insulted by shipping their full national side to Trinidad for an exhibition match which was reportedly sold out except for the enormous stack of tickets on the counter at his son's dive shop.

All seemed to be forgiven and Warner had even made some nice noises about the England bid, although he did suggest that David Beckham be made their "Ambassador" which they immediately did.

But England seems to have run afoul of Jack on perhaps the most crucial element of any successful World Cup bid: the goody bag.

It seems that both the Australian and Qatari bid committees gave each conference attendee a bag of free stuff. Jack of course likes free stuff.

"I came here and was shocked that I got a bag for Australia at the entrance....Why isn't there a bag for England? People are looking at these things and asking themselves questions."

Sadly, England neglected to hand out free stuff and Warner is pretty damned put out, and he let them know it. Calling England a "LIGHTWEIGHT" bidder, Warner opined that:

I would have been more aggressive in the market place. If I had the Premier League, [David] Beckham and the Queen, there would have been many things I could have done for the people who are voting. I would have made them next-door neighbours to make them the first name on people’s lips.

You'll recall of course that Warner loves having famous people fawn on him. From his unconscionable treatment of Nelson Mandela, (whom he demanded fly to meet him in Zurich the night before the vote in 2006 even though Madiba's doctors said it might kill him) to his recent foray to Washington to get some snaps of him and President Obama, Jack loves hobnobbing with his betters.

Unfortunately, Backham is otherwise occupied at the moment, as we - but apparently the President of CONCACAF does not - know, and was unavailable to fly over to kiss his ring at this event, but no matter: Warner figures the Queen really should spend a lot more time schmoozong with him.

After all, he's Jack Warner.

(And seriously: the poor woman has had to put up with that insufferable twit Prince Charles all these years; hasn't she suffered enough?)

As the delegates from England were squirming uncomfortably in their seats amongst as many furtive glances and sidelong looks as a Borgia Wedding, Jack proceeded to give everyone his view of how the beautiful Game could be made more beautiful.

First, he feels that those walls the players et up on free kicks are unfair. He figures that walls should be limited to the number of players involved in the foul. If one guy fouls someone then the wall is limited to one man. If somehow two people or three or five people foul an opponent simultaneously, then the wall would be allowed to contain a corresponding number of defenders.

And Jack likes the oft-debated SIN BIN CONCEPT for diving and shirt pulling:

"A guy who simulates should get 10 minutes in the sin-bin. Overnight that would stop it. It is dishonest.

And we all know how much Jack detests dishonesty.

Then, possibly to let Don Garber know that he was listening through his tears over the lack of an England goody bag, he plunged ahead and announced that what football really needs is A GLOBAL SALARY CAP.


"Clubs should invest at least 10 per cent of earning of their players from the territories in which they were contracted..These funds should be used specifically for the development of grass roots football and the development of homegrown players."

Of course to Warner "grass roots" money is money that gets doled out to federation executives. He's a big, big fan.

And just for good measure, he announced that if it were up to him, football sides would be reduced to ten players, which would "allow more space for creative play and to stop teams parking the bus" and making the penalty area nine yards by nine yards in order to put greater pressure on goalkeepers.

Apparently he doesn't like goalkeepers either.

Maybe they should consider getting him a Goody Bag.