The immortal Andrew Jennings has been gifted some documentation revealing the compensation that FIFA ExCo member Chuck Blazer pulls down in return for his work as General Secretary of CONCACAF and, well, let's just say he's not exactly doing charity work.
Blazer is contracted with CONCACAF through his Cayman Islands agency, Sportvertising, which receives said compensation and deposits it in financial institutions which are beyond the scrutiny of the American government. Further, since Blazer serves as both President and Treasurer of Sportvertising, there's not a lot of extraneous paperwork involved.
Aside from his salary, which is, as is typical for all of FIFA, a secret - remember that the next time you hear some clown in Zurich babbling about "transparency" - Blazer also receives commissions and bonuses which average around $2,000,000 a year.
Furthermore, in addition to his CONCACAF salary - whatever it is - he also receives the standard ExCo salary, which is estimated at $300,000 a year, as well as the FIFA-mandated $500 every day he conducts FIFA business somewhere besides his home (wives get $250 when they tag along, although why this is isn't at all clear.)
And of course this is on top of the , shall we say "generous" FIFA expense reimbursement program, wherein no one is asked to provide a receipt for anything. You tell them you paid $300 for your morning lox and bagels, they pay you $300, no questions asked.
Obviously, the man is taking home - or, to be precise, shipping to the Caymans - a nice chunk of change every year (commissions alone totaled $9.6 million over the last five years), but unlike a lot of people I don't necessarily begrudge corporate executives the kind of dough they make.
Further, I'm not really qualified to evaluate whether this kind of money is grossly out of whack for the sort of work he does and the revenues he generates for his employer. Again, he's not a volunteer and overpaid is in the eye of the beholder.
And stories like the one that gets breathlessly retailed around BS by someone who worked under Blazer briefly a decade ago about how he took some CONCACAF employees to a high end strip joint and paid the tab with a high end CONCACAF Amex card leave me very unimpressed. Anyone who's spent 20 minutes in corporate America knows that questionable "entertainment" masquerading as "team building" is SOP pretty much everywhere and if you survey the audience at any exclusive, expensive, swanky skin parlor you'll find that at least half the guys there are on the corporate dime.
(The other half are professional basketball players.)
So let's not be naive here.
To me, the most interesting thing isn't the money. That's just what gives the story sex appeal.
And while as most of you know I'm an enormous Andrew Jennings fan, he DOES A VERY TYPICAL TURN in this latest story and drags in everything but the kitchen sink.
Mary Lynn Blanks seems like a very nice lady (in fact, if this wasn't a serious-type post about a serious-type subject I'd happily call her a MILF) but is completely irrelevant in regards to CONCACAF, as is Blazers' bird, his beard and the fact that he doesn't fit in the average car.
All of that just seems like unnecessary snark.
Unfortunately he's in such a hurry to get to the personal stuff that he rushes headlong right on past a claim that Lisle Austin showed up at CONCACAF HQ and was turned away by Trump Tower security. If this really happened, it's big news that I've neither seen nor heard anywhere else and leaves you gasping "Wait! Andrew! Hold up a minute!" to no avail.
Unfortunately - though not surprisingly - Jennings completely ignores the biggest news of all, which isn't how much Blazer makes but where the documents came from.
Now I completely understand the whole "protect your sources" thing; it's religion in the journalism biz and it's particularly sacred to guys like him who make their living publishing surreptitiously obtained information.
But what he could have said - and, frustratingly, does not even mention - is the fact that this is clearly, obviously, unquestionably a counterattack from someone, somewhere aimed at defanging the "Chuck Blazer, Crusader for Truth" meme.
You'd have to believe in the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus to think it a coincidence that this stuff found it's way under Jennings' door just one week before the July 22 FIFA Ethics Committee hearing which will determine and make public all the facts relating to the Port of Spain Bribe-O-Rama.
In fact, seeing as how nobody but Blazer currently has access to that kind of information, there's really only one guy who has this sort of stuff laying around his office.
And we all know who that is.
Speaking of the Devil, several kind souls forwarded THIS STORY which made a splash a couple of days ago by quoting Jack Warner saying that he has "unfinished business" in football and "may" someday return if he decides to.
A goodly number of writers who ought to know better actually took it seriously, so let me just say:
There's no way in hell. Not even worth discussing. He's been told point blank, and publicly, by at least one member of the Ethics Committee that is he ever tries to re-enter the sport they will come down on him like a ton of bricks.
This is what FIFA gets though for that ludicrous "Farewell to Jack" missive where they thanked him for his many "contributions" to the game and gifted him with the "presumption of innocence" quote which he has been dining out on ever since.
Jack is going to be lucky if he doesn't end up in jail. He's about as welcome anyplace other than the Caribbean as Pol Pot or Robert Mugabe.
(As an aside, you may have read that Warner lost "half" of his portfolio when they gave the "Transportation" part of his job to someone else, leaving him just the "Works" part.
In actuality, that was about 80% of his job and his budget. What's left is roughly analogous to being street commissioner of a city the size of San Diego California.)
Furthermore, as expected, "Captain" Horace Burrell is now cautiously suggesting that he be elected President of CONCACAF in addition to his role as President of the CFU.
But whether it ends up being him (God forbid) or someone else (no, I don't mean Loony Lisle) at the head of the confederation, whoever it is isn't going to be interested in stepping aside for Jack.
It's not even a sure thing that he could be elected again; certainly there are a handful of federations who would still vote for him, but nowhere near enough, and even for them, the thought of pissing off FIFA and thereby putting all that lovely money in jeopardy would give them nightmares.
Not a chance, Jack. Not a chance.