Is Sunil Gulati a Moron?

Having written about Andrew Jennings for years, quoting him, linking to him and, yes, pimping hell out of his book (I myself have three copies) it pains me greatly to note that the man seems to be having some kind of meltdown. For some time now he's quite obviously been being fed documents and information either directly from Jack Warner or from someone very close to him and using said information - in combination with his own once-unquestioned reputation for dogged integrity - to aid and abet the PR campaign being waged by Caribbean football in it's attempt to return CONCACAF to its' status quo ante.

This became even more apparent recently when it came to light that Jack Warner refused to hand over the keys to CFU headquarters to his lawful successors - a tactic made simple by the fact that he personally owns the building - and thus has complete control over every last bank statement, filing cabinet, contract and memo.

(Interestingly, Jennings has yet to mention this. Probably because Jack hasn't told him yet.)

Thus there is only one person on Earth from which this information can be originating. The fact that he's almost certainly passing it through a third party isn't the kind of thing that's supposed to fool an experienced pro like Jennings but, if it hasn't, he's so far at least made no reference to same.

So when Jennings notes, as he did last week with regard to supposedly having the goods on Blazer, that "I (have) more documents. I have named banks and offshore companies, I have payment orders, cancelled cheques" he's simply confirming what we already knew.

There is simply no one else on Earth who can lay his hands on the CFU's "cancelled cheques" and "payment orders" other than his old pal Jack.

This apparently willful obtuseness seems particularly ironic after the episode a few months ago when, appearing at a party rally immediately after Jennings' damning presentation at that financial corruption conference in Miami, Warner told the crowd that opposition party leader Patrick Manning had used taxpayers’ money “to have British journalist Andrew Jennings fabricate a story to defame me”.

What’s more, he continued, he had “proof” of this conspiracy: copies of emails between various government officials and a PR firm in Washington DC which he said he had received “in a brown envelope” which was “slid under his office door” the previous night.

Asked to comment on Warner’s allegations, Jennings replied that it was just “the rantings of a mad man.”

But all of a sudden it's now Jennings who is finding plain brown envelopes full of documents stuffed under his office door in the middle of the night, almost certainly coming straight from the guy he just got done calling a "mad man".

And you'll forgive me if I'm singularly unimpressed by the level of dogged, follow-the-facts investigative journalism it took to uncover the super-secret tale of how Blazer keeps a super-secret car in Zurich for his personal super-secret use, considering that I myself, sitting on my dumb ass deep in the bowels of the American Midwest, managed to uncover the same super-secret item three years ago and even included art (which will begin popping up all over the internet in 5...4...3...)

(Extra credit to anyone who, without the use of Google, knows why it's called an "Adenaur")

(Mega Extra credit to anyone who can explain the contradiction between Jennings' report that Blazer has to be trucked around Zurich in a large van because he can't sit in a car and his latest "revelation" that the man zooms around town in a vintage Merc)

But nothing confirms the fact that he's being manipulated by the dark side of CONCACAF quite as much as his recent comments regarding USSF President Sunil Gulati.

Regular readers will recall that I have been pretty hard on Spineless Sunil when it comes to his years of humiliating toadyism vis-a-vis Jack Warner. It's not that I've ever felt the man should attempt some kind of hopeless, Quixotic, Kamakazi-like assault on Warners' power; that wouldn't have benefited anyone.

But I've always felt that Gulati could have at least slobbered a bit less.

Nonetheless, it's almost humorous to read Jennings' take on just why it is that Gulati isn't now engaged in mortal hand-to-hand combat with Chuck Blazer:

Could Professor Gulati’s silence be because he fears sinking back into obscurity next year when his term ends at the US soccer federation?

Well, first of all, our favorite intrepid "investigative reporter" apparently can't be bothered typing the mans' name into Google and discovering the little known, super-secret fact that Gulati, running unopposed, was re-elected in 2010 to a four year term.

Beyond that, as far as I know, Gulati faces surprisingly little internal opposition aside from maybe Bob Bradley and the guys who want more funding for US Futsal. He's not likely to win any popularity polls on BigSoccer but aside from the expected level of fanbitch the guys' position is surprisingly secure. To say that "he fears sinking back into obscurity" in the immediate future is what we in the blogging biz like to call "making shit up".

However, what he's really doing is setting us up for this blockbuster news item:

The Concacaf rumour mill has it that Blazer promises (Gulati) he can step into Warner’s shoes and instantly become a well-rewarded Fifa vice-president.

Yes, you read that correctly; Here, I'll save you the trouble of backing up:

The Concacaf rumour mill has it that Blazer promises (Gulati) he can step into Warner’s shoes and instantly become a well-rewarded Fifa vice-president.


Now again, I'm not exactly President of the Sunil Gulati fan club but for anyone to imagine that the man truly believes that Chuck Blazer can engineer his election as President of CONCACAF requires that you also truly believe that the President of the United State Soccer Federation is either an idiot or certifiably insane.

Forget the 25* Caribbean countries which would never go along with it. Forget the seven Central American countries that would never go along with it. Forget Mexico, which would never go along with it. Freakin' CANADA would never go along with it.

(And that leaves aside the pesky detail that by statute each of the Confederations' three regions gets it's own ExCo member, so replacing Warner with Gulati would leave CONCACAF's' single largest voting block (the CFU) without a representative. FIFA would never allow it, even if you could somehow convince the CFU to go along. Which they never, ever would. It's beyond laughable. Please tell me that Jennings knows better. Please.)

The very fact that Jennings can actually envision FIFA with an American Vice President, CONCACAF with an American President AND an American General Secretary AND FIFA's ExCo with TWO AMERICAN MEMBERS (Blazers' ExCo term runs until 2015) forces one to question his rationality.

Or maybe he does recognize how utterly impossible that scenario is but he thinks Gulati doesn't, in which case he's suggesting that Sunil is too stupid to grasp reality as he sits around mulling leaving office two years before his term expires.

Still, all of that utter nonsense, which is beneath even Bleacher Reports' level of competence, pales beside his admission that he got this scintillating tale "from the CONCACAF rumour mill".

Is he saying that this is what the guys at the FMF chat about when they grab a latte with fed officials from Guatemala? Or is it the topic of the notes that the Ticos pass to the Boyz during those long, boring gender sensitivity lectures?

I doubt it. Those guys aren't idiots either.

On the other hand, it's exactly the twisted, bizarre conspiracy story, the "the white people are coming!", the "American attack on Caribbean football influence" fantasy which is being peddled - hard - by Jack Warner and Lisle Austin.

We know all about that garbage and if we find it a bit silly we at least recognize the motive. Some people may even sympathize (which is not to say they agree) given the history and culture of the region. In the end, everybody gets that it's politics, that a lot of money and power is at stake and that these guys are playing for keeps.

It's just disappointing when a guy like Andrew Jennings unquestioningly accepts and passes along this kind of tripe.

* It may be 29 depending on whether the four non-FIFA CONCACAF members (French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Sint-Maartin and Saint Martin) get to vote on this kind of thing. I suspect that they do, but I've never been able to find hard information on it.