(One for the kids here. If you are under 50, you may need the help of Google and You Tube to understand what the hell much of what follows is all about.)
I was stunned to read on the BBC website the headline “Jack Warner to reveal all”. Really? Will the great man be sharing the intimate secrets of what has been going on at Dock Green Police Station and how he managed to remain a serving police officer, in the guise of PC George Dixon, until the age of 80? I decided to investigate Wikipedia, because everything on there is true, and I found to my surprise that that Warner himself was 120 years old.
However, the answer was quickly revealed. The Jack Warner in question was not the amiable “Bobby on the Beat” in the fictional London suburb of Dock Green, but a former Fifa Vice President from Trinidad and Tobago. Arguably, given the charges against him, the man who put the Vice in President. And he has quite a charge sheet in his name:
Accused of racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering, bribery
From the early 1990s, he allegedly “began to leverage his influence and exploit his official positions for personal gain”
Allegedly accepted a $10m bribe from South African officials in return for voting to award them the 2010 World Cup
Allegedly bribed officials with envelopes each containing $40,000 in cash
So, not that much really, and out of the kindness of his heart, he is to “reveal all” he knows about corruption to the authorities. Well, it’s not really out of the kindness of his heart because Warner knows that if he is found guilty of some or all of these offences is likely to spend the rest of his natural behind bars, so like 32 stone cat-loving colleague Chuck Blazer, he is likely to start singing like a bird when the FBI starts asking him questions in the hope of doing a bit less porridge.
Wonderfully, Warner resigned from all football activity in 2011 amid bribery allegations and later stepped down as Trinidad and Tobago’s security minister amid a fraud inquiry. Yes, you read that right: the bloke in charge of security stepped down amid a fraud inquiry! You couldn’t make it up.
It does seem as if this Warner chap is not the decent cove we thought him to be after all, which must come as a surprise to David Cameron, David Beckham, Prince William and all the FA dignitaries who spent so much time sucking up to him when England were trying to be hosts of the 2018 World Cup. Actually, they must have been gobsmacked that anyone at Fifa could possibly be anything other than a decent, upstanding citizen. In fact, when the BBC had the temerity to have a pop at Fifa, everyone from the Sun newspaper to the FA bid team were saying what a disgrace the Beeb were and how much this country really did love dear old Sepp and his wonderfully principled organisation.
Let’s hope it all works out well for old Jack. I know now that he was not the loveable old copper from my TV childhood, but I do know that when he next appears in a news bulletin, I’ll still say “Evening all!”