Billionaire Lowy hires another Bagman
Part of Fedor’s ‘consultancy’ skills is persuading clients that he knows precisely when to apply grease to the machine. Too soon and your lubrication might be used up and be replaced by others. Too near the vote and minds might have been irrevocably made up.
So how to launder money in the direction of voters on the FIFA selection panel? The second page of the memo names them together with a tantalising device that Franz Beckenbauer had to know about and it involved payments of between $250,000 and $300,000 to what were quaintly termed ‘Trust accounts.’
Juicy FIFA Contracts
One of the parties signing the contracts was Gunter Netzer, former German international star turned Leo bagman. He did meet ‘n’ greet for CWL. Now he does it for the Swiss Infront company, run by Philippe Blatter, that gets all those juicy FIFA contracts.
Anyway: Leo and Fedor laid the money around and it’s reckoned they spent about $3.5 million in grease and sweetners. Australians ponying up tax dollars for Frank’s bid that could end up in funny Fedor’s suitcase ought to know what happened next.
Nothing. Not one of the targeted votes shifted towards Germany.
Money gurgled down the pissoir.
And that crudity gave one of them the bright idea. The old bag switch in the washroom caper.
The voters were now split 12-12. Blatter, who privately promised he’d make sure the Germans got it – hoping for vital UEFA votes at the next presidential election - would have to stick to his public position that if there was a tie he’d give his casting vote to South Africa.
But supposing just one of South Africa’s committed voters was five miles high – in an intercontinental business-class seat - when the time came to cast the votes?
Was it funny Fedor who planted the bag with $250,000 in the gent’s wash ‘n’ brush-up room and gave the receipt to a grateful 79 year-old Charlie Dempsey to pick up later? Who else would Leo trust with so much folding stuff?
We’ve asked Fedor about all this and Fedor is indignant! He says he doesn’t know anything about persuading Charlie to walk out. And he is not the Fedor Radmann named in the secret memo arranging to pay Elias Zaccour $1 million. It must be somebody else with the same name. He’d like us to make that clear. That’s what he says and we’re very happy to get it on the record. Oh, and he isn’t lobbying for Australia. Just offering ‘technical advice’ for their bid book.
So the old rogue went for a pretend pee and a handwash, collected the bag, checked out of the Dolder Grand, the uber-posh bed factory above Zurich where the FIFA folks stayed for the crucial meeting at the end of the first week in July and never cast his vote.
Germany won 12-11, executive committee member Charlie Dempsey wasn’t in the chair he usually occupied and his next appearance was the refuelling stage in Singapore, claiming he had been too frightened to vote. Charlie frightened? The knuckle sandwich boy from Maryhill who spent the first 30 years of his life on Glasgow’s meanest streets before emigrating to New Zealand and climbing football’s ladder. His last achievement was to be part of a dirty conspiracy to give the shaft to Nelson Mandela.
Looking After Charlie
Abstaining in that vote was not an option. Making FIFA look stupid world-wide was disgraceful. Three weeks later FIFA President Blatter privately told his Executive Committee his personal reaction. I know what he said because I’ve got a copy of the confidential minutes. They have never been published – until now.
‘The FIFA President expressed regret that the outcry in the wake of the election had forced Charles Dempsey to hand in his resignation from the FIFA Executive Committee and the OFC Presidency and that he had answered Charles Dempsey’s letter of resignation on 15 July by assuring him that the Executive Committee would in due course seek a way to recompense him for his long and loyal services to FIFA.’
Blatter kept his word and in 2004 Charlie got his FIFA Order of Merit. (To put it in perspective, alongside him was FIFA’s most persistent thief and ticket tout, Jack Warner. He’s had a few free meals on Frank’s liner.) Charlie died in June 2008, aged 86.
The South Africans were pacified by now because at that same ExCo meeting Blatter had hurriedly rammed through continental rotation – with Africa guaranteed 2010.