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Saturday, May 22, 2010
Betrayal of Triesman an absolute disgrace
LONDON — Imagine having dinner with a friend you trusted. You talk freely about your marriage . . . maybe your job . . . perhaps discussing a future business deal.
Always good to chat to someone you obviously have confidence in that what is said will go no further.
How would you feel if the conversation was secretly taped, the tape sent to your wife, your boss or a business rival?
You would feel badly let down, wondering how anyone could behave in such an underhand manner, your mood hardly helped when you learn your now ex-friend was handsomely rewarded financially for ruining your life/job.
Lord Triesman, ex-chairman of the Football Association and former head of England's 2018 World Cup bid, was an innocent victim of a honey-trap.
Melissa Jacobs. Remember the name.
She has single-handedly almost certainly cost England any chance of hosting the 2018 finals, not to mention Lord Triesman his job.
Miss Jacobs worked for Lord Triesman when he was a government minister. They remained friends when he joined the F.A., the extent of their relationship irrelevant.
She went to dinner with the chairman of the F.A., wore a wire to tape the conversation when he spoke about a variety of football subjects including the World Cup bid and England's rivals. Miss Jacobs then hawked Lord Triesman's quotes around Fleet Street where a number of newspapers, including the News of the World and Daily Mirror, did not want to be known as the paper that cost England the World Cup.
The Mail on Sunday found it an offer it could not refuse and helped Miss Judas, sorry Jacobs, stick a knife in Lord Triesman's back for cash.
How Miss Jacobs could possibly dislike Lord Triesman so much as to act in such a sneaky, underhand and damaging way I do not know. We've all fallen out with people but stopped short of costing them their job and reputation.
They say revenge is a dish best served cold, but Miss Jacobs' was straight from Siberia.
Lord Triesman has been accused of being indiscrete, but it wasn't as if he was talking to a stranger.
Miss Jacobs went to see public relations guru Max Clifford who attempted to justify his client's actions this way: "Her story was going to come out through a close friend who had already gone to the press and had talked at length and given a load of information about the alleged relationship (with Lord Triesman)."
In media-speak "a close friend" is usually the person concerned, hiding behind a third person. If the close friend is real and she ratted on Miss Jacobs as she has Lord Triesman, the pair certainly deserve each other.
There has been no evidence that Miss Jacobs' relationship with Lord Triesman was any more than a midlife crisis male and a younger woman friendship, in other words a non-story that Miss Jacobs could have killed by a denial.
Clifford continued: "She (Miss Jacobs) was approached by papers not the other way around. Two months ago she came to me and said she was receiving calls from papers saying they were going to do this story or that story. She wanted my help. It took six or seven weeks for her to decide what she wanted to do.
"The taped conversations were something that happened during the time she first came to see me. Initially she wasn't going to do it. It wasn't until she had two or three calls from papers saying they were going to do the story anyway, that she decided if it's going to come out I'll do it myself to ensure what comes out is the truth."
So after speaking to Clifford, Miss Jacobs wired herself to record a private conversation with someone who trusted her and sold it to the Mail on Sunday for, apparently, £75,000 aka 12 pieces of silver.
Lord Triesman allegedly told his alleged friend Miss Jacobs that there was "some evidence that the Spanish football authorities are trying to identify the (World Cup) referees and pay them."
That smacks of a man trying to humor a girl half his age — the World Cup referees were announced in February so identification should not be too difficult.
He also allegedly said that Spain was "looking for help from the Russians to help them to bribe referees."
This is so absurd and ridiculous it cannot be taken seriously.
Are the Spaniards so broke they need help with the apparent bribes?
It is irrelevant what Lord Triesman said. It does not matter that he was not the most popular person in the F.A. He was turned over big time, shafted, knifed in the back by someone who was willing to use him for monetary gain and disregard the risk to England staging the 2018 World Cup.
What a lovely girl.
The Mail On Sunday, which has felt a huge public backlash, said: "The public are clearly entitled to know about such allegations, which are quite rightly now the subject of a FIFA investigation."
Christopher Davies was a longtime Premier League correspondent for theLondon Daily Telegraph.