Joe Kinnear and Jacques Chirac: pardoning their French

Salut! Sunderland is never less than scrupulously fair in its dealings with Newcastle United, so you would expect all those connected with it to show the same spirit of even-handedness in their professional lives.

Even so, readers might be interested to see how it is possible to link Joe Kinnear and his outburst aimed at sports hacks and the former French president Jacques Chirac (see, Joe, others get it even worse than you from the tabloids..)

This is how I did it in a column headlined “Never again moments” for The National in Abu Dhabi (I preferred “Pardon their French” for the online version)……..

A few months after moving to Paris for my first spell as an expat, I was summoned to the Elysée Palace. In imperious tones, the lady on the phone announced that there would be un on with Jacques Chirac, then president, that evening.

Despite having applied myself conscientiously to a French refresher course in Normandy before starting my new job, I had no idea what she was talking about. Reassuringly, at least for my pride, nor had my secretary, a resident of France for several years. But the last thing I could do was reveal myself as an ignorant Anglo-Saxon by calling back for an explanation.

At one point, I wondered whether I had misheard the vowel sound. However, it did seem unlikely that the president wanted to show me his donkey. So if not a donkey – un

1 thought on “Joe Kinnear and Jacques Chirac: pardoning their French”

  1. Fun at Kinnear’s expense is the only fun the club has provided in a long time. I see now that they’ve parted ways with their VP for player recruitment. Given that any self-respecting footballer would surely run a mile before signing with the Toon, he can’t have had a lot to occupy his time.

Comments are closed.

Next Post