Viewpoint: CIFA – Vincit Omnia Veritas

| 09/09/2015 | 49 Comments

Cayman News ServiceChris Johnson writes: It is now over three months since the news broke out about Jeff Webb and CIFA and much water but little information has flown under the bridge. What is still required from the current Executive Committee are explanations and transparency, a commodity in short supply at CIFA.

Notwithstanding the mysterious loans, now converted into donations for the benefit of the association, unsold tickets and unsubstantiated expenses paid to executives, the elephant in the room is the true cost of the gold plated CIFA Headquarters and football pitch (singular) at Newlands. The land was originally swamp and donated to CIFA by way of a 99 year lease in September 2003 by the government.

A year earlier FIFA gave a grant of $450,000 to Roy Campbell & Sons and a mysterious company, Black Holdings Ltd, to complete the headquarters and build a pitch. A second grant of US$412,000 supplemented this amount in 2009 and a further grant of US$406,000 for a second pitch (albeit there is no sign of it), both to the same contractors. A fourth contract of US$364,600 was paid to Economy Builders in 2011.

In all, these grants total US$1,632,600. Astonishingly, none of this is disclosed by way of note in the accounts presented by CIFA to its members. CIFA also failed to point out that the 17 acres (at which about half is filled) in the accounts was actually owned by the government.

Examination of the accounts show land and buildings of CI$2.75m, of which CI$750,000 has been allocated to buildings and depreciated over 30 years. The land cost should be amortized over 99 years, but CIFA appears to have overlooked that item (only about $120,000 so far).

But let’s not stop there as the FIFA grants must be added — CI$1.36m (US$1.63m) — giving a total of about CI$4m. By deduction, CI$3.25m is for fill, topsoil and a bit of tarmac. This cost is obviously unrealistic but so is the HQ of no more than 2,000 square feet, costing CI$750,000 i.e. $375 per square foot.

In conclusion, the $984,000 of loans further referred to in the media may well attract attention but at least CIFA benefits, unless it is repayable as part of a money laundering operation. They were always strange loans because no interest was ever paid on them.

As to unsupported expenses of executives, that is far from unusual but worthy of investigation. The real issue is the cost of HQ and more so the land, which works out at CI$0.8m per acre with about 4 acres being filled and utilized out of 16 acres. In fact, there are more flags here than at the Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas, in Madrid.

Finally, why did both Paul Macey and Mark Scotland resign? Surely as members of the Executive Committee it was incumbent upon them to stay and conduct their own investigation rather that resign and leave the sinking ship.

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Comments (49)

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  1. Ron says:

    Roy Campbell construction? Isn’t there a conflict of interest? Black holdings – who are the beneficial owners? I’m surprised this isn’t being investigated? If it is, it’s surely quiet.

    • Anonymous says:

      New here? Conflict of interest isn’t nearly as inappropriate or illegal as in U.S. Or Europe.

      • Anonymous says:

        11.30, I think you will find Conflict of Interest is actually compulsory here and written in to the constitution to allow our home grown robber barons to prosper at the continued expense of everyone else. Still, there are no longer 10 green bottles sitting on the wall, a couple have definitely fallen in this case…and more to come I suspect.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Chris information is incorrect. Go back and do research son!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Stupid Question: why haven’t any of the member Clubs (the VOTERS in CIFA) asked any of these questions?

    I have the unfortunate feeling that there needs to be a clean sweep at CIFA, both at the Executive level and the Club level. These people can’t continue to go on about how important the game is to Cayman, then manage their organizations like its not important at all!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Conveniently perhaps, Black Holdings Ltd was struck off by the Companies Registrar in October 2010. So was Roy Campbell & Sons Construction. Roy Campbell Construction (omitting the “& sons”) is still an active company. All are at PO Box 31351.
    Economy Builders Ltd was struck off in 1995 !

  5. Anonymous says:

    Chris Johnson for the new AG position, wouldn’t that be interesting.

    • Diogenes says:

      What a wonderful idea. Never happen, of course – those that have the appointment in their power would far prefer to be able to control the office holder or get them off island if the go too far by the simple expedient of cancelling their contract (or inviting them to find another position!), but we can dream.

  6. Annamouse says:

    I would be interested to see the books on the Grass Roots programming. They were giving our new kit and balls to the kids every time one of mine participated. I wonder if there were any “overpayments” to suppliers (in Panama and elsewhere) for that kit.

  7. Diogenes says:

    Veritas omnia vincit, surely?

    • Brian says:

      I thought it was “Romanes eunt domus”

      • Centurion says:

        “People called Romans they go house” conjugate the verb eunt boy.

        • Diogenes says:

          Or “eo” even. I despair at the level of education being passed out by the Cayman system – what has it come to when we cannot conjugate basic Latin anymore? Tara Rivers needs to take urgent action.

        • Brian says:

          ‘Ire’. ‘eo’. ‘Is’. ‘It’. ‘Imus’. ‘Itis’. ‘Eunt’.

      • Anonymous says:

        Qui dederit cacas

    • Anonymous says:

      Oi cupcakes, leave the Greek to the lawyers!

    • Anonymous says:

      Stylistically, either your version or Chris’s would do, Diogenes. Sometimes to stress a word, the Romans would put it at the end of the sentence -as Chris did. They also liked to put the verb first for the same reason. Their word order could be very flexible, much more so than we were taught at school. Yes, I know, I need to get out more.

  8. caymanaindonkey says:

    We written Chris. I’m pretty sure capt bakery is still making a fortune!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Oh dear God and to think the government has remained tight lipped on this.

  10. Garfield says:

    A superbly written piece. I appreciate the information disclosed in this article as it clarifies so many points which I had not been clear on. Paul Macey and Mark Scotland are still accountable for what has happened during their CIFA tenure even if they have resigned.

  11. Anonymous says:

    well said…i cannot believe why this issue is not discussed on the talk shows on a daily basis….more cayman osterich mentality i suspect….
    as for a response by the do-nothing ppm…….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    • Anonymous says:

      Poor old Dwayne is out of his depth, 8:31, and Orrett is cynically working towards a run in George Town at the next election and doesn’t want to offend “a certain type of voter that lives in great abundance there”, being one himself, though without much real empathy for their everyday lives.

  12. Anonymous says:

    It would not be possible that Roy Campbell Construction/Black Holding is own by CIFA exco members? No way!!

  13. Gray Matter says:

    Thank you thank you , Chris; now I see why they are such a tight clan and do not want any prying eyes, and kept the books close to their chest.

    • KB says:

      Thank You is RIGHT!!! WOW!! And you would think that these people who walk around here with held high have achieved what they have by hard work and INTEGRITY. Looking down on the poor and average freakin Caymanian/local people as if they are nothing – yet they are XXXX “mismanaging funds “. Pathetic and disgusting! Chris keep it coming the honest and hardworking Caymanian and it’s Residents are behind you. Thank You from the bottom of our hearts THANK YOU!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Jeff Webbs prosecutor reading this story in New York….

  15. Anonymous says:

    Thanks. Clearly explained – I doubt we would have heard this from any other source, let alone CIFA.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree, but now what? Will anything come of this or will this be the usual news for a while and then a whole bunch of nada???

  16. Anonymous says:

    There are more questions than answers. The birds are losing their feathers, so they can’t fly.

  17. V for Victory says:

    ?Coming home to roost.

    Thank you for the clear breakdown, Chris.

    Some people, it seems want their cake and “it’s our time now” dinner, all at suspicious sittings.

    The first sign of corruption in a society that is still alive is that the end justifies the means. . – Georges Bernanos

  18. Anonymous says:

    I think you mean sTinking ship.
    Grow up Cayman, it time.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I agree 100%, Western Union closes, people can’t send CI anymore…someone needs to answer some questions!

  20. sors says:

    What about the FAP grants since 2011 totaling US$2.6 million for items like Men’s competitions $400K, Women competitions $500K, Planning and Administration $600K, infrastructure $350K, Bonus $250K, etc., this in an association where football is played at amateur level at best and CIFA contributes about $5K to each club to prepare for the season and certainly the players do not receive compensation of any kind and the senior national teams compete once every four years?

    By the way, why it is that no one mentions Mark Scotland replacement, CIFA sent a circular to its members, #0038, advising who the replacement was.

    • Anonymous says:

      Chris thanks for the factual enlightenment. Over the years there was a few people within the football faternity who suspected and ask questions pretaining what you just highlighted. But the manjority of clubs was and still has no interest in how football was run administrationly. Here in Cayman the majority of members that makeup Cifa never took it on their selves to be educated and informed about the way Cifa operated in relationship to how it was funded to which those same Clubs which in truth was just teams called clubs was supposed to be the main beneficiaries of that money. And when a people is not educated and informed they are very easy to be exploited and taken advantaged of. Such is the case of football in Cayman. Look at the bigger picture on the national level CI Government went unaudited to the tune of billions of dollars for many years. PS: What about hurricane Ivan fund that also was supposed to help national footballers.

  21. Anonymous says:


  22. Anonymous says:

    Chris Johnson = Legend

  23. Anonymous says:

    I’m no accountant, but when they started presenting accounts with millions of dollars on the bottom line, shouldn’t the rank and file have started to ask questions like “show me the receipts?”.

    Even if the rank and file were too dim-witted to query anything, then the rest of the Executive must be held accountable.


    • Anonymous says:

      The rank and file are 100% rank.(I’m using this term not in its military context but in it’s olfactory sense).

  24. Fred the Piemaker says:

    Help me out here, because I am confused. First CIFA say that candidates who want to be part of a democratic election to the executive commmitte cannot stand, even though their candicacy would be subject to a vote. Then the executive committee (with one notable exception) resign anyway, but rather than having a vote at all appoint their own replacements. How exactly is that meant to be fair, democratic or reasonable? Or am I simply being naive?

  25. Fred the Piemaker says:

    Chris for President. Honest as the day is long, and not afraid to point out the embarrassingly obvious – unlike every other member of CIFA, including those in the financial services and regulatory professions, who one would have thought would have detected this – assuming that they either gave a rats arse or were not in it up to their necks,

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