101 writes: Entrenched. Stubborn. Dedicated. Confused. We are not sure which of these words best describes Bruce Blake right now. If we are to believe what he wants us to, Blake, the acting president of CIFA, is simply a man dedicated to the development of football in this country, who was not only unaware of the corrupt practices of his colleagues over the past 15 years, but is now shell-shocked to discover the various schemes to defraud Cayman’s youth football of cash.
He didn’t notice anything untoward. He didn’t feel the need to ask more questions. He never participated in a meeting which he now realises was entirely inappropriate. And he always believed that everything done in his circles was compliant with the best practices that he’s fully aware of as a qualified attorney.
Truth is, Blake was in the thick of things. He was there to sign a ‘loan document’ that is now the subject of yet another fraud. He was there when the accounts were discussed and signed off each year. He saw transactions which, given his training and experience, he should have deemed inappropriate at worse or not compliant with best practices at best.
His ‘anger’ at his colleagues won’t purchase rest rooms at the shameful CIFA Centre of Excellence, which stands incomplete. His ‘heart broken’ feelings cannot return the hundreds of thousands of dollars that was stolen from Cayman’s youth. And his disingenuous ‘look of disbelieve’ does nothing to help us recover the funds stolen.
Blake’s most recent revelation that he has been supporting CIFA with his own cash does not provide us with comfort.
In fact, for all its benefit this type of ‘support’ is yet another example of how CIFA’s accounts were shamelessly mismanaged, with money moving seamlessly between the pockets of its executive board members and CIFA’s accounts, with clearly no regard for proper financial control procedures.
The co-mingling of bribery cash, an exec’s own credit card support, funds for construction of facilities, operational funds, alleged money laundering proceeds, hospital deal proceeds and who knows what else should be unthinkable. But that seems to be what occurred at CIFA.
Despite extremely serious allegations and immense reputational damage to CIFA, its executive committee remains firm in their position that no change is necessary to its leadership. Any normal organisation, public or private, would have asked a senior executive member to step down if serious allegations or eyebrow-raising evidence surfaced. But Peter Campbell remains.
Most organisations would have taken the voluntary step of dissolving the entire board by now. They would not wait for the clearly spineless and shamefully apathetic CIFA club members (aside from Academy and Tigers, who were the only ones daring for change) to step up and force an extraordinary meeting. But let’s leave that discussion for another day.
For now, we can see that Blake has walked about 7 miles past the sign that says ‘time to make changes to the CIFA executive for reputational reasons’ . It’s embarrassing that the existing CIFA executive, comprising Bruce Blake, Martha Godet, Mark Campbell, Bruce Sigsworth, Armando Ebanks, Livingston Bailey and Peter Campbell, would all think it’s perfectly appropriate to sit there in the pretense that they are fighting for football or following some type of protocol.
And even with that observation, Blake appears to be asking us to believe that his motive is that he’s trying to ‘hold it all together’ in the midst of a crisis.
Reality check: referees continuing to show late for matches, teams dropping out of the youth league, coaches cursing at referees and youth players, appointment of unqualified coaches to national teams as favours, appointment of unqualified persons to chair a national development committee, girls youth matches beIng postponed for weeks, courses being cancelled, CIFA’s ‘inability’ to deal with club transfer controversies and extremely slow/poor administration of the youth league because you can no longer afford to pay someone to do the job are just a sample of evidence that things are not being ‘held together’.
It’s not the same old CIFA, Mr Blake. It’s considerably worse.
Given the above and the extensive negative reputational issues surrounding CIFA, what then must we make of this ‘burning passion’ being displayed by a man willing to leave his job as an attorney at a local law firm to stay firmly at the midst of all this?
None of this is making sense, Mr Blake. And if you are not going to lead CIFA to do the right thing for reputational reasons as an organization you should at least do something to remove the massive cloud of doubt hanging over your own head.