BLOG: Clubs Losing Millions Over Football Stalemate
Albeit without order, the pre-season transfer window in Kenya has periodically seen a steady rise in money traded in terms of signing fees alone with Sofapaka reported to have hit a record twelve million shillings mark in 2014. In this year’s transfer window alone, AFC Leopards reportedly compounded figures in the region of seven million shillings, Gor Mahia reported around five million while other clubs were not any quieter.
The cinch is all that is now lying idle as there is no competitive football going on across the country. Have you bought an expensive electronic appliance but later realized you do not have an extension cable to access power source?
Listen to Professor Asava Kadima, the Assistant Secretary General of AFC Leopards: “You see we have contracts with these players. They expect us to meet our end of the bargain either way. Theirs is to play.”
Apart from the top rated expensive players AFC Leopards signed in January, they have another baggage of a coach in Zdravko LogarušiÄ‡ whose only understanding of patience is as long as the calendar has not flipped to the next month. The Croat signed a yearlong contract at Ingwe and if the football stalemate drags any longer we can only expect more drama from a coach whose luggage is always packed ready for the airport at the slightest of provocation.
While observers may say league champions Gor Mahia are at least involved in continental football, the bare truth is that k’Ogalo’s most expensive acquisitions in the January are not being used by the club. The club’s Assistant Secretary General Ronald Ngala laments, “You can’t help but pity us when you see about four million shillings worth of players on the terraces. Meddie Kagera, Abouba Sibomana and Karim Nizigiyimana were not registered for the continentals hence can only be used on the domestic fronts.”
But why can’t the clubs, as they hope for a truce between the wrangling powers, organize for friendly matches to keep the players busy? One may ask. Well, that can be done but bring in the electronic analogy again. Why invest in a high-end movie system for your house only to play those fifty bob street hawked Series?
Apart from the financial implications, probably what the club managers will be grappling with in the coming months, should the impasse drag on, are player agents who will be gravely concerned about competitiveness of their players and their plummeting global price tags in the coming transfer markets.
AFC Leopards’ Professor Kadima explains; “The players’ image is at stake here. Look at Martin Kiiza, Mussa Mude, Fred Ndaaka and others. These are national team players we are currently underutilizing. If this standoff stays on, I guess hard decisions will have to be made.”
So as the court battles rage on, clubs will only hope their players and coaches understand the situation. As benign as a European wife of the 1950s, clubs will want to fragilely lead their players and coaches to the negotiating tables to get some more realistic contracts – to match the situation on the ground, you know! Literally!
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