FKF,KPL agree to KSh38m budget for expanded league

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa (L) and Kenyan premier league C.E.O ...
9FILE)Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa (L) and Kenyan premier league C.E.O Jack Oguda address during a media briefing in Nairobi, Kenya on February16, 2016. Oguda confirmed Friday, March 4, 2016 the Gor vs Leopards derby is on. Photo/ Oliver Ananda/Sportpicha

The cost of adding expanding the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) from 16 to 18 teams has been valued at KSh38m, an amount that will be raised by Football Kenya Federation.

Finance committees from FKF and KPL held a meeting on Saturday to discuss the financial logistics involved in accommodating two additional top-flight leagues, after which they presented their settlement to the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) that has been mediating the case.

“We had an agreement after the final meeting and everything is now sorted. We will put in an extra KSh38 million to fund the two extra clubs and we have committed to it.

“This confirms that from this season, we shall have 18 teams in the Premier League,” FKF Chief Executive Officer Robert Muthomi said.

FKF had initially pledged to inject KSh36m every season but caved in to KPL’s demands after the financial experts’ meeting.

The money, will among other things, cater for monthly grants for the extra teams – Zoo Kericho FC and Nakumatt FC – along with operational costs and referee costs.

A small chunk of the amount will also be channeled to the initial 16 teams which will have to play extra four matches as a result of the expansion.

The financial implication to the federation is heavier after they accepted to waiver the licensing fee of KSh7m KPL has been paying each season.

FKF President Nick Mwendwa says the federation is keen to attract heftier packages from the league’s sponsors and its broadcast partners.

“We are committed to this we have been readying ourselves for the demands of an expanded league. We are engaging sponsors on the same because at the end of the day, it is a worthy endeavor for inclusivity, for the good of the game,” Mwendwa said.

Questions have been raised as to why the federation chose to incur extra financial obligations against the backdrop of the crisis the current office inherited from the previous administration.

Despite the breakthrough, it only remains on paper that the 2017 season will be an 18-team league, pending the federation’s appeal’s board ruling on the three relegated clubs earlier for non-compliance of CAF licensing rules.

The three – Sofapaka FC, Muhoroni Youth and Thika United – lodged appeals to have their top flight status reinstated but are yet to learn their fates.

They were allowed to resubmit their documents for assessment on Friday with the outcome to be revealed on Wednesday.

In 2014, a similar dispute saw Nyamweya suspend the top flight for two weeks and promote a record 14 teams to the top flight before a mediation brokered by FIFA and the Government esnured no team was relegated from the top division and the rival FKF-PL designated as the second tier.

When Mwendwa took office in February last year, he re-branded the FKF-PL which he chaired in 2014 the NSL, pledging to see through the expansion of the KPL.

Mwendwa’s campaign for an expanded league hit a stumbling block when KPL obtained an injunction from the tribunal barring FKF from discussing the agenda during last year’s Annual General Meeting.

However, Mwendwa sought and received support from FIFA prompting the John Ohaga led tribunal to rule it is FKF’s prerogative to determine the size of the league as power shifted in favour of the federation.

Funding emerged as the last impediment when both sides finally appeared to have found a middle ground by agreeing to expand the league.

KPL’s initial asking price was KSh69m, before the amount whittled down KSh38m as FKF chose to establish the cost of running a single club by going though financial details as laid out by contracts between KPL and their sponsors.

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