The trouble with Ushuru:Rich shirt sponsor, but players on strike


Ushuru FC coach Ken Kenyatta speaks to his charges during their Kenyan Premier League match ...
Ushuru FC coach Ken Kenyatta speaks to his charges during their Kenyan Premier League match against Bandari FC at the Mbaraki Stadium in Mombasa on July 09, 2016. Ushuru were relegated from the top flight with Kenyatta blaming his players. Photo/Saidi Ali/www.sportpicha.com

Players of National Super League (NSL) leaders Ushuru FC are yet again on a collision path with the club management owing to unpaid allowances.

Since the start of the week, the players have been on a go-slow demanding for allowances stretching up to 22 matches.

And with cracks emerging in the playing unit at a decisive moment, it may hinder the club’s quest of making a returning to the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) at the end of the campaign.

The club was last season relegated from the topflight after recording poor results, finishing second from bottom on a paltry 26 points.

But even as Ushuru fights the football battle of a life-time to regain admission to the KPL, long-serving coach Ken Kenyatta is unmoved by the trouble in his team, maintaining that they’ll weather the storm and clinch the NSL ticket.

Ushuru FC coach Ken Kenyatta follows action against Bandari FC during their Kenyan Premier League match at the Safaricom Stadium, Kasarani on May 21, 2016. Bandari FC won the match 4-0. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com
Ushuru FC coach Ken Kenyatta follows action against Bandari FC during their Kenyan Premier League match at the Safaricom Stadium, Kasarani on May 21, 2016. Bandari FC won the match 4-0. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha.com

 “It’s so unfortunate that we are facing such a challenge (delayed payment of bonuses) at such a time, but we can’t blame the players for their move because they are championing their rights,” he said, adding: “Yesterday (Monday) I had a lengthy talk with them and they promised to get back to action as we plan to accomplish the business of the season.”

The tax-collectors are currently on top of the NSL table with 67 points with only five matches remaining to the end of the season.

But even at the apex of the log, they are not sitting pretty as the tussle for the two automatic tickets to the top-tier is fierce with chasing KCB is on equal points though with an inferior goal difference, while third placed Vihiga United is third on 65.

Zeka Wakoli (L) of GFE FC contest for an aerial ball with Jackton Onjala of Ushuru FC during their National Super League match at the Camp Toyoyo stadium in Nairobi on April 14, 2017.The match ended 1-1. Photo/Oliver Ananda/www.sportpicha.com
Zeka Wakoli (L) of GFE FC contest for an aerial ball with Jackton Onjala of Ushuru FC during their National Super League match at the Camp Toyoyo stadium in Nairobi on April 14, 2017.The match ended 1-1. Photo/Sportpicha.

But why is the club struggling when they have the rich and stable Kenya Revenue Authority as their shirt sponsors?

“We can’t blame our sponsor for the in house challenge because when it comes to salaries, the players are paid on time. The challenge is on the allowances and KRA being a parastatal, there is always a procedure. I have been engaging them and we are waiting for the final signature .Soon the money will be out.”

NSL Nov 1 fixtures

Kenya Police v Isibania FC 1pm

KCB   v Administration Police 1pm

Nairobi City Stars v Bidco United 2pm

Agro Chemicals v Modern Coast Rangers 3pm

Palos v Vihiga United 3pm

GFE 105 v Wazito 3pm

Nakuru All Stars v St. Joseph FC 3pm

Talanta FC v Ushuru FC 3pm

Kibera Black Stars v Nairobi Stima 3pm

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