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The Kenya Premier League has for sometime now been faced with a couple of challenges. From teams failing to pay players’ salaries on time to some clubs dishing out walkovers due to financial constraints, it has not been a walk in the park.

All the challenges facing the KPL are as a result of lack of funds. With many teams lacking a clear financial structure, they have been forced to live from hand to mouth.

The future is however bright for a couple of teams as they have stepped up to do things right even with the little resources they have.

It is great seeing teams opening up official stores and purchasing team buses. This is a step in the right direction and should be emulated by the others. KPL sides Wazito FC and AFC Leopards both have stores where fans can purchase original club merchandise and even buy match tickets.

Wazito & Ingwe also lead in the buses aspect. Also having team buses are Kakamega Homeboyz, Nzoia Sugar FC and Tusker FC.

It is only a matter of time until Wazito FC’s stadium is constructed and as we wait for what will be a first in the country, other clubs should learn and take notes.

We all want KPL clubs to have great infrastructure and resources like it is with teams in the English Premier League or clubs in North Africa. This will however take sometime but will a clear vision and great management, Kenyan clubs can become independent and very successful across the continent.

ANY SOLUTIONS?

Successful clubs boast of sponsors who pour in millions of shillings annually to help run them. There have been concerns that many corporate entities in Kenya do not support local clubs. Well, many of them argue that the said clubs do not give them value for their money. This can be attributed to the lack of fans in the stadia. Also, the fact that a number of KPL games don’t get TV time might also prove to be a turn off for companies who would want to pour money to support clubs.

We all want brand visibility for our products and various businesses. What then happens if you pay someone to advertise your product yet they do not reach your target audience? Your guess is as good as mine. You will cut ties with the said entity. It is therefore time Kenyans started going to stadiums for games. It is time KPL clubs also worked on their digital portfolio and presence. Many of them have pulled up their socks on this aspect with clubs like Gor, Wazito, Kariobangi Sharks, Mathare United and AFC Leopards all having well run club websites and social media pages.

KPL should find broadcasters for our games. Things were good when Supersport was on board. We can however not rule out the fact that Madgoat TV has been doing a great job and we all hope that it can expand its wings and start broadcasting more KPL matches as soon as possible.

THE CURRENT SPONSORS

The exit of betting firm Sportpesa from the Kenyan Market had a huge impact on Sports in the Country with the most affected being Football.

Sportpesa were the sole sponsors of the Kenya Premier League and also pumped in money to two of KPL biggest Clubs in Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards.

According to reports, Sportpesa spent Sh96 million annually on direct sponsorship of KPL and Sh55 million on AFC Leopards while Gor Mahia got Sh65 million.

The exit of the firm was not only felt by Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards. A number of teams were and still are in financial turmoil. These teams even petitioned KPL to suspend the League last season until they dealt with their financial crisis properly.

Things are however looking good for both Gor and Ingwe having already secured a sponsorship deal with betting firm BetSafe. In the new deal with Betsafe, Leopards will get 40 million per year while Gor Mahia will get 55 million a year. This will run for three years hence making things better at both clubs. There are however calls for both clubs to source for more sponsors.

Clubs like Bandari FC, Wazito FC, Tusker FC and Kariobangi Sharks seem to be having a smooth ride in their camps as players from the teams have not yet complained of delayed salaries.

As for Sony Sugar, despite having a sponsor in the form of South Nyanza Sugar Company, challenges have become it’s second name. The Millers became the first team last season to hand in a walkover in their own backyard of Awendo. The team was later barred from the League after dishing out three walkovers.

The Sponsorship of KPL Clubs in the Country consists of Gaming Firms (BetSafe, Mozzart Bet, Betika, Odibets and Betway), Government Parastatals and entities (Kenya Ports Authority, KDF, Kenya Power, Postal Corporation of Kenya),Financial Firms (KCB Bank, Aidos Kuneen) , Sugar entities (Chemelil Sugar, Nzoia Sugar, Sony Sugar), Beverages Industry (Tusker)

BELOW ARE THE SPONSORSHIP DETAILS OF ALL KPL CLUBS

With all the challenges that have engulfed the various Clubs in the Country, it is time stakeholders found a solution to help save the beautiful game. Football is a multi-million dollar business and if the KPL is run well, Kenya is destined for greatness.

With the correct structures, even the CAF Champions League trophy will soon land in Nairobi. Until then, lets all support the beautiful game by going to stadiums and actually paying for tickets, buying original club merchandise and registering as members of the various clubs we support. It is as simple as 1,2,3.

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