Kenyan giants Gor Mahia are one of the four clubs which have not been scheduled for the mandatory COVID-19 tests ahead of the FKF Premier League restart.
Club players and technical benches are set to undergo the mandatory tests between Monday and Wednesday. However, according to the list released on Friday by the Federation, only 14 clubs will be tested.
Gor Mahia, Ulinzi Stars, Mathare United, and Zoo Kericho have been deliberately excluded from the list, in a move meant to pressure the teams into surrendering their economic rights to FKF.
FKF President Nick Mwendwa signed two sponsorship deals worth Ksh 350 with Betking and Startimes. According to Mwendwa, each club will receive Ksh 8 million per season with the rest of the money going to paying referees and administration.
Why would independent clubs surrender their economic rights to the federation? Football is a multibillion business across the world owned by serious investors. Can you imagine Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich surrendering the club’s rights to the FA? What will he be doing in the business?
There is a big difference between club rights and competition rights. Mwendwa and FKF can only manage the rights of the FKF Premier League but the president cannot purpot to have the powers to manage the specific interests of each club.
What if Gor wants to play a friendly with a Ugandan, European or any other club outside Kenya? Will FKF demand a share of revenue that accrues from such matches? What about the sponsorship deals the club may want to sign with other corporates?
There is no league in the world where clubs receive equal broadcast revenue. Revenue should be shared based on league position and popularity.
Moreover, 80% of local football fans support Gor Mahia. How can the most decorated club in East Africa receive the same revenue as a team like Kariobangi Sharks which has no fan base?
Parameters like league position and number of matches televised should be considered when sharing revenue. Most fans who would be interested in watching a local Premier League match will definetly want to watch Gor play.
Gor Mahia is Kenya’s most valuable football club. Nick Mwendwa and FKF need the club if they are to attract serious sponsorships. The club’s views should be considered.