|AFC LEOPARDS WAKE UP; IT’S 2012|
|Wednesday, 11 January 2012 14:29|
Ours forever! Who, in the right senses, cannot love such a slogan? AFC Leopards commands one of East Africa’s most passionate and dedicated fan bases of our times. The staunchest of the fans travel around the country supporting their team and joyously celebrating in victory. When on a losing spree the halfhearted whiz away like lightning never to be seen in the stadium for some time while the loyal stay on.
Today the club is enjoying a near-stable financial spell thanks to the millions Mumias Sugar Company, under the directorship of Dr. Evans Kidero, is pouring into its machine. The information at the public’s disposal is that Ingwe players are getting remunerated at the best rates possible in the Kenya Premier League. And of more essence is that the salaries are getting paid in good time.
AFC Leopards can sign any player they feel they need at whatever fee from the Ksh.600, 000 rated Eric Masika to the Ksh.10 Million rated Bob Mugalia. Money is not Ingwe’s problem. Mumias will bring more.
And here comes my caution. I think this is the time AFC Leopards should look at implementing structures that will make the club self sustaining in future. But why when Mumias continues to crush our Western sugarcane and sell it expensively? One may ask boorishly.
The start of season 2011 saw AFC hold more elections than total goals scored by Congo Utd in the 1st leg. The elections were often marred by violence and regular press briefing with the parties concerned always resolving to have buried the hatchet. Apparently someone kept exhuming this hatchet and they kept going back to the ‘polls’ under the watchful eyes of Kidero who had just strategically been appointed the CEO of Harambee Stars Management Board.
Despite the many warnings from Kidero, Mumias Sugar still stuck to its deal with Ingwe and the two parties (AFC-Mumias) are still soldiering on. It pains me to say that Mumias still sponsors AFC only due to someone’s 2012 political goals in Nairobi. That is a fact that, in Macharia Gaitho’s words, only an ostrich can deny. Today the club is reported to have three different chairmen running separate factions despite having ‘buried the hatchet’ yet an organization as respected as Mumias still sponsors it. With the three factions raiding each other’s offices at will, am I the only one who doesn’t see this sponsorship beyond 2013? Politics is like wind. When it blows, it carries all that it brought.
My intention is to advice the supporters of this great club to take advantage of this money while it lasts. I believe this is the time to revamp the club’s constitution to portray a professional club with stakeholders who have a more painstaking role than just shouting ‘ours forever!’ This is the time to float Ingwe’s shares in the stock market for the real supporters to invest their strength and money in the club of their hearts. No serious corporate organization worldwide wants to associate with a disorganized club that does not have transparent structures, development policies and channels to evaluate progress.
I’m happy the club bus project is being run by the registered branches. The branches should be empowered not just to collect funds to travel around, organize parties and drink to their drop but to raise revenue for the sustenance of the club. Soon AFC Leopards will not need anyone’s sponsorship when individual fans, branches and management will take advantage of the Mumias money now and come up with a workable plan to make the club self sustaining. I said it!