Now that football boss Nick Mwendwa has found ‘historic’ sponsorship from Nigerian betting firm BetKing, he has all the wind in his sails. We do not know much about this firm though.
The sponsorship deal of Sh2.1 billion has sparked a lot of emotions and interests. The Kenyan Premier League (KPL) clubs all seem to be pulling in different directions, some are lauding the deal while others are wary of it.
The Kenya Premier League is the firm legally mandated to run the top-flight league. We would wish that Mr Mwendwa leaves the entity to continue with its work.
But we also know that there is a risk of personal interests overriding the very essence for which KPL exists - that is the smooth running of the league.
During former FKF Chairman Sam Nyamweya’s term, he too wanted the KPL out of the way, albeit unsuccessfully. He tried running to court and even bringing on board his own broadcaster to run parallel with the one brought by the KPL.
It is really shocking now that since he wants to make a comeback to the helm, he seems to talk sense when he was recently quoted saying: “When I become the president of FKF I will, as a matter of priority, extend the contract of KPL and even go further and allow other leagues to run semi-autonomous.”
We wait to see if he will do that should he win the delayed FKF elections. On the other hand, Mwendwa is so sure of winning the elections and he even repeated his boast in a recent radio interview, saying that he will take it with some 76 to 78 votes!
We need to remind him that before disbanding KPL, as he has already said he would in September, he must make sure that the FKF/KPL contract remains in force until the federation holds elections and a properly constituted National Executive Committee is in place.
After that is done, he must also remember that as FKF, he still has additional burden of running 290 sub-county leagues to run in the new structural changes envisaged in the new football dispensation besides the National Super League, FKF Div 1 and FKF Div II, the Women’s Premier League, women’s Div I League, and the county Leagues.
Mwendwa must ask himself if he will be able to do all that. There is great logic to have separate semi-autonomous bodies doing this job. So far, those other leagues have been shambolic. He must think deeper than he has.
As for the KPL, we need not shed any tears; a whole season came and went without them getting any sponsorship for the league and thus killing some clubs!