Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier, 69, has confirmed that he will exit the club at the end of his tenure, and that he will not vie in the upcoming Football Kenya Federation polls.
At the same time, the long serving club head has said that the club will organise a proper ceremony to appreciate the players and technical bench, separate from last Saturday’s lackluster trophy handover which he says was hurriedly organised.
“This will be the last time I am appreciating the team as chairman so the executive committee will meet later this week and set up a suitable date when we shall have a small but befitting celebratory function to appreciate our players, the technical bench and other stakeholders.
“I don’t know who was behind the plan to have the handover ceremony done at an away match. I was not involved in the (planning at all. I had put it in writing that the ceremony be held at our home match in the last game.
“The event itself was very hurriedly organised and lacked representation from very important people. I was not there, the federation head was not there, the KPL head was not there and neither were any top representatives from our sponsors,” he said.
Rachier, who was re-elected for the third time in December 11, 2016, told Nation Sport that he will not vie for any position when the club goes to the polls later this year, and that he will not back anybody for the chairman’s position.
His decision has been informed by the incessant calls by the club’s raucous supporters demanding that he gives up the club leadership for someone younger.
“I am not quitting, or resigning. I have just decided that when my tenure comes to an end this year I will not contest again. I have served for 11 years at the club and I can see that my time is up.
“One of the reasons I have opted to leave is that the sports act limits office bearers to terms of ten years each. And I have done more than that.
“But the main reason I am leaving is because I want to exit in a dignified manner. I am told they call me “Mugabe”, because apparently I am clinging onto power. And I don’t want to be hated.
“I will leave with my head held high. In the 11 years I have been in charge, Gor has won seven league titles. And that was my core business,” he said.
Rachier’s tenure has been a story of ups and downs, although he will go down in history as one of the most successful club chairmen in the history of the Kenya Premier League.
He has won praise for stabilising the relegation-bound club when he took over in 2008 and since then, the club has claimed six league titles, two KPL Top Eight titles, four KPL Super Cups and two domestic cups. It is also during his reign that K’Ogalo became regular competitors in Caf competitions.
He has however been criticised for a laissez-faire leadership style that has seen the club sink into debt, leading to the freezing of their accounts due to tax arrears.
Also, he has been blasted for failing to monetise and professionalise the club despite the huge following that it commands, and despite being a close friend of opposition leader Raila Odinga.