Shabana FC could fail to take part in next season's National Super League (NSL) due to financial constraints.
The Kisii-based side had a decent start to life in the second tier last season but gradually lost ground to eventually settle for ninth place.
The recent development comes barely a month after the club’s management sacked 13 players alongside assistant coach Andrew Kanuli and fitness trainer Andrew Ongwae for boycotting training sessions over unpaid salary.
Speaking to Nation Sport, the club’s treasurer Enock Omariba revealed that hopes of securing sponsorship with two betting companies, SportPesa and Dafabet, were dealt a big blow after their licenses were nullified by the government.
“We are really struggling financially and this may affect us next season. Last season, we used to part with more than Sh2 million every month in salaries and traveling expenses hence we exhausted all the money we had,” said Omariba.
The club currently has 14 players which is way below the required quorum of 23. Open trials, scheduled for July1-3, failed to take place leaving the former Kenyan Premier League (KPL) giants in a crisis.
"If all goes well, we will conduct trials and save the club from collapsing but I cannot state exactly when this will happen,” added Omariba.
Coach Gilbert Selebwa said he had identified more than 35 players from other NSL teams who he wanted to assess during the trials. The tactician urged Kisii Governor James Ongwae to honour the Sh5 million pledge he made last year.
“If things remain as they are, Shabana may collapse,” he said pointing out that they have not yet started preseason training with the NSL set to kick-off on September 1.
Three weeks ago, the club faced a major setback after the County government of Kisii announced that all local teams will have to pay to access Gusii Stadium in a bid to raise revenue to the devolved unit.
Gusii Stadium is the main sports facility in the region and is used by different teams from various disciplines across the county. Shabana and Gusii Starlets were allowed to use it for free in the past campaign.