Financial crisis forces club owners to consider sale

Thursday May 17 2018

Chemelil’s Hassan Abdul (right) prepares to shoot with Vihiga’s Liuva Mophat (left) watching during their Kenyan Premier League match at Mumias Sports Complex on April 8, 2018. PHOTO | TITUS MAERO |

Chemelil’s Hassan Abdul (right) prepares to shoot with Vihiga’s Liuva Mophat (left) watching during their Kenyan Premier League match at Mumias Sports Complex on April 8, 2018. PHOTO | TITUS MAERO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By DAVID KWALIMWA
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Kenyan Premier League side Chemelil Sugar and second tier outfit City Stars could soon be acquired by a Nairobi-based consortium, Nation Sport has established.

The consortium is led by Martin Nkari, a businessman who made his name printing match day tickets for football clubs under the Ticket Masters brand.

City Stars owner Peter Jabuya recently confirmed he is no longer in a position to financially bankroll the outfit, which is currently ranked 10th on the 19-team National Super League standing.

Similarly, despite Chemelil's mid-table status in the Kenyan Premier League, the club is in a financial crisis, and are yet to pay salaries to its players and staff for the past three months.

Ntari meanwhile, intends to rebrand the team to Mount Kenya United and shift its base to Kinoru stadium in Meru.

"We want to expand the width of Kenyan football which at the moment is basically a Nairobi and Western Kenya affair. Even the Nairobi clubs are an extension of Western and Nyanza and yet there is talent everywhere," said Ntari.

"We are in talks with the Meru County government, the team will be based in Meru."

Should the acquisition go through, it will be the second of its kind this season following the estimated Sh20 million sale of Nakumatt to politician Francis Mureithi last month.

The club, Nation Sport understands, is set to be rebranded to Mount Kenya FC ahead of the 2019 season.

Although a relatively new practice on the Kenyan scene, English clubs Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United, plus Italy's AC Milan and even South Africa's Cape Town City, and Tanzania's Simba are some of the clubs that changed ownership in recent times.