The initiative was meant to be a goodwill measure from the club management to the players. However, the reactions — mostly negative — that followed the decision to send Gor Mahia players Sh3,000 each was very interesting.
These are the facts. One day over a week ago, Gor Mahia players received the said amount on their phones. Information was apparently scanty with some sources intimating that it was a salary advance.
That’s when the stuff really hit the fan. Those opposed to the idea wondered what on earth was the management thinking by sending what they believed was a meagre amount to the players.
Still, others believed that salary advance needs to be higher.
It was in the midst of this all that the officials came out to clarify that the monies were some sort of baksheesh for the players as they face the effects of the coronavirus.
“The money (Sh3,000) has caused a lot of divisions at the club and is now being used by some individuals to fight the chairman. The true position is that the money was just a token to help them buy food and not a salary,” Gor Mahia team manager Jolawi Obondo told Nation Sport.
“This issue has caused us a lot of bashing from those opposing leadership at the club with all sorts of bad things being said.”
With the Covid-19 marching in its full destruction, the world of sport the world over is not spared and each morning the media are full of depressing stories of suspended leagues, cancelled meets and lost fortunes.
It is quite an unfortunate situation we find ourselves in but it is important that we keep safe.
But I am sympathising with our players. To say the least, it’s a life of penury for them.
I do not blame Gor Mahia officials, the club has gone through a rough patch since the exit of shirt sponsors SportPesa last year.
The officials have literally had to dig into their pockets or go on a begging mission to pay the players. But I am actually trying to look beyond Gor Mahia.
I do believe the situation is even more dire in other clubs that do not have a following like Gor Mahia’s that can organise themselves and raise some money for the players.
It will be foolhardy now to seek help from corporates because they are also equally hit by the current state of affairs around the world.
Most of them have either shut down or have laid off their staff. The government has also committed all its resources in fighting the spread of the coronavirus
This challenging situation offers an opportunity for our clubs and the league body to think out of the box and come up with ways to cushion themselves when such situations occur again in future.
We do not know when normalcy will resume. When it does, our football will have taken a serious beating.