May you live in interesting times.” This Chinese saying has been thought by many to be a blessing.
However, various sources confirm that it is in fact a curse because interesting times referred here refer to tumult and pestilence.
Perhaps it is poetic justice that we are right now bang in the middle of interesting times, thanks to the coronavirus which has its origins in China. Our lives have never been the same and since mid March when the government made an announcement stopping all social activities as a means of curtailing the spread of the deadly Covid-19, we have not had any football activity going on.
The effects have been devastating and over that period, it is unfortunate that players who eke out a living from the game have had to go hungry, most of them without pay.
Most hard hit are the community-based clubs like Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards who have had no sponsorship since the exit of SportPesa last year.
Talking to football nabobs in the country, the future looks even dire. At Gor Mahia I will not be surprised if at the end of this coronavirus pandemic, we will not have a team to present for next season’s competitions.
From what I gather, our players have not been paid for their salaries for four months now. They had long forgotten getting their winning bonuses and training allowances.
Basically, what the players are owed is running into millions considering the monthly wage bill for the club is about Sh5 million.
While we cannot lay blame on anyone on this current financial situation the club is facing, we need to start thinking of solutions especially now that this Covid-19 pandemic has come with some economic downturns.
I sympathise with the club, especially the players, whose main source of income is football.
There have been reports that the government has released some funds to cushion sportspersons at this time of the pandemic. I am not sure if football was part of the beneficiaries.
I have also read elsewhere that world football governing body Fifa is also planning to give out money to bail out footballers from its member countries, but then again, this will just be a drop in the ocean.
This is the time we Gor Mahia followers need to stand out and help the team out of this sorry state instead of hitting at the club management for its failures.
Gor Mahia has over one million followers, and I am being very economical with this figure. Just Sh100 monthly contribution from half of these followers will raise Sh50 million which is almost what SportPesa would give the club as sponsorship in one year.
To that Gor Mahia follower reading this, let us share ideas on how we can help make the club financially stable. The club needs us now more than ever. We can become the biggest sponsors of the club more than any other corporate.
Share your ideas via the email at the end of this article and I will share them on this column as days go by. Good day and Eid Mubarak to our Muslim brothers and sisters.