Gor Mahia appeal for help over dry accounts
Back in December last year when shirt sponsors Brookside Dairy announced that they would not renew their contract with Gor Mahia, there was an assumption that the club would have no problem finding a replacement.
One year and another premier league championship later, the 14-time champions face perhaps the worst financial crisis since the Kenyan Premier League came into force.
K’Ogalo have lost the services of their mercurial striker Dan Sserunkuma, while his Ugandan counterpart Geoffrey Kizito has refused to extend his contract following financial disagreement with the management.
Club treasurer Kennedy Ouma has admitted that the club is literally on its knees and he fears that more players could stampede out.
“The truth is that we are struggling; we are really struggling. We have good players but we are losing them because they are receiving better deals that we just can’t match. Our accounts are totally dry and that is why we are yet to begin recruiting players,” he told Nairobi News.
Sserunkuma crossed shores to Tanzanian soccer giants Simba FC, while Kizito asked for his release letter two days ago after the club failed to match his demand to double his salary.
To add salt to their injury, their vice-captain and dependable defender David Owino has also been invited for trials at Tanzanian giant Simba SC.
“Those are only three players,” Ouma said. “I fear that more will leave because how do you stand in the way of a player without money? Kizito’s demands were simply untenable because you cannot pay one player a salary which is three times that of his colleagues.”
The persisting crisis notwithstanding, K’Ogalo will have until January 15th to submit the squad which will take part in the CAF competitions next year.
“The deadline is in mid-January, meaning that we have to have money before Christmas. We have identified the players that we want and we have spoken to about 10 players. We are, however, stuck on the financial part because our accounts are dry at the moment,” he said.
So dry are the K’Ogalo accounts that they are waiting for the Sh2 million pledge by president Uhuru Kenyatta to clear the November salaries.
K’Ogalo have been depending on piecemeal solutions since Brookside left, their first financial campaign being the M-pesa Paybill account number where the club supporters donated a paltry Shs283, 604.
A membership recruitment drive was later organized, but that too did not offer a lasting solution, and they have since survived on donations and gate collection.
Prior to their final match against KRA last month, the 14 time champions held a fund raiser organized by Nairobi governor Evans Kidero from which Shs4.3 million was yielded.
The fans have also been helpful in contributing money to the club and they recently gave the players a Shs460, 000 cash reward, but all these have proven to be only temporary solutions to the club whose monthly expenses add up to Shs4.5 million.