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KPL clubs express doubts on BetKing sponsorship deal

Five Kenyan Premier League club chairmen have been tasked by their colleagues to review the Sh1.2billion sponsorship deal between Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and BetKing.

This arrangement was arrived at during Wednesday’s virtual meeting attended by FKF president Nick Mwendwa, the body’s CEO Barry Otieno, and representatives of 16 of the 18 teams that competed in the 2019/2020 league season.

ABSENTEES

Sofapaka was absent without apology while Sony Sugar, which suffered relegation last season for failing to honour league matches, also did not attend.

Mwendwa announced last week he had inked a deal with the Nigerian gaming firm, which is yet to commence operations in Kenya, to sponsor the country’s top-flight football league for the next five years.

Each of the 18 clubs participating in the league, Mwendwa explained, would receive Sh8 million a year for five years, plus 100 balls.

“There have been doubts and questions about this deal. The answers to these doubts are in that contract. We will peruse through the document next week. If it is okay and meant to benefit the players, then we are ready to work with the new sponsor,” AFC Leopards chairman Dan Shikanda said.

TRANSITION

Besides studying and approving the contract, Ulinzi Stars chairman Col Erick Oloo was elected to lead the five-man committee that will also help transition the league to a new body, despite silent protests from Kenyan Premier League Limited CEO Jack Oguda, who has been performing that role for the past 15 years, and was not invited to the meeting.

Oguda’s mandate expires on September 24.

Others in the committee are Shikanda, Kariobangi Sharks boss Robert Maoga, and Zoo Kericho owner Ken Ochieng.

“These clubs will manage the league and we will not interfere. This model has proven successful in England and South Africa. The club representatives will relocate the secretariat to the FKF headquarters (at Kasarani) and elect a new chairman,” explained Mwendwa.

The FKF boss also revealed in a signed statement that BetKing will release the sponsorship monies in four installments totalling Sh230 million, each year.

The initial installment of Sh12 million will be to the clubs this week.

DEAL BROKER

The document outlining terms of the deal which was released by FKF also indicates an Italian agent named Andrea Silva, who helped broker this deal, will receive a Sh72 million commission, which is equivalent to six percent of the deal.

Silva, via his company MP & Silva, worked with Mwendwa in 2015 when the later served as chairman of the second-tier football league, then referred to as the FKF Premier League.

The duo brokered a multi-million broadcast deal with Azam TV for the competition which was referred to as the FKF Premier League at the time.

Another Sh10 million from this amount will be channelled to help manage the Women Premier League

Kakamega Homeboyz, Western Stima, KCB, Tusker, Mathare United, Ulinzi Stars, Kariobangi Sharks, Gor Mahia, Posta Rangers, AFC Leopards, Bandari, Zoo FC, Wazito, Nzoia Sugar, Bidco United, Nairobi City Stars and Kisumu All Stars sent representatives to the meeting.