Leopards officials blame politicians for deserting club
AFC Leopards officials claim political leaders from the Luhya community have abandoned the club at the hour of need even with the club on the verge of sealing key signings in the transfer market.
According to the club Secretary General Timothy Lilumbi, the team’s management has over the past few weeks approached several politicians and high profile business persons from the region to bail out the financially challenged club without success.
“We have camped at their (politicians) doors for weeks in vain. All we get are promises while the club’s situation worsens with each passing day, no money is available to pay players salaries let alone signing new ones,” Lilumbi told Nairobi News.
With a financial shortfall occasioned by a move by the Kenya Revenue Authority to freeze the club’s bank accounts, Leopards are yet to sign any player with just 16 days left to the closure of the transfer window.
But Nairobi News has reliably established that the league giants have opened talks with big names in the league among them former Tusker Ugandan defender Martin Kiiza, Muhoroni Youth’s Collins Neto, Ugandan striker Karim Nduggwa and former Gor Mahia player Edwin Lavatsa.
Professional football clubs in Kenya overly rely on handouts from politicians and businessmen and even the President to make ends meet, with fundraisers almost the order of the day for these teams.
Should the talks be successful, Kiiza will join the den as a free agent having run down his contract at Tusker. Leopards will however have to engage with Uganda’s SC Villa where Nduggwa is still contracted.
Lavatsa on the other hand has not been in competitive football for over six months having left his former club, Algiers FC of Algeria under unclear circumstances.
Prior to joining the Algeria outfit, Lavatsa turned out for Gor Mahia helping them win the 2013 league title.
“We have identified some players whom we are talking to. We do not want to reveal their names at this point in time, but in the coming week we will unveil our new signings. We will sign a minimum of three and a maximum of five players,” Lilumbi said.Ingwe have so far lost reliable defender James Situma to Tusker and midfielder Bernard Mang’oli to Posta Rangers.
Meanwhile Sofapaka’s midfielder Clifton Miheso is in Finland undergoing trials with division two side Vasa IFK.
Club President Elly Kalekwa said that should Miheso impress his suitors he will be happy to release him.
“If they like him, we won’t stand on his way as long as we agree terms with the club,” Kalaekwa he said of the midfielder who scored five league goals last term.